Best Fire Starter Kits

If you have been backpacking or camping before then you know how important having a fire at night is. It not only keeps you and your family warm when the temperatures drop but it is also a fun pastime to roast marshmallows and sing camping songs. The only issue is starting a fire. Some of us know the trick and can start a fire without an issue but many of us opt for a little help. That is why it is important to always have a fire starter kit handy as part of your camping gear so that when you decide to have a fire you can get one going without an issue and quickly. If you have decided to add a fire starter kit to your gear but do not know which one will be best, the below guide is for you!

Standout Picks

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter
American Made Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter Kit, offers a very decent option for an easy to carry, multi-purpose tool that comes handy in a tight spot. Light and backed with a lifetime warranty, makes it a decent inclusion to our list.
Amazon Link
$27.73
The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter
This compact and very portable fire starter kit is a great addition to any outdoor enthusiasts gear. It is lightweight and easily connects to a keychain, and if you need to start a fire quickly, this little tool will be your best friend!
Amazon Link
$16.99
Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel
The second entry by Sweden`s Light My Fire, The Swedish Fire Steel is the same kit featured in their popular Swedish Fire Knife. Many reviews find this kit as an excellent addition to any pack even when not paired with the Fire Knife.
Amazon Link
UST Sparkie Fire Starter
The UST Sparkie (Ultimate Survival Technologies) is a welcomed addition in the line of kits prefer for its utility. Affordable, light and compact. It comes in a bright orange color making it easy to locate when needed.
Amazon Link
Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter
The Survival Spark Emergency magnesium fire starter is another affordable option for anyone looking to make sure they have a fire starting kit on them at all times. It comes with a small built-in compass, making another useful tool to keep within reach at all times.
Amazon Link
$7.99
Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife
For buyers looking for the often preferred combination of fire starting kit and additional multi-tool combo, options such as the Swedish Fire Knife by Light my Fire, offer optimal use and value to the devoted outdoorsman.
Amazon Link
Zippo Emergency Fire Starter
The Zippo Emergency Fire Kit is exactly what you might imagine. Place this reliable lighter somewhere in your car, first-aid kit, or anywhere else that you may go for a last-minute fire supply. It can also be used, of course, as your main source of the fire.
Amazon Link
UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
A welcomed variation to this list is the UCO Titan Storm Proof Matches. Some will argue about their entry in this category, but their reliability and ease of use put them head to head with the other options on this list.
Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch Fire Starter
It only takes one hand and a spark of fire is made with this flint-based Blast Match. All one needs to do is press the button and press the flint against a hard surface and sparks will fly.
Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter
The Exotac Nano Striker XL is the latest entry model in this line. Following its predecessor, The Exotac Nano Striker, the ferrocerium rod increased diameter gives it a longer life span and increased spark. Added features to its design make it more reliable when confronted with wet conditions and the availability of colors gives plenty of good-looking options to everyone interested in one.
Amazon Link
$27.42

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Brand

Checking out a brand's reputation before investing is always a good idea. Some brands are notorious for creating unreliable products or only excelling in one area of expertise. Overall when looking for a quality brand, you want to make sure the brand is known for making outdoor equipment, as the last thing you want is to be out in the wilderness with an untested and unreliable product.

Another factor to always take into consideration is a brand's return policy, warranty, and customer service. The brand of a product also plays into durability. There are many manufacturers who will repair or replace a malfunctioning product. You will notice a few big-name brands on our list here, such as Zippo, and a few lesser-known brands.

Effectiveness

What good is a fire-starter if it isn't effective? For this section, we researched the spark intensity and the tinder reaction of each product. While some fire starters may be too intense or just not quite what you are looking for, others may be too weak. It is good to have an idea of how and when you will be using your fire starter kit before deciding which intensity is right for you.

This may be the most important factor to consider when looking to invest in a fire starter kit, as the main reason you are looking to purchase a fire starter is to help you in case of an emergency situation or to simply get a fire going for your family without issue. The best way to ensure you are getting a quality and effective product is to check the customer reviews. This way you know the fire starter you have your eye on has been tested by other customers as is reliable.

Ease of Use

While the great majority of fire starting kits share similar designs, there may be aspects in shape and size in which you may find comfort with some more than others. Often times, ergonomic efficiency may depend on things such as grip, stability, or even the size of the item in relation with your hands. Some products, while designed to be used single-handedly, may be found by someone to be more efficient if operated with both hands. Preferences may also be found in the style of the kit as some products offer multipurpose tools to match the tasks at hand. Knife, fire starter combos in which the tinder or magnesium block can be stored in the knife`s handle, are a common example of these multi-tool combos.

Some may even be found to include other survival equipment such as compasses, matches and mini flashlights, making you less dependable on single-purpose items. More experienced outdoorsmen will consider a product based on its specifications; things such as manufacturer`s standards, the product`s efficiency under hard stress and even warranty. In some cases, a fire starter kits may come with a manufacturer protective coating, which requires wear before the product is placed in service. It is for this reason that is it essential to familiarize yourself with your new gear and try out / test the equipment for possible defects and deficiencies, before heading out to your next outdoor adventure. An unexpected malfunction with any item can easily turn your exciting and enjoyable outdoor experience into a painstakingly difficult one; so when buying new equipment of any kind, it is best to try it out and have some fun with it at home or in your backyard.

When traveling for long distances or periods of time, the weight of a specific item can be a cumbersome thing to ponder. Thankfully, in our day and age, the majority of products leaves the outdoor enthusiast relieved that a fire starting kit may weigh less than few ounces and occupy little space, even when traveling with more than one kind, leaving the fuel source as the biggest concern about a kit, but one which can be easily remedied as it can be found during any part of an expedition, and so not always needed to be constantly carried.

Value

There's no reason to burn your money when investing in a new fire starter kit. If you plan to use your fire starter often and want something long-term and reliable, it may be worth it to you to spend a bit more. If you have never owned one before and just want to see how it works for you, perhaps a cheaper version or a set of Titan Storm Matches would be a good option for you.
When looking at the price of these items, it is important to notice how many uses you can get from each product.

The biggest mistake that consumers make is assuming that more expensive products are better quality and cheaper products are not as good. This is definitely not the case, as a lot goes into the price of a product. When looking for a fire starter especially, do not focus solely on the price and rather how well it will perform as this product can possibly save your life if an emergency situation was to occur.

Top Ten Fire Starter Kits

1. GERBER BEAR GRYLLS

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$27.73
Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter
Amazon Link

American Made Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter Kit, offers a very decent option for an easy to carry, multi-purpose tool that comes handy in a tight spot. Light and backed with a lifetime warranty, makes it a decent inclusion to our list.

Read more

Brand Recognition
US-based Gerber has been known for many years to be a source for affordable, durable equipment for those starting to venture into a more active, serious outdoor lifestyle.

Effectiveness
The ferrocerium rod on the Bear Grylls fire starter has been tested to produce a good amount of spark, though references hardly pinpoint the exact amount of heat.
Using the Gerber Bear Grylls fire starter with tough tinder such as wood chips and pellets may require some practice and mastering of striker to rod movement, but with the help of fuel imbued materials, it should provide fire in little time.

Ease of Use
The thickness of the Bear Grylls handle is found by most to be very comfortable, which most find it to be convenient since it requires some skill to get it to spark successfully. The inclusion of a very loud whistle makes it ideal to have it ready for quick access in case you need to have your location know by wildlife or others; and it comes attached with a paracord, included with the fire starter, which also helps to keep all its components together.

Value
The price for the Survival Series Fire Starter kit is made easier to consider thanks to its weight and look of the model. The inclusion of a whistle, which can be a much-needed item in dire situations is a neat feature included with this item.

Amazon Link
$27.73

2. THE FRIENDLY SWEDE

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$16.99
The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter
Amazon Link

This compact and very portable fire starter kit is a great addition to any outdoor enthusiasts gear. It is lightweight and easily connects to a keychain, and if you need to start a fire quickly, this little tool will be your best friend!

Read more

Brand Recognition
The Friendly Swede is a company that is known for its bags but are quickly becoming known for their outdoor equipment. All of their products are highly rated to ensure that you get the best quality and durability, especially when investing in their outdoor gear.

Effectiveness
For the price, this fire starter kit is quite effective and is highly rated amongst other customers who have decided to go with this fire starter.

Ease of use
It is compact and fits easily on a keychain. To use this fire starter you simply scrap the magnesium box and that will, in turn, create sparks that you apply to your wood and kindling.

Value
This fire starter comes to you at a quite affordable price. To be exact it is around $16, which is a great price for a tool that can give you the power of fire.

Amazon Link
$16.99

3. LIGHT MY FIRE SWEDISH FIRE STEEL

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel
Amazon Link

The second entry by Sweden`s Light My Fire, The Swedish Fire Steel is the same kit featured in their popular Swedish Fire Knife. Many reviews find this kit as an excellent addition to any pack even when not paired with the Fire Knife.

Read more

Brand Recognition
There is little to add to describe the good reputation and mission statement of Light my Fire. Buyers can feel confident that they are getting a product conceived with endurance and trustworthiness in mind.

Effectiveness
The Ferron rod on the Fire Steel has the same rating and spark found on the Swedish Fire Knife, burning at an intense 5,400 Degrees (Fahrenheit) from its magnesium rod.
Also, this fire starting kit reacts well with most timber.

Ease of Use
Stripped of all unnecessary weight and sheathing, the rod is kept exposed and constantly attached to the iron striker by a length of paracord.

Value
The price of the Fire Steel, while similar to other entries on this list makes it affordable due to its bare bones composition.

Amazon Link

4. UST SPARKIE

Where to buy
Amazon Link
UST Sparkie Fire Starter
Amazon Link

The UST Sparkie (Ultimate Survival Technologies) is a welcomed addition in the line of kits prefer for its utility. Affordable, light and compact. It comes in a bright orange color making it easy to locate when needed.

Read more

Brand Recognition
UST Brands has under its belt, a long history with the outdoor community, and for the last 80 years has churned out a wide range of tools and equipment focused on its demographic. Based in the USA, buyers will find direct customer service for any issues or concerns.

Effectiveness
The strike action from which the models get its name produces an intense spark from the retractable flint rod. For the tinder reaction, it has been shown that this device works best used with dry and fueled dipped timbers in close proximity.

Ease of Use
The manufacture of the Sparkie makes its use a single hand operation, achieving a spark when struck in proximity with the tinder. This unique feature is a much-welcomed relief when confronted with the possibility of being able to use only one hand.

Value
Considering the mechanics of the UST Sparkie and its intended use, It is an enticing option due to its low price. The lightweight which also adds value to the model is complemented by its small design.

Amazon Link

5. SURVIVAL SPARK MAGNESIUM SURVIVAL

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$7.99
Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter
Amazon Link

The Survival Spark Emergency magnesium fire starter is another affordable option for anyone looking to make sure they have a fire starting kit on them at all times. It comes with a small built-in compass, making another useful tool to keep within reach at all times.

Read more

Brand Recognition
Not much information is available on the manufacturer.

Effectiveness
The spark on the Survival Spark is rated to produce a strong, wind-resistant flash that will ignite with ease. As for its tinder reaction, it has proved to work well with most tinder in moderately moist conditions.

Ease of Use
The rod of this kit measures a lengthy 5.5” magnesium rod with making it one of the more durable kits rated at approximately 15,000 strikes. This design makes it easy for someone less familiar with a spark based kit to rapidly gain experience with this method of fire-making.

Value
The Survival Spark fire starter kit is another entry on the more affordable spectrum for a fire-starting kit in the market. It comes equipped with a whistle and a compass increasing its value for its price. The compass, though an often underrated tool, will be a much-appreciated tool for any outdoors person with a penchant for survival gear.

Amazon Link
$7.99

6. LIGHT MY FIRE SWEDISH FIRE KNIFE

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife
Amazon Link

For buyers looking for the often preferred combination of fire starting kit and additional multi-tool combo, options such as the Swedish Fire Knife by Light my Fire, offer optimal use and value to the devoted outdoorsman.

Read more

Brand Recognition
Sweden native company Light My Fire has, since 1995 established itself as a reputable company, offering a wide arrangement of outdoor products all over the world. Customer service satisfaction ranks as one of the more decent, considering that the company is still based in Sweden with a little official distribution in the US.

Effectiveness
The spark on the Swedish Fire Knife burns at an intense 5,400 Degrees (Fahrenheit) from its magnesium rod, originally designed for use for the Swedish Department of Defense. Tested in adverse weather conditions, the spark warrants success at close proximity with the tinder.

The tinder reaction with the Fire knife is the average one can attain with most magnesium strips. One thing to note, however, is that in some cases, it was tried successfully in high altitudes with a variety of tinder.

Ease of Use
One of the contributing factors to successfully using this knife as a fire starter may be allocated in the design of its handle. The high friction rubber make of the grip makes it extremely comfortable to securely apply a good deal of strength from the dull edge of the blade onto the magnesium rod, procuring and powerful spark from its strike. The rod was designed to reach up to 3,000 strikes, giving it a decent lifespan as a fire starter.

Value
Considering that the price tag on the Swedish knife affords the buyer more than one tool for his purchase and that the class of these tools count as some of the more essential in any outdoor expedition, the argument for this fire starting kit is almost none.

Amazon Link

7. ZIPPO EMERGENCY

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Zippo Emergency Fire Starter
Amazon Link

The Zippo Emergency Fire Kit is exactly what you might imagine. Place this reliable lighter somewhere in your car, first-aid kit, or anywhere else that you may go for a last-minute fire supply. It can also be used, of course, as your main source of the fire.

Read more

Brand Recognition
Zippo has been THE brand in lighters for many years, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Effectiveness
The main feature of this lighter is it's convenient, simple use that almost anyone could manage. While the Emergency Fire Kit may not spark up as hot as others, it is a reliable source of fire in almost any weather condition. Reviewers have found that this product reacts well with most kinds of timber.

Ease of Use
The Zippo Emergency Fire Kit comes with four water-resistant tinder sticks and has a reliable flint wheel recognition. It's easy to use, but the capper on this fire starter is that its water-resistant seal and the fact that it floats.

Value
With the confidence you have with a trusted brand like Zippo, this fire starter is worth the money even though it is slightly costly.

Amazon Link

8. UCO TITAN STORMPROOF MATCHES

Where to buy
UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
Amazon Link

A welcomed variation to this list is the UCO Titan Storm Proof Matches. Some will argue about their entry in this category, but their reliability and ease of use put them head to head with the other options on this list.

Read more

Brand Recognition
Seattle-based UCO Gear was founded in 1971 and focuses its products on certain areas of the industry and it offers a limited warranty on all of its products.

Effectiveness
The flame intensity of these matches averages the burn of three matches put together, while this may not sound as much, consider the timber used and the fact that these matches, with their 4” length, can burn even after submerged in water. Also, this kit was tested successfully with many different types of tinder.

Ease of Use
The UCO Titans light up with the smoothness and ease of any regular match, but that is probably where their resemblance stops. With an estimated burning time of about 15 seconds, its strong flame provides intense fire generating heat.

Value
With the limited amount of uses you get with this purchase, some will argue against the price for the UCO Titans. However, qualities such as heat intensity, their ability to keep aflame, even in extremely wet conditions, will quickly put any buyer at ease.

9. UST BLASTMATCH

Where to buy
Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch Fire Starter
Amazon Link

It only takes one hand and a spark of fire is made with this flint-based Blast Match. All one needs to do is press the button and press the flint against a hard surface and sparks will fly.

Read more

Brand Recognition
The flagship Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch Fire Starter has done very well among testers, buyers, and campers alike. Ratings tend to be very high on sites like Amazon and remain this way. It's safe to say, this brand has made a name for itself.

Effectiveness
It offers sparks in all types of weather conditions and will light up 1000 times. The sparks are 3 times hotter than a normal match. As for the tinder reaction, this kit was tested successfully with many different types of tinder.

Ease of Use
The UST Blast Match Fire Starter is all about convenience. It only takes one hand to light it up. Many reviewers agree that the striker is most effective after scraping off the black coating.

Value
This is a simple product from a trusted brand and comes at an affordable price. We think it is well worth the small investment.

10. EXOTAC NANO STRIKER XL

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$27.42
Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter
Amazon Link

The Exotac Nano Striker XL is the latest entry model in this line. Following its predecessor, The Exotac Nano Striker, the ferrocerium rod increased diameter gives it a longer life span and increased spark. Added features to its design make it more reliable when confronted with wet conditions and the availability of colors gives plenty of good-looking options to everyone interested in one.

Read more

Brand Recognition
Well established, American made, Exotac is a widely reviewed small company based out of Georgia in the USA. Customer reviews list them as very customer satisfaction oriented, with a good deal of care being placed in solving any questions and providing solutions for customer questions or concerns.

Effectiveness
Burning brightly at about 3,000 Celsius, The Nano Striker XL achieves spark intensity with ease due to the wide diameter of the rod. Weather conditions seem to do little to dampen the friction of the striker and the amount of spark produced by has been noted to cover a relatively wide surface.
The spark produced by the Nano Striker XL reacts well with most timbers, having been tried successfully with wood shavings, grass, wood chips, and more flammable materials.

Ease of Use
The anodized aluminum body on the Nano Striker XL, aside from being made to have a great look, includes o-rings in its design to better protect it from overexposure to the elements and has been enhanced for better grip, making it easy to handle even without the help of gloves. The 3.6” replaceable rod tests well after being exposed to water, with a lifespan of over 3,000 strikes.

Value
Falling into line at an affordable price, this striker has plenty to offer the consumer. With this option, you get a great design that not only looks good but offers a high level of functionality.

Amazon Link
$27.42

Sources