Basics of Fire-Starting: DIY Fire Starter Kit

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FIRE!  It’s what we must have for survival. When the power goes out and batteries are dead, it’s fire we need to see with, to cook with and to heat. It’s pretty important to have the means for making fire when it comes to emergency preparedness.

Elements Needed in Making a FIRE

  • IGNITER – What you use to generate a spark that creates fire. (matches, lighter, flint & steel, etc.)
  • TINDER – Catches fire easily and burns fast. Dry grass, pine needles, shredded bark, dry wood shavings
  • KINDLING – dead twigs, about the thickness of a pencil or smaller
  • FUEL – Wood (as thin as your finger or as thick as your wrist is a general guideline), coal
  • OXYGEN – Fire needs air to keep it going. If it’s too windy it can go out – but you also don’t want to completely block off the air or it will die. You need to have a source of air for your fire to grow.

 

IGNITERS:

1) Matches:

Easy to store and use. “Strike anywhere” matches are some of the easiest to use. There is also “Strike on box” which use the side of the box to light up. Some cheaper matches are harder to get started and break easily. I personally prefer the “Strike Anywhere” matches.

Igniter-Matches

Waterproof matches are good to have when you are out in the weather and camping with moisture. You can buy waterproof matches, or even make your own.

TIP: Store matches in several different locations. If you have them in the same container or bag and it gets lost or destroyed, then you are out. So store in a few different places.

2) Lighters:

You can buy many different kinds of lighters. Generally “Bic” lighters are the most dependable for disposable use.

Igniter-Lighters

You can also get waterproof and windproof lighters. If you find a nice lighter, you can get some butane refill fluid and let it last you up to five times longer than your disposable ones.

3) Magnesium & Flint

This is a classic fire-starting system. The block is magnesium and you use the striker or a knife to scrape off shavings or dust from the magnesium until you have a little pile.  Then you use the striker on the bar of flint to create sparks to ignite the pile of magnesium.  It takes a while to scrape the magnesium, and to master the angle/skill of getting sparks; yet this is an effective means to making fire.

Igniter-Magnesium&Flint

Once the magnesium is on fire, you add your tinder to get it going and build it from there.

4) FireSteel and Striker:

Similar to the Magnesium & Flint, a steel and striker (scraper) is a tubed piece of metal that sparks can be created from when you tap or run your striker over it.

Igniter-FireSteel&Striker

These usually still work even when they are wet, and are good to have.

Some varieties include:

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

Aurora Fire Starter 2SA

StrikeForce Fire Starter

BlastMatch Fire Starter

I love my Bear Grylls and found it pretty easy to start a fire with it 🙂

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5) Battery & Steel Wool or Foil Gum Wrapper:

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Take a 9 volt battery and basically touch both positive and negative ends to a piece of steel wool and it will start a fire. See video demonstration here.

You can also take a foil gum wrapper and a AA battery and make fire. You cut the wrapper in an hourglass shape and then touch each end to the ends of the AA battery. A fire will start in the middle of the wrapper. See video demonstration here.

 

Make Your Own FIRE STARTER KIT:

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I put together my own kit for making fire. I used a small plastic tackle box that I got at Walmart for around $3. Inside I put the following:

 

Cotton Balls – easy to catch fire from sparks

Waterproof matches

Strikers cut out from box of matches

Mini LED light – for if I’m working at night or trying to start a fire in a dark place

Pencil Sharpener – For making shavings from twigs to be tinder for fire

2 Small square Mirrors – You can make fire with mirrors, this is a last resort

Mini Compass – Just added because I had it and might could use it

Fire-Starting rolls – Got at Walmart, and they are little firestarters

Magnesium, Flint & Striker – For when the matches and lighters run out

Homemade Wax Firestarters – wrapped in pastic. Each wafer will burn for about 12 minutes

Fuel Tablets – wrapped in plastic.

2 Bic Lighters

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Items you might also want in your FIRE STARTER KIT:

Steele Wool, 9v / AA Battery, Flint & Steel  (my Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter didn’t fit in here)

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My box snaps shut, but I add a rubber band for peace of mind that it won’t accidentally fall open and spill.

Now get your fire-starting tools together and be prepared for when you need to make fire!

Other resources to check out:

http://survivalcache.com/survival-fire-starters/

http://www.wildernesscollege.com/survival-fire-starters.html

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