The 5 Best Fire Starters For Outdoor Excursions And Emergencies

Rilor Staff
Update: April 5, 2023
Table of Contents

Being able to create fire while camping or backpacking is crucial for warmth and protection. And that's where the best fire starters come in. But what can you rely on among all the fire starters in the market?

A Quick Overview

The great outdoors has a lot to offer. From new things to try down to tested-and-tried adventures, you will never run out of activities that you can do in the open. But at the same time, going outdoors requires utmost preparation. Everything from your shelter, sleeping systems, and cooking tools should be complete in your pack.

At the same time, outdoor enthusiasts should learn survival, especially the skills needed to navigate various situations. Survival tools should be an utmost consideration. And we are not just talking about survival knives or first aid kits here. We also have to include fire starters, which are generally essential to create fire. When you have a fire, you will be able to do a lot of things, such as cook food, boil water, and get warmth. As you can notice, these errands can contribute to your overall survival. 

Now, survival whistles come in different sizes and forms. But in choosing one, go for those that can generate sparks with minimal effort on your part. At the same time, they should also offer a degree of compactness and weather resistance so that you can use them anywhere. 

Below are some of the most trusted fire starters in the market today. 

Best Fire Starters For Outdoors: A Rundown

Product NameWeightIdeal UseWhere To Buy

UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
2.9 ouncesCamping / backpackingREI

SOL Fire Lite Fuel-Free Lighter
1.8 ouncesBackpackingREI

Melt Candle Company Fire Starter
2.77 poundsCampingAmazon

Prepared4X Fire Ferro Rod Fire Starter
10 ouncesCamping / backpacking / bushcraft / emergenciesAmazon
überleben Zünden Fire Starter3.17 ouncesCamping / backpacking / bushcraft / emergenciesAmazon

Best Fire Starters For Outdoors: A Review

Here are our selection of some of the finest fire starters that you could use for various outdoor applications. Check them out. 

1. UCO Titan Stormproof Match 


UCO Titan Stormproof Match Review

This complete package is essential for every outdoor enthusiast. We like using the UCO Titan Match Kit because they are convenient and easy to carry. It comes with a waterproof container, each holding twelve matches, three replaceable strikers, and a cord. 

Notably, these matches are windproof, which is a necessary feature given that the outdoors can generate windy conditions from time to time. I also like that it has a long burn time. Based on tests, it can hold up to 20 seconds of flame before it gets to puff out. 

Interestingly, these matches can burn even underwater. So that's pretty amazing if you ask me. Meanwhile, its container is buoyant, meaning that it can float, too. For me, this is one of the best fire starters if you don't expect emergencies. Matches like the UCO Titan are worth taking to the outdoors. 

2. SOL Fire Lite Fuel-Free Lighter

SOL Fire Lite Fuel-Free Lighter Review

One reason why this fire starter is a top pick for backpacking purposes is because of its lightweight, compact design. This lighter from SOL has a weight of only 1.8 ounces and offers a slim profile for convenient pocket storage.

But that's not the only superb feature of this fire starter. As its name suggests, it doesn't run on traditional fuel. It is a plasma lighter, after all. This means that it runs on electricity. As long as it has a charge, it can help light stoves and campfires with ease.

It's notable that the top-facing dual arcs allow direct contact with the tinder or flammable materials. This means that it can create fire fast. The inclusion of this fire starter is a 3-foot-long tinder cord lanyard. Just cut the end of the lanyard and unfurl the nylon cover to reveal its flammable core. 

3. Melt Candle Company Fire Starter

Melt Candle Company Fire Starter Review

We recommend this fire starter for every camping trip! The Melt Candle Company Fire Starters are made of sawdust and wax, so if you ignite them, they don't generate foul odor and pungent traces. 

But despite their all-natural composition, these tumbleweed fire starters are weather-resistant; they can withstand water and wind easily. Even in damp settings, these fire starters can burn for six straight minutes. 

They are notable for their durability, as they just don't crumble, unlike other tumbleweed fire starters. But at the same time, they are easy to ignite, too. These fire starters are easily the best choice for outdoor picnics and campground cookouts. 

4. Prepared4X Fire Ferro Rod Fire Starter

Prepared4X Fire Ferro Rod Fire Starter Review

For survival and bushcrafting, the Prepared4X Fire Ferro Rod Fire Starter could be one of your best choices. Essentially, it is a survival torch that generates multitudes of sparks, which, in turn, are directed to its wick for faster fire generation. It can ignite even under strong winds and hard rains. 

Unlike other fire starters, this one is a complete package. You don't need to buy a ferrocerium rod, tinder wick, bellow, and striker separately. All of these fire-starting essentials are already on its package. It is also easy to use, so the amount of time to create fire is drastically reduced. 

5. überleben Zünden Fire Starter

überleben Zünden Fire Starter Review

This German-made fire starter is definitely a reliable choice for a durable, weather-resistant survival tool. Essentially, it is a ferro rod that offers a 100 percent guarantee that it can create fire in any condition. 

Specifically, the manufacturer uses a proprietary Sanft-your ferrocerium blend on this fire starter. It enhances the durability of the rod without being too hard. It can ignite flames in various altitudes and weather settings. 

Notably, it has a genuine hardwood handle, which is great since it provides your hands with a textured grip. By the way, the shower of sparks that it generates can be too hot, so advise that you don't get in contact with them. Aside from the fire starter, this product includes a multi-tool and paracord lanyard. It's a complete package, nonetheless.

How To Choose The Best Fire Starter

Fire starting is an important skill for any outdoor adventurers, survivalists, and preppers. However, not all people are capable of starting fires through traditional means. Today, many rely on commercial fire starters to get the job done. 

Basically, there's nothing wrong with this. These items ensure that you can create a campfire whenever the need arises. As I've mentioned, fire is important for survival, making food, warmth provision, and illumination. The only question here is how you can select the appropriate fire starter. 

Honestly, it is a tough question to answer as there's no industry standard for this. However, we can give you some tips on how we select our fire starters based on our intended use for them.

Ignition Time

When choosing a fire starter, it is important that you assess how quickly it can ignite. Of course, fire starters should offer a degree of convenience to their users. If they are difficult to ignite, then frustration is just an inch away. If you need to create fire immediately, then the reliability of the fire starter becomes more pressing. 

Fire starters have different mechanisms for their ignition. Hence, we suggest that you try them first and see if they can really match up to your expectations. This is a factor that you shouldn't shrug off, as it could determine your convenience and safety--especially if time is of the essence. 


Many of the fire starters we featured are compact and lightweight. Technically speaking, they are suitable for backpacking or bushcrafting kits. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should only prefer these portable fire starters. At the end of the day, you should focus on your preferences as well as your needs. 

You see, large fire starters are more rugged and generate more sparks than their counterparts. But then again, they are difficult to carry, especially if there's a limit in storage space. On the flip side, small fire starters are easy to carry. However, they don't easily offer reliability in tough conditions. So weigh your options and see which one can give you the utmost confidence in fire-starting. 

Type Of Fire Starter

Several types of fire starters exist today. All of them have their respective strong points and downsides. 

Today, the most popular ones are these ferro rods. These rods produce sparks. Basically, you need to hit the sparks to any kindling materials you have gathered to make a fire. Ferro rods are reliable and easy to use. But in some cases, they are difficult to carry. At the same time, they could generate sparks that are too hot. 

Fire pistons, on the other hand, are also an option. Specifically, they utilize rapid compressions to create fire. By all means, these pistons are robust and compact. However, they require extensive maintenance. And if the condition is wet, they can be difficult to operate. 

Burning Time

There's no fixed time when it comes to the burn time of these fire starters. Essentially, the best fire starters are the ones that can generate a reliable source of spark or fire. But in some applications, you would need these fire starters to burn longer. 

Testing the burn time of a fire starter is easy, though. You simply have to ignite the fire starter and check the time it actually burns before it gets puffed. The longer the fire burns, the better chances you have of burning your fire's tinder or fuel. 

Resistance To The Elements

Also, it is integral that you assess the weather resistance of the fire starters. Specifically, you have two enemies here: water and wind. They are the ones that can put out the fire without you noticing.

The wind resistance of the fire starter may vary in different settings. However, you can also test it by yourself. Ignite a fire starter and place a blower about two to three yards away from it. The air generated by the blower simulates the natural high winds that you could encounter outdoors. 

The waterproofness of fire starters also matters. You can test it, too. Simply drench the fire starter in water for at least five minutes. After that, take them out and try to light them. If they ignite, it means that they can survive rainy or watery conditions. Otherwise, you would need to put them in waterproof containers so that they can be usable. 

Tips For Making Fire Outdoors

Similar to other outdoor activities, fire starting requires ample preparation. You need the right skills and materials to create a fire for your needs. At the same time, you also need to practice sustainable approaches to making fire. After all, fire can impact your surroundings. And if done incorrectly, it is a violation of the Leave No Trace principles

Here are the things that will help you create fires outdoors with utmost safety and sustainability. 

Assessing Your Fire-Making Skills

Believe it or not, making fire is simple as long as you understand the mechanics behind it. It just gets complex if there are other things being taken into account. For example, the presence of water and wind can make this task a little tricky. 

At the very least, you can create fire without the help of fire starters. But fire starters can make the job a lot easier. For example, you can create fire by friction. But for you to do this, you need the right materials and technique. So if you are not confident about your fire-making skill, you need to work on it. Otherwise, you should use simple tools like the best fire starters. 

Knowing The Destination And Situation 

As an outdoor enthusiast, it is also essential that you are prepared for the adventure you are about to partake in. Identify the kind of activity you are going to do. Are you camping, backpacking, or hiking? At the same time, identify the existing conditions of your destination. 

The degree of preparation for your outdoor activities matters for fire-making. You see, camping in snowy terrain in Alaska offers a different situation than if you are backpacking in an established terrain during warm days. Of course, the mechanism of starting fires is just the same. 

During winter, most firewood is covered with snow or water. You need to dry or thaw them first before you can use them for making fire. It adds to the time needed before you can create flames. 

However, the way you can create fire in these settings require specific skills, materials, and tools. Hence, you need to have prior preparation for each of your outdoor trips. 

Final Thoughts

Having the best fire starters is essential for every type of outdoor adventure. Whether you are backpacking or camping, these fire starters will enable you to create fire conveniently. They will enable you to spend less time making fire, conversely allowing you to enjoy the outdoors and the beauty it offers. Of course, these fire starters are crucial for emergencies. They can serve as the safety net for you not to succumb to various SHTF situations. 

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