Are you a first-time camper? Still, wondering what to include in your carry-on gear? Well, in that case, you came to the right place. At this stage, your search for an ideal fire source is probably in high gear.

A portable fire starter comes in hand when when you're out camping or hiking in the wilderness. They help you start fires for warmth and are easily accessible. The rod is made of magnesium that creates sparks when scratched with the tungsten carbide striker. It's more reliable than matches and can be used multiple times to start an emergency fire when warmth is needed.

Given the disparity in user preferences, deciding on the best fire starters for your outdoor ventures should depend on informed choices.

Top Campfire Starters in 2021

Product Name

Price

Rating


Bayite Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter

$

Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Fire Starter

$

Collapsible Pocket Fire Bellow

$

Bayite Ferro Rods Survival Fire Starter

$

Überleben Zünden Fire Starter

$

Survival Spark Magnesium Fire Starter

$

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

$

UST Spark Force Fire Starter

$

Exotac NanoStriker XL

$$

Coleman Magnesium Fire Starter

$

1. Bayite Survival Ferrocerium


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

This 4-inch fire kit from Bayite is undoubtedly your perfect outdoor company for camping, hiking, and most woodland activities. It comes with two stand-out components: ferrocerium rod and steel striker.


For durability against multiple uses, you will find the striker comprises high-strength, tool-grade steel that is also rust-free. Using either hand, you can maximize the number of sparks effortlessly, thereby increasing your ignition chances with just a few strikes.


This survival fire starter comes with a 9 foot lanyard cord lined through both components binds them together and eliminates the loss or misplacement of either piece.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • All-weather usage
  • Maximized shower of sparks

Cons

  • Burn risks
  • Prior scraping is needed

2. Swiss Safe 5-in-1


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Before setting off on your outdoor excursion, make sure you have this perfect Swiss-made fire starter steel kit. This kit features a high-quality ferrocerium rod that generates flames at a massive temperature of 5,500F.


With this heat, you should have no difficulty igniting your flint or wood chips in record time. Also, the Swiss-safe gadget comes with additional accessories that justify its 5-in-1 status.


Alongside the scraper and rod, your package must have a compass, a laced paracord, and a whistle for emergencies out in the wild.

Pros

  • Multiple accessories included
  • Compact and lightweight
  • All-weather use

Cons

  • Low quality compass
  • Large for a standard Altoids can

3. Collapsible Pocket Fire Bellow


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Unlumm Store offers you this stand-out fire starter comprising a collapsible blower pipe that extends up to 20inches. To operate this kit, you will have to blow into the extendable tube for the glowing embers to ignite.


For this purpose, the pocket bellow is useful in specific situations where a flame is preferable to glow coal.


Note that the extra length will distance you from any flying sparks and keeps you from getting smoky.


Rusting is not an issue with this portable kit due to its high-quality polish stainless steel; hence you have a durable product.

Pros

  • Durable and rust-free stainless steel
  • Water-resistant
  • Versatile and portable

Cons

  • Physical air-blow
  • Poor fire initiation

4. Bayite Ferro Rods Survival Fire Starter


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

This kit is another one-of-a-kind fire starter from Bayite. Packaged in pairs, your fire starting kit should include two steel ferrocerium rods complete with toggle holes through which the paracord (not packaged) goes.


Available in multiple sizes, you are free to pick the rod length of your choice. As a watertight, rust-free, and long-lasting Bayite product, you are bound to appreciate the durability offered by this particular starter kit.

Pros

  • Variable and custom sizes
  • Useful in wet conditions
  • Durable ferrocerium rod

Cons

  • Lacks a dedicated striker.
  • Lack of lanyard or paracord

5. Überleben Zünden


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

For all your camping, hiking, mountaineering, hunting, or backpacking fire needs, consider this rugged all-steel kit from Uberleben Zunden. Being as compact as it is, you should have no difficulty packing this gadget into your carry-on bag, no matter how small.


While maintaining a standard rod length of 5 inches, you nonetheless have the freedom to pick from three available diameters –0.5inch, 3/8inch and, 5/16inch.

Pros

  • Optional diameter sizes
  • Multi functional scraper
  • Convenient neck carry

Cons

  • A weak adhesive on the wooden handle
  • Accidental burns at close distances

6. Survival Spark Magnesium


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Being a brand of SharpSurvival, this 3-in-kit comes pre-packaged with a whistle, compass and, scraper attached to a holding lanyard. Due to their large surface area, the scraper and magnesium rod handle comfortably when igniting your tinder.


After scraping, the embers spark into flames considerably quicker. Moreover, you get 15,000 strikes worth of usage with this survival fire started, while its waterproof feature carries you through all kinds of weather.

Pros

  • Integrated SOS whistle and compass
  • Extra-long scraper
  • All-weather structure

Cons

  • Periodic compass inaccuracy
  • Limited design choices

7. Gerber Bear Grylls


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Made by Gerber, the Bear Grylls Fire Starter is an ideal survival kit if you prefer to travel light on the hiking trail or camping.


The package contains a ferrocerium rod, meatal striker, lanyard, rescue instructions, and SOS whistle. Secure it via the supplied lanyard, and you are ready to go. Should you encounter wet weather, you can enclose the rod within its inbuilt watertight chamber.


The storage keeps your valuable tinder and flints dry too. Also, due to its low weight, carrying the Gerber with you is relatively convenient and effortless.

Pros

  • Weather-resistant storage compartment
  • Emergency whistle and rescue instructions
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • Initial priming needed
  • Relatively short rod length

8. UST Spark Force


Overall Rating:

4 / 5

When looking for a survival fire starter to meet your outdoor hunting or camping expectations, look no further than the UST Spark Force.


First off, this piece is so reliable in adverse weather that the manufacturer is offering a lifetime warranty with each purchase. It is a compact item weighing a mere ounce and boasting a 3-inch long rod in a waterproof case.


Spotting an orange ABS case, the kit is brightly colored and easily located if misplaced. You will also notice a detachable cap responsible for flint protection and keeping you safe from airborne sparks.

Pros

  • Protective cap
  • Brightly colored - orange
  • Compact, lightweight, and portable

Cons

  • Limited choice of sizes
  • Repeated strikes on first use

9. Exotac NanoStriker XL


Overall Rating:

4 / 5

Efficiency and portability are the two main qualities that the Exotac NanoStriker XL brings to your outdoor excursions. This particular kit is your handy savior for those moments when you require impromptu fire setups.


For enhanced portability, the provided key ring holds your Nano in place around your neck. With a strike count of 3000 and inbuilt wet-resistance, this equipment can last for an extended period.


Interestingly, when your ferrocerium strike rod eventually runs its course, it is readily replaceable to your preference.

Pros

  • All-weather usage
  • Customizable versatile rods
  • Ergonomic handle

Cons

  • Non-functional with typical knife blades
  • Excessively compact in design

10. Coleman Magnesium


Overall Rating:

4 / 5

Are you a casual hiker? Do you prefer hassle-free outdoor camping? If so, then the Coleman Magnesium Fire Starter is for you.


The gadget easily fits into your garment pocket based on an exquisite compact design, especially when moving briskly and lightweight. The included knife is practical when scraping off flint and magnesium from the rod. Magnesium flakes are very flammable and burn hot.


Additionally, your Coleman is both fire-resistant and waterproof; hence you can use it under any weather.

Pros

  • Very portable and compact design
  • All-weather usage
  • Pre-packaged striker knife

Cons

  • Restricted versatility
  • Lengthy ignition period

Buying Guide For Survival Fire Starters

Purchasing the best survival fire starter kit typically depends on a select number of essential yet specific aspects that would provide value for money. For the sake of narrowing down your options, consider the following:

Portability

Since you will be hiking or walking around a lot, we urge that you opt for a light gadget, thus enhancing portability. To cover significant distances on your movements, you should keep exhaustion at bay. A sure way to achieve this form is by minimizing the weight of your luggage.

Compact fire starters take up insignificant space and weigh relatively less; therefore, they are highly recommendable.

Ergonomics

You probably hope for an effortless fire ignition experience while you are out camping. To be certain, pack a kit that boasts proper craft.

You’d better select a rod known for producing combustible sparks, a multifunctional scraper, and a non-conductive handle that gives a proper grip. A wooden or rubber handle with raised friction beads is ideal for a steady grip. With this combination, your hands will have an easy workout establishing bonfires.

Versatility

Alongside tolerable ergonomics, your ideal survival fire starter should have the flexibility to perform other non-standard tasks or be done one handed. This requirement is typically for your convenience and easy to use.

For instance, a sharp scraper edge could be a cutting surface, a side notch acts as a bottle opener, and certain brands allow for replaceable rods.

Durability

The longevity of an excellent survival fire kit ideally lasts for multiple outdoor events. Often, people surmise durability from the quoted number of strike counts. Well, you should pay attention to the rod and scraper material as well.

The type of metal used for these two components needs to be waterproof yet sturdy enough to withstand repeated scrapings. Also, your metal rod flakes need to be flammable enough to ignite effectively for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Survival Fire Starters

Can the fire starter fit in my small carry-on knapsack?

Yes. In fact, most of the available fire starter brands are very portable due to their compact designs. So, it is possible for you to easily find a kit that can fit into any size of a backpack that you have.

How do I use the fire starter to generate fire?

Using your dominant hand, strike the scraper against the ferrocerium (magnesium) rod held on your stationary hand. Ensure the scraping motion runs along the length of the rod. Repeat this process until you’ve generated enough sparks to ignite your flint.

Could I use the scraping blade as a knife?

Yes, but not in all cases. Occasionally, certain scraping pieces may have features that allow multiple functions. For instance, a notched groove on its side could act as a bottle opener. Hence, you may improvise a blade out of a sharp-edged scraper.

Bottom Line

Purchasing a survival fire starter kit for your backpacking excursions need not be so complicated.

Consider your need for fire and how often you engage in outdoor activities. For a top-rated option, we recommend the UST Spark Force Fire Starter because of how compact and durable it is. With a bright orange color you can't miss.