better options for starting a fire


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
the consistent and dependable ability to easily make a fire, when required,
is a potentially life saving and death preventing/ mandatory skill, set.
having and carrying several options & tools available to do so is a very good idea.
your ability to think rationally and perform simple tasks becomes far more difficult if your near freezing to death,

especially if its raining or snowing most of the time.
be aware that you really need to carry several different options as your skills,
and options may vary with temps and conditions and the materials you have available.
try to find a couple small
durable containers to hold at least two complete sets, of tools/ materials
, keep one set in your back pack and one in your coat/parka or vest pockets at all times,

typical matches and typical lighters are not always dependable in wet, windy and cold conditions.
it would be rather foolish to be totally
dependent on a single source for getting a fire started
carrying tinder, and starting materials to get a fire started in a water proof container is a good idea,
but be aware that at sub-zero temps many plastics become
incredibly brittle & fragile,
zip lock bags carried in your coat pocket and a second set of fire starter materials in your back pack is a good idea.
having a KUKRI , knife and or hatchet, tomahawk can make starting a life saving fire FAR faster & EASIER
carry a few trioxane tabs as they are an excellent option

and certainly magnesium flakes are useful



magnesium fire starters and ferro rods, work reasonably well if you have lots of dry kindling to start with.
a pile of magnesium flakes, or trioxane tabs are easy to ignite with a ferro rod or butane lighter ,
but you might want a tube of fire paste ,candles or other tinder to get kindling to ignite in wet/windy conditions

obviously the butane lighters are preferred ,
but they don't always work well in sub zero temps

carry tinder like candles, fire paste , Vaseline in a sealed container,
inside a two gallon plastic zip loc bag
keep several dependable options available.





keep in mind you don't want to carry anything that could leak, or cause a mess in your clothes or back-pack
having a few fire starting tools in a zip lock bag or other small container is always a good idea when out in the wild/mountains
you can keep a great deal, in a small case, like a pocket knife, meds, compass and fire starting
Last edited: