Categories: Reviews

Best fire starter of 2017 for camping, backpacking, survival! + Bonus

My name is Kirk Kim, and I am a geologist. I participate in at least 30 expeditions each year because of my work. I got used to camping life and learned many interesting things about it, so I decided to start my own blog and share my knowledge in the Internet.

This time I will tell you about fire starter. It is the one of the most important things you need to buy before going to travel in wild. Check my list of the best fire starters of 2017!

Feel free to explore the podium, click on the pictures to find out more.




№1 – Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel

It has a compact but sturdy housing;
Great stainless steel striker has a built-in emergency whistle;
It is made in Sweden and complies with the European quality standards;
Its pyrophoric alloy rod lasts for about 12 thousands strikes.

Why did this fire starter win the first place?

Because this is, without a doubt, the best fire starter I have ever used.


№2 – Survival Spark Magnesium

Has built-in emergency whistle and a compass – both work really great;
The handle is very convenient;
The rod is relatively long, which makes it is easier to use for beginners;
Incredibly low price tag.

Why did this fire starter come in second place?

Because the combination of advantages make this product pretty good, but I hate its black coloring – it is very easy to lose it in the dirt!


№3 – Bear Grylls Fire Starter

It is very compact;
There is a small waterproof storage for tinder hidden in the handle;
I like its lanyard – it is durable and feels nice;
Includes a cool illustrated survival guide from Bear Grylls.

Why did this fire starter take third place?

Because the product is great, but it has too many cheap counterfeits on the Amazon – so be careful while choosing the seller and always check reviews.





Attention! Don’t buy any fire starters until you read the FAQ!



What fire starter sticks and cubes are made of?

Most of the fire starter cubes and sticks are made from wood, sawdust or wax. Some of them are treated with chemicals or natural resins for better combustion. I recommend you to use only 100% natural products, because smoke from chemical additives is bad for your lungs.

What are fire starters made of?

Most of the ignition rods for fire starter kits are made from some kind of pyrophoric alloy to ignite hot sparks. Usually they use ferrocerium (the same material that is used as the ignition source for lighters) and magnesium.

Can you take a fire starter on a plane?

I never had any problems with my fire starters. I keep them in my hand luggage just in case. As far as I know, fire steels are not in the banned lists of most of the airlines.

How do fire starter logs work?

Fire starter logs are impregnated with chemical fuels to make them easier to light and to keep them burning a long time. This should not be a problem if you are lighting a fire in your fireplace for warmth, but keep the fireplace damper open so that there is ventilation to release the toxic smoke. If you are making fire for cooking, then buy natural pine fatwood or wait until all logs are burned out.

What fire starters are better: magnesium vs ferrocerium?

In fact, all fire starters use ferrocerium or flint to ignite sparks, since magnesium does not make sparks – it only caches fire. Magnesium fire starters are easy to use and they burn well, but they only last for hundreds of fires, while some ferrocerium starters can take up to 10 thousand strikes and more, so I prefer them.

Aurora Fire Starter 440C vs Nanostriker – what is better?

I like Aurora Fire Starter 440C more because of the price – it is usually much cheaper than Nanostriker but overall these product are almost identical. You can buy 440C here:

Niche Leader
It is a very convenient spark starter – I can always start a fire with it within three strikes;
Its stainless steel waterproofed housing is compact and durable;
The integrated magnesium allows the spark to remain lit longer and increases your odds to light a fire;
You can use it with a lanyard loop.

Check Price!


What is the best firestarter for camping?

Swedish FireSteel 2.0 from Light My Fire is my absolute favorite. It is durable, effective and easy to use. Moreover, it is not very expensive.

Can I use kerosene as fire starter?

It is dangerous and smelly, but yes, kerosene can be used to start fires. I do not see a single reason to choose it over regular fire starters.

Can I use steel wool for fire starter?

Yes. You can make your own fire starter with some steel wool and a simple battery. Wrap steel wool around a cotton ball and store it in your backpack until you need it. Later you can rub battery leads across the wool to ignite the cotton and start a fire.

Is there a good paracord bracelet with a firestarter?

I tried many of them and this is the best I found:

Niche Leader
Should be comfortable for any wrist size;
Looks very good;
It is great as a gift for your friend since it comes in sets of two pieces;
Its fire-starting rod is hidden behind the compass so it never gets wet and works perfectly fine.

Check Price!


How much does a fire starter weigh?

Generally fire starters are not very heavy. For example, FireSteel 2.0 from Light My Fire only weights 50 grams.

How long does a fire starter last?

Lifetime of a fire starter depends on its rod. Average fire starters can take about three thousands strikes, but there are products with bigger rods that lasts for 10 thousands strikes and more (once again, FireSteel 2.0 lasts roughly 12 thousands strikes).

How long does a flint fire starter last?

Flint-based fire starters with a tungsten carbide are able to ignite sparks for around a thousand times.

What is the best lint for fire starters?

I use these pouches from InstaFire:

Niche Leader
They help to start a fire even from wet wood;
It does not matter, how bad the weather is – these granules always work just fine;
Ignites immediately;
Does not include toxic chemicals.

Check Price!


How long will a magnesium fire starter last?

Magnesium fire starters use a block of pure magnesium that you have to scrape with a knife to create a small pile of metal shavings to light them with a ferrocerium rod. They provide only hundreds of fires before wearing out.

Do fire starter logs expire?

Surprisingly, yes. They can be used for a very long time if stored properly – 10 years and more, but, according to my experience, they significantly lose their quality after the first three years.

Are fire starter logs safe?

No, you have to observe safety rules while using them. Artificial fire logs are able to cause a flare-up or even an explosion and chimney fire. Smoke from fire starter logs can be very toxic if they are impregnated with chemical fuels.

Are fire starter logs toxic to dogs?

Yes. Fire starter logs contain compressed sawdust and wax, that can result in a foreign body obstruction in the stomach of your dog. Some product include heavy metals, so there is also a risk of heavy metal toxicity.

What is the best fire starter for survival?

I always keep this small kit in my survival backpack:

Niche Leader
It is very compact – throw it in your backpack just in case, it would not take much space anyway;
This fire starter is fully waterproofed and can be used in any weather;
This set includes a nice small compass;
Magnesium block is big enough, so the product lasts for a long time.

Check Price!


How to use a magnesium fire starter?

First of all, prepare the fire: gather some tinder and kindling (such as twigs, dry branches, pine needles and paper). Place it in a pile where you want to start a fire and shave some magnesium from your fire starter on the top of it. You will need about a quarter of shavings. Finally, use the flint to ignite sparks. Hold it at a tilted angle over your pile and forcefully slide the knife along the full length of the flint block. As soon as sparks ignite the shavings, gently blow on them to spread the flames.

What is fatwood fire starter?

Fatwood is one of the best natural fire starters. It is derived from the heartwood of pine trees. It lights very fast even when wet, is wind resistant, and burns hot enough to light big pieces of wood. You can use a tiny piece of fatwood many times to create tinder by shaving small curls and using them to light bigger woods.

What is the best firestarter for fire pit?

Any fire starter should be good providing that you have gathered enough kindling and tinder for your fire pit.

Fire starter vs lighter: what should I use?

In my opinion, you should always carry both a fire starter and a lighter. In some situations, the former is more useful, and sometimes vice versa. For example, it is easier to simply use a lighter during the good windless weather, but it may easily break down during strong rains – if this happens, a fire starter may become a real rescue, since it is almost unbreakable.



How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the fire starters by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

Starting fire can be very troubling even for professionals, so it is very important to take a good fire starter with you, especially if you are going on a long trip. Of course, you do not have to stuff your backpack with fire starting logs. Use my rating list of the best fire starters of 2017 and choose a trustworthy product that would help you to make your life easier. Believe me: I used hundreds of various fire starters and these are the best you can find on American market. I hope that my recommendations were helpful and I wish you to have a great hike!

So, TOP3 of fire starters:

Aurora Fire Starter 440C:

Paracord bracelet with a firestarter:

Lint for fire starters:

Best fire starter for survival:



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about fire starters is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!