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The Survival Fire Starting Kit You Can Count On In Any Situation

Want to know what you should put in your DIY survival fire starting kit?

Well, fire is one of the critical survival skills you’re going to need in a survival situation.

You may find yourself lost in the wilderness or you may lose your power at home. So it’s time to consider your wilderness survival skills, urban survival skills or long term survival skills.

Whichever the case may be, your ability to make fire could save your life.

The ways to create fire vary.

From primitive methods like the bow drill to more modern devices like a thermodynamic fire piston, the number of different fire-making devices on the market today is at an all-time high.

The best choice of fire making devices will come down to what you think will be your specific emergency situation.

The environment you will be in (for instance rainforest or desert) and the tool’s convenience of use.

You should always test your fire making tools and techniques in the environment and conditions you believe you will be stuck in during an emergency.

Anywhere you make it, a fire needs three elements: a heat/ignition source, a combustible product and oxygen.

Your survival fire starting kit will look after the first two elements. And since you don’t know what conditions you will be facing when you need a fire, you should have multiple ways to make fire in your survival kit.

Here are 8 essential items you should have in your pocket-sized survival fire starting kit to make fire 5 different ways and in different weather conditions:

Your Essential Fire Starting Kit For Survival

The Bic Lighter

You’ll find a lot of people will scoff at this one.

But let’s start with the obvious.

The lighter is going to be the fastest and easiest way to light a fire.

Remember, this is a survival fire starting kit, not a bushcraft fire kit.

This is not about traditional fire starting methods or anything like that. This is about getting your ass out of a bad situation alive.

And a lighter is your best friend.

It’s going to be your go-to fire starter – period.

When you’re exhausted, cold and scared, the last thing you want is to piss around trying to make a bow drill in the dark.

So that’s why you need a lighter in your survival kit.

But you can’t stake your life on one device alone because, yes, it can fail, break or get lost.

That’s why you will have multiple ways of starting fire as back-up.

The Bic is a good choice for this type of kit.  It’s small and compact and it is light.

There are other tougher lighters like Zippo that you may prefer even if they are heavier.

It’s your call.

Just make sure it will fit in your Altoids tin.


UCO Stormproof Matches

These matches provide an excellent backup to your lighter.

The UCO Stormproof matches light easily, they are windproof and waterproof.

They can also be dropped in water while lit and keep burning.

These matches will endure any harsh weather you can throw at it. That’s why it’s included in our list of essential fire starters.


Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel

While your lighter will use up its fuel rather quickly, the Swedish firesteel is a ferro rod and will provide sparks that will light thousands of fires.

So while your lighter is the easiest short term fire starter, the firesteel is your longer term solution.

Use the striker, scrape the ferro rod material and throw a shower of sparks on properly prepared tinder material.

You’ll be able to get a fire going under almost all conditions.

Which happens to be one of the essential wilderness survival skills.


Fresnel Lens

In sunny conditions, don’t waste your lighter fuel.

Create a sharp, concentrated beam of sunlight and get your tinder lit with this magnifying glass.

Its rectangular shape and flat profile allows it to fit well in an Altoids tin.

For the little space it takes it is perfectly suited for an Altoids tin.

And it provides yet another way of getting your fire started.


Cotton Balls and Vaseline

Use these two household items to quickly create some of the easiest tinder you can carry.

Besides, you can pay lots of money for expensive fire tinder. And most work very well.

But you can use cotton balls smeared with Vaseline and create fire tinder that will catch a spark and provide more than enough burn time to get your fire started.

Just prepare your cotton balls with the Vaseline and store them in a small Ziploc bag for whenever you need them.


SOL Tinder-Quik

Now, if you don’t want to mess around with cotton balls and vaseline, Tinder-Quik is a windproof, waterproof product that will ignite from a single spark.

This makes a great companion with your Swedish firesteel.

Carrying a few of these in your survival fire starting kit provides you with one more alternative to holding a flame while you build your fire.


Altoids Tin

Not only do you get ‘curiously strong mints’, you get a perfectly sized small tin with a hinged lid for your Altoids fire starting kit.

Achieving DIY cult status, the Altoids tin has been the mainstay for micro-sized survival kits for years.

The tin size:

  • Top lid outer (not lip): 2.36″ (59.9mm) x 3.75″(95mm),

  • Tin bottom: 2.3″ (58.75mm) x 3.7″(93.9mm)

  • Inner: 2.24″ (56.9mm) x 3.6″(91.5mm)

  • Height bottom section: 0.83″ (21.28mm)


Outdoor Preparedness Ranger Bands

The Outdoor Preparedness Survival Thick Heavy Duty Black Tactical Ranger Bands measure 3 in x 3/8 in wide.

The bands have a stretch up to 8 in.

Wrap two of these around your Altoids tin to keep it securely closed.

But here’s the key reason you want to carry these ranger bands.

Along with a small saw and knife (like what you find on a Leatherman Wave or Victorinox Ranger) and some paracord, you can fashion a highly effective pump drill fire starter.

You can use the ranger bands to bind the split wood used as the weight around the central shaft (instead of making cordage).

It only makes sense to add another fire making option while adding virtually no weight, or taking up any room.

(And that’s why at the beginning of this article I mentioned five fire starters.)

So don’t forget the ranger bands.


Pre-Made Survival Fire Starting Kit – Get It All In One Package

If you don’t feel like making your own fire starting kit, but still want to have all the critical items together in one kit, then check out:

Off Grid Tools Survival Fire Starting Kit

The Off Grid Tools Survival Fire Starting Kit contains all the essential fire starting gear you’ll need without the hassle of assembling it yourself.

It contains:

  • 1 Lighter

  • Waterproof Matches

  • Ferro Rod and Striker

  • Pocket Fresnel Lens

  • 6 Magnesium Capsules

  • Steel Wool

  • 4 pieces of Char Cloth

  • 2 Tealight Candles

  • 1 oz. Fatwood Sticks

  • Foil Paper

  • Pencil Sharpener

  • 6 Tinder Tabs

  • 10′ Jute Twine

  • Waterproof Tinder Ball

  • Wire Saw

  • 6′ Kevlar Thread (for fire bow/drill)

  • 1 Flange Bearing (for fire bow/drill)

  • 1 Folding Knife

  • 1 waterproof survival instruction sheet

It all comes in a waterproof package.  This is everything you’ll need to start a fire in just about any conditions.

Don’t get caught without a way to make a fire if you’re ever caught in a survival situation.

… Especially if you get wet and cold.

The last thing you want to do is spend precious time desperately trying to make a fire while your hands keep getting more and more numb.


Fire is a vital resource in a survival situation. Trying to get a fire started in adverse conditions can be a futile and frustrating experience if you don’t have the tools to do it.

But never leave your survival to chance. 

Make sure you have a well-stocked survival fire starting kit that will help you survive anywhere, anytime.

The kit above with its multiple redundancies and quality fire making tools will help you get through just about any survival situation.


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