The best fire starters you can buy
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- The ability to make fire is the oldest and most important technological innovation ever conceived by humankind.
- The modern human gets an edge over our ancient forebears with great fire starters.
- The Überleben Zünden Bushcraft Ferro Rod Fire Starter is the best one you can buy because it is designed to provide more than 12,000 spark-making strikes for reliable fire making every time.
With a warm, crackling fire, you can cook up a meal, boil and purify water, ward off the cold of winter, and light up the darkness, bringing comfort to the nighttime forest. Fire allowed the earliest humans to extract more nutrition from their foods through cooking and it helped them frighten off predatory animals against which an unarmed homo sapien was no match. Fire cleared land for agriculture and lit up the darkest recesses of caves where ancient artists created the world's first painted masterpieces.
Today, you probably don't do much cave painting, and you're probably not going to be eaten by a saber-toothed tiger. But if you're out there in the wilderness on a camping trip or if you ever find yourself in a survival situation, the ability to make fire can be every bit as important for a 21st Century human as it was for people living tens of thousands of years ago.
The best fire starter is a lighter, followed closely by a match. These tools make the process of igniting a fire almost effortless, provided you have selected the proper tinder and fuel setup. If you're headed out for a camping trip or assembling a disaster preparedness kit, always put a lighter and some emergency matches in there with the rest of the gear. But as lighters eventually run out of fuel or break, and as you can only carry a finite number of matches, it's a good idea to also bring along a fire starter.
In a perfect world, your lighter or matches will always be at hand and you will never have to use your fire starter. In the real world, however, assume Murphy's Law will apply during your next multi-day hiking trip or when you find yourself stranded in the forest following some sort of dramatic, cinematic situation where the stakes are high, the dangers real, and there's nothing you can count on except your own wits.
In other words, if you want to stay safe out there in the wilderness, just be sure to bring a fire starter.
Here are the best fire starters you can buy in 2019:
- Best fire starter overall: Überleben Zünden Bushcraft Ferro Rod Fire Starter
- Best fire starter for ease of use: Zippo Emergency Fire Kit
- Best fire starter on a budget: SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar
- Best fire starter for foul weather: UST Blastmatch Fire Starter
- Best solar fire starter: Cz Garden Supply Fresnel Lens Fire Starter
Updated on 04/24/2019 by Malarie Gokey: Updated prices and formatting.
Read on in the slides below to see which of our picks is the one for you.
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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.
The best fire starter overall
The best fire starter for ease of use
The best fire starter on a budget
The best fire starter for foul weather
The best solar fire starter
Check out our guide to the best camping gear you can buy
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