9 Best Fire Starters for Survival in Wilderness for 2023

Fire is an essential element in any survival situation. It provides warmth, light, and a means of cooking, and can even be used to signal for help. However, starting a fire can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the right tools. So, here we bring you a complete guide on how to choose the best fire starters for survival based on your situation while camping.

How to Choose the Best Fire Starters?

When choosing the best fire starters for survival, there are several things to consider:

  • Firstly, think about the type of environment you’ll be in when starting your fire – is it wet and windy, dry and still? This will help determine which type of fire starter might work best for your needs. For example, if it’s very windy or wet, a magnesium fire starter may be your best bet. 
  • Additionally, it’s important to consider how easy the fire starter is to use and if you have the necessary tools for it (e.g. matches or a lighter).
  • Finally, think about the availability of the fire starter – is it easily accessible and can you rely on it in an emergency? Taking all of these factors into consideration will help you make the best choice for your needs. 

9 Fire Starters for any Survival situation

Here are nine reliable fire starters to have in any survival situation:


Lighters are a popular choice for starting fires as they’re easy to use and relatively inexpensive. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from disposable butane lighters to refillable gas lighters. They work by creating a spark that ignites the fuel source, which is usually butane or propane. Lighters are also lightweight and easy to carry in a backpack or survival kit.


Matches are another reliable fire starter that has been used for centuries. They consist of a small stick with a combustible head that can be ignited by striking it against a rough surface. There are different types of matches available, including waterproof matches, stormproof matches, and strike-anywhere matches. They’re also lightweight and easy to carry in a waterproof container.

Ferrocerium Rods

Ferrocerium rods, also known as fire starters, are made from a metal alloy that produces sparks when scraped with a rough surface. They’re lightweight, durable, and can be used in any weather condition, making them a popular choice for survivalists. To use a ferrocerium rod, you need to scrape it with a sharp edge, such as a knife blade, to create sparks that will ignite the tinder.

Magnesium Fire Starters

Magnesium fire starters work similarly to ferrocerium rods but have the added benefit of being able to ignite magnesium shavings. Moreover, magnesium is highly flammable and burns at a high temperature, making it an ideal tinder material. To use a magnesium fire starter, you need to shave off some magnesium with a knife or other sharp edge, then use the rod to create sparks to ignite the shavings.

Fire Pistons

Fire pistons use air compression to ignite a piece of tinder. They consist of a small cylinder with a piston inside. To use a fire piston, you need to place a small piece of tinder, such as a charcloth, inside the cylinder, then push down on the piston with force. This creates heat and pressure, which ignites the tinder, making this one of the best fire starters for survival.

Bow Drill

The bow drill is a primitive fire-starting technique that involves using a wooden bow to spin a wooden spindle. The spindle creates friction against a piece of tinder, such as a dry leaf or piece of bark, creating a spark. This method requires some practice to master, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an effective way to start a fire without any tools.

Fire Plow

The fire plow is another primitive technique that involves rubbing a wooden stick against a wooden board. The friction creates heat, which can ignite a piece of tinder, such as a piece of bark or dry grass. This method also requires practice to master, but it’s a reliable way to start a fire without any tools.

Solar Lighters

Solar lighters use the sun’s rays to ignite a piece of tinder. They consist of a small parabolic mirror that focuses the sun’s rays onto a piece of tinder, such as a piece of charcloth or dry grass. Solar lighters, counted among the best fire starters for survival, are lightweight, easy to use, and require no fuel or batteries.

Chemical Fire Starters

Chemical fire starters, such as hexamine tablets or trioxane bars, are small, lightweight, and easy to use. They’re made from a compressed fuel source that can be ignited with a spark. Chemical fire starters are also waterproof, and one of the best fire starters for survival. Thus, they are chosen for outdoor activities in wet conditions.

How to Ensure that the Fire Stays Burning?

Once you’ve got your fire going with the right starter material and a spark, there are a few things you can do to keep it burning:

  • First, ensure that you’re using dry wood as your primary fuel source. Wet or damp wood won’t burn as well and may even put out the fire if it builds up too much steam. 
  • Second, make sure to keep good airflow around the fire by not letting any surrounding materials such as leaves or grass get too close. This will help ensure that your fire has enough oxygen to keep burning. 

It’s also important to periodically add fuel as needed so that the fire doesn’t go out. After all, a fire can only last as long as it has something to burn! Along with this, you must also get an idea about how to pack survival backpacks.

How to light the Fire Quickly?

To get the fire going quickly, it’s best to arrange these materials in a small pyramid shape or teepee style and then light them with matches or a lighter. Once sparked, the flames should spread along the starter material, igniting your fire. 

By having the right starter material and following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your fire gets off to a good start. With some patience and care, you’ll be able to keep it burning strong for hours!

Is Flint or Ferro Better?

In addition to using matches and lighters as fire starters, flint and ferrocerium are also popular options in terms of best fire starters for survival. Flint is a hard sedimentary rock that produces sparks when struck with steel. Ferrocerium (also known as ferro rods) are special alloys that produce sparks even more easily than flint. Thus, making them ideal for starting fires in wet or windy conditions. 

While flint and ferrocerium are both effective fire starters, the choice of which one to use is up to personal preference. Some people prefer the simplicity and dependability of matches. On the other hand, others enjoy the challenge of striking a spark with flint or ferrocerium. 

Whichever option you choose, it’s important to have at least one reliable fire starter on hand in your camping gear.

How long does a Magnesium Fire Starter Last?

Magnesium fire starters are a great way to quickly and easily start a fire. They consist of a piece of magnesium that is shaved off and then ignited with the help of either a spark or flame. Once lit, they will burn at an extremely hot temperature for up to five minutes. This makes them ideal for starting fires in windy or wet conditions, when traditional matches and lighters may struggle. As a result, magnesium fire starters can be very useful in emergency situations.

In Conclusion

When it comes to survival situations, one of the most important skills to have is the ability to start a fire. Whether you’re lost in the wilderness, stranded in the snow, or facing a power outage at home, a fire can provide warmth, light, and the ability to cook food and purify water. 

However, starting a fire can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the right tools. That’s why it’s essential to have reliable fire starters on hand. Here are the nine different types of fire starters that you can count on to help you start a fire in any survival situation. 

From simple tools like matches and lighters to more advanced options like fire pistons and magnesium bars we have covered them all. With these reliable fire starters camping tools at your disposal, you can be better prepared for any emergency situation.