Disaster Survival Tip 101: Fire Starters

Fire starting tools take up very little space in your survival kit. They should be considered a preparedness priority.

Lighters, Matches and Cotton Balls

YouTube videos and television shows highlight tools you can use to start fires the hard way.  The skills they teach are excellent and it is wise to have them. However, your survival kit should, first and foremost, always include the most common fire starters: lighters and matches.

Place matchbooks, wooden matches and several lighters in a sealed plastic bag. To start fires easily, compress several cotton balls and seal them in a separate bag, removing the air from the bag before sealing. These items take up very little space when packed correctly and add virtually no weight to your survival kit. These should be items you keep in your home survival kit as well as a go-bag.

On this topic, remember that smaller pieces of wood ignite faster. If you do not have kindling, make some. The picture on the right shows a quick way to splinter wood into fast-lighting, hot-burning kindling. There will never be a time when you have large pieces of wood or logs, but no kindling. If you have wood and a sharp object, you have kindling.

All-Weather Emergency 2-in-1

Since matches will not work if they get wet and lighters will eventually run out of fluid, it is wise to have a good backup tool. Flint, magnesium and fuel bars (fire starting kits) are inexpensive and can be purchased on sites like Amazon. Why not grab a few and toss them in? These fire starting tools require some practice. Learning how to use them properly will save you time and frustration.

People tend to either hate these tools, or love them. That said, the all-weather emergency 2-in-1 fire starter and magnesium fuel bar comes with everything needed to start a fire and that makes it a great resource. It is smart to have at least one in your survival kit. A few additional points are below, followed by some helpful videos.

  • Non-rusting metal can be stored for countless years, even in damp places or water and it will still work;
  • Not always easy to use but highly reliable when used correctly- even in the rain;
  • Very inexpensive; takes up virtually no room in a survival kit/backpack;
  • Requires practice. Learn how to use it before it becomes a must.

CLICK HERE to view a demonstration of this tool.

CLICK HERE to view tips and tricks to using a magnesium fire starter tool.

CLICK HERE to view instructional video on making fire in the rain.

CLICK HERE to view a helpful video on winter fire lighting techniques.

Please Note: This article is a continuation in a series of preparedness and survival articles published by Jana Brock. For more articles on this topic, please CLICK HERE.

Disclaimer: This information is published by a trained emergency manager with years of experience in disaster preparedness and emergency management. However, you should do your own research and practice family drills, have a family plan and prepare for all types of disasters appropriate for the area in which you live. Also, the video links in this article are not owned by Jana Brock, nor are they formally endorsed by Jana Brock. These external links are provided for your information only and are provided for reference purposes. They are provided under the Fair Use Act and remain the property of their authors/creators. Jana Brock does not take credit for, the content, presentation style, language or techniques in these training video references. We provide links to free YouTube videos we found to be credible and helpful.

About Jana Brock

We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are.
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