Fire burning

Survival Items For Starting Fire

Starting a fire is fairly simply when you have ideal kindling, wood, and tools you need to start a fire. 

However, this blog is about survival and I want to talk about starting a fire under non-ideal conditions. Like when it is sleeting, the wind is blowing, your firewood is wet, your lighter doesn’t work, you don’t have any more matches, and life & death depends on your ability to start a fire.  

I realize that is kind of dramatic, but starting a fire is not so simply when you don’t have the tools and resources you need. I remember seeing an episode where Bear Grylls wasn’t able to start a fire because he didn’t have any decent fire starters and the conditions were really wet and windy. And he’s like the best survivalist. 

When the poo hits the fan and you have to survive. It is only a matter of time before the worst conditions present themselves. 

So I’m going to list some survival tools in order of most important that you’ll want to have in order to get a fire going, and some tips on what you can do. 

1. Zippo Lighter 

It should be obvious that this is the easiest tool to start a fire with. Zippo lighters last forever and you can easily refill them with lighter fluid. As long as you have lighter fluid and a zippo you’re almost golden. 

The only time you might not be able to start a fire with a Zippo is if you have a strong wind you’re not able to block out, or wet kindling.

In case your zippo is not available for some reason due to it getting lost, stolen, depleted, damaged…etc. You’ll want to have some kind of back up. I love the next item 

2. Waterproof Arc Plasma Electric Lighter

Plasma Arc LighterNow, maybe should have listed this as number one item, because in my opinion the Arc Plasma Electric Lighter is in some ways better than a Zippo lighter. Why? Because of 3 reasons

  1. Wind doesn’t blow out a plasma arc.
  2.  It has a waterproof design that allows it to be soaked under a meter of water for a short period of time. 
  3. As long as you have some means of getting electricity you can recharge it several times so you’re not dependent on fuel. 

There a lot of different types to choose just don’t choose one that only has a single arc. Dual arc or triple arcs are better. Some are pliable, others come with a flash light built on the other end. Frog & Co. & Tacamo make very reliable plasma lighters.

Now will you have electricity in an apocalyptic scenario? Maybe? The are a lot of simply devices on the market that can help you generate small amounts of electricity needed to charge items like this.

If you are prepared with a portable solar generator, or if you have a biolite device, you should have enough electricity to recharge one of these devices. 

Lighter fluid may be easily available today, but when in a apocalyptical like scenario lighter fluid could become scarce, whereas energy from the sun never will be. 

So as long as you have some means of capturing a little electricity then the Arc Plasma Electric Lighter is the best lighter. 

3. Waterproof Matches

Obviously the big drawback with matches is you have a limited amount. However, if your zippo or electric lighter got damaged, or for some other reason they were unusable due to being wet or lack of electricity then it’s good to have some other item as a backup.

4. A Ferro Rod

If you’ve never used a ferro rod before it is fairly easy to start a fire with one provided you have some charclothe or other starter cloth and some really dry kindling material. Simply strike against some charclothe or other dry kindling material and you have an ember to start your fire. 

5. Fire Piston

A fire rod works by quickly slamming a piston through a cylinder to increase gas pressure to cause a flame to ignite a small ember in the bottom of the cylinder. You might remember seeing something like this in high school science class.

The items listed above will provide you with the means to start a fire with a ferro rod. As a prepper you should have at least 2 or more of the above items to use in-case one of the others doesn’t work for some reason.

6. Butane Lighter


Ronxs Butane LighterLastly, If none of the above do the trick. This last recommendation will. A butane lighter can get around 2600 degrees Fahrenheit so even if you have the wettest of kindling it should dry out quickly.  I like the one in the photo made by Ronxs, but there are lots of butane lighters to choose from. 

Best Fire Tender

The above items are awesome to help you get that starter flame but are not going to be enough if the environmental conditions are stacked against you and there is no ideal kindling nearby.

Having some kind of fire tender might be a lifesaver if you’re ever in a situation where it is difficult to find any dry kindling. I’m sure you’re aware there are several different types out there but I favor Black Beard. It may be the best fire starter on the market

  1. Black Beard


Not all of nature’s environments easily provide you with the kindling needed to start a fire. Especially more wet humid environments. Any kind of plants that have oils in them burn up easily. A dead pine tree is incredible flammable, coconut husks are great in the tropics. Just get to know your surrounding area.

Hope you enjoyed the info. Leave us a comment if you like.

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