If you ever were a Boy Scout or Girl Scout you can probably remember starting a fire with two sticks, or even the bow method. Thankfully when we go out camping with our families we do not need to sit around doing this anymore and getting blisters from all the friction. Companies make reliable fire starters to help us enjoy the great outdoors. Besides having the obvious lighter in your pocket there are some more reliable resources for a spark that will not falter in moist climates or run out of fuel as fast.
Best Fire Starters
This kit found on the REI website is phenomenal for conserving space and having a reliable resource of spark in a watertight container for those emergency needs. These 4-inch long waterproof and windproof matches are an exceptional way to ensure you always have a fire starter. The kit comes with twelve matches that burn for twenty-five seconds each, three replaceable strikers, a waterproof case that floats and has a lanyard. The case has a built-in striker integrated into for easy striking. I would not call these my go to match for every fire-starting need but they are great as my backup source when the conditions are extremely rough and my main source of fire fails. I only say this because they are limited to twelve matches in each container. [Purchase: $9.29]
UCO evens has there own fire starting course.
REI also offers the MSR Strike Igniter It is the perfect resource for lighting campfires, camp stoves or any other canister source. The starter is simple in design and easily attaches to your backpack or onto your gear. It is even more reliable than a lighter because moisture doesn’t affect its usefulness or performance. It produces a 5,500-degree spark and lasts for 3,000 to 12,000 strikes that are way hotter than a traditional lighter and lasts far more than the average lighter. I use the Strike Igniter as my main source of spark in all of my outdoor adventures. Recently I took a few days and set out with my family for an excursion across one of my favorite hiking areas in West Virginia, Dolly Sods. My wife and our five children are my life. I do everything with them and cherish them. I tell you this because I trust strikers like MSR’s Striker Igniter to provide the essential element of fire for them and myself. [Purchase: $15.99]
Just for the purpose of giving you other options Amazon offers a fire igniter similar to the MSR Striker Igniter. It produces a 5,400-degree spark guaranteed to start your tinder. Has a lifetime of 12,000 Strikes and works in wet environments. It is small only three inches in length and connects to any of your gear. No matter the situation there is a fire igniter that will perform every time. [Purchase: $19.99]
You never realize how important fire is until you get deep into the wild where it provides heat, discourages bugs (smokey), gives you a cooking tool and provides light. Extreme Start’s pine firestarter is the solution. When you’re ready to burn, it lights quickly and starts a good raging bonfire in just a few minutes. Purchase: $14.00]
A must for every camping trip, or even backpacking too.
Staying Warm and Happy
When I spent my first night out in the wilderness I remember how harsh the environment could be. Oh, how exciting it was to bundle next to the fire and to stay warm from the elements. As I transitioned into the military it became a survival tool and a morale booster. If you are cold, wet, and hungry moral goes down and so does the chance of survival. With a strong ability to start a fire all of these three elements are no longer a problem.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to comfort is to make sure your tent and sleeping bag and rated and designed for the conditions you plan on camping in. We put together a list of some of the best backpacking tents for each season of the year.
Fire is essential to producing much-needed warmth when it is cold, keeping you dry when you’re wet, and a means for cooking when you’re hungry. Whenever backpacking with my family sitting around the fire in the evening is the most relaxing part of the day for us. Enjoying the outdoors should never be a chore. It should never have to become a survival situation for anyone. That is why proper preparation for the trip is essential to understanding the environment in which you will be in and making sure that the gear you have will be sufficient in all conditions nature can throw at you.
The products I have listed are not all inclusive as there are numerous products on these websites from Cabela’s, REI, and others that might fit the need you have. Spending the majority of my life in the outdoors I have grown to trust these products and use them regularly on my expeditions. The next time you are planning a weekend camping trip or a week-long backpacking adventure take the time to properly prepare yourself for the conditions you might face. Always make sure you have a solid fire starter that will not fail in cold wet environments and always have a back-up for those emergency needs. Enjoy your next excursion in the wilderness or on a campsite by making sure you are warm and happy next to a fire. Be safe and have fun!