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  • Writer's pictureVinny

Fire starting must haves

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Ignition & Fuel Sources

When camping or venturing out into the wilderness, it's always wise to take along sources for fire starting if the need should arise. In fact, it's good practice to take along at least two different sources to get your fire started.

There is an old saying, "When there's two there's one, and where there's one there's none."

As a rule, I always carry two different sources. Different meaning different types of fire starting sources, for example: If you have two Bic lighters that's considered one source. Now if you add a pack of matches to your kit along with the two lighters you now have two different sources.

I choose to carry two Bic lighters and a ferrocerium rod. These are my personal choices and they are based on trying many different options over the years.

The Bic lighter is an easy choice for most as it can be purchased at almost every supermarket or convenient store, they're also very economical and easy to operate. The draw back to these is, they can run out of fuel, break, or if they get wet it will take some time to dry out before they'll be able to light again.

The ferrocerium rod a.k.a ferro rod, is also a good choice as it just takes little practice to master, has no fuel to run out of, and will work when sub-freezing or wet. In my opinion, there is no draw back to these as long as you purchase a quality rod.

Along with your ignition sources, it's also good practice to bring along fuel sources in your kit to use with them.

When I venture out, I like to pack three different fuel sources, including:

Char cloth - highly flammable material, not only ignites easily to ember but also really simple to make.

Jute twine - also highly flammable, and in twine form gives you the ability to use it as a "wick" allowing you to easily insert it into several spots of your tinder bundle to light it in multiple spots.

Candle - You can also find a simple candle in my kit for the obvious reasons, it can be lit quickly and stay lit for a long period of time.

Along with those items I carry in with me, I also like to collect tinder as i move through the wilderness, such as bark from a yellow birch tree, or an abandoned birds nest, to use as fuel.

Yellow Birch Tree Tinder fire
Yellow Birch Bark used as Tinder

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