8 Fire Starter Kit Essentials to Stockpile Today

Venturing into the great outdoors is all fun and games until your matches get soaked in the rain. If you’re an OG prepper, you know it’s essential to carry a fire starter kit in your bag.

When you’re out in the woods, you’re always gonna need some sort of fire to cook your meals, keep you warm or signal for help, among many other things. You just can’t rely on a box of matches in a survival situation, right?

There are a huge number of fire starters out there other than matches, and your duty as a prepper is to explore them for your fire starter kit.

If you’re still trying to build your own, we’re here to help you out.

The Fire Starter Kit Essentials

Relying on one method to get your fire lit while out in the woods won’t work around here. We recommend you bring at least five fire starter options to keep you safe and secure just in case.

Here are some of the essentials to store in your fire starter kit:

Ferro Rod

Ferrocerium or ferro rods are the fire starter of choice among many outdoor and survival enthusiasts. Why? They’re perfect for any kind of weather, whether you’re under cold, wet, or windy conditions.

To get a little nerdy, ferro is an alloy that combines iron, cerium, and a small amount of magnesium. With the use of a fire striker or the back of your knife or anything sharp, the rod will create an intense spark that’s as hot as 3000 degrees Celsius once you scrape the two together.

It might require a little bit of technique, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a fire burning in your camp in no time. The trick really is just to apply a generous amount of pressure to the rod with the striker. And voila…you’re spared from hypothermia!

Magnesium Rod

Magnesium rods are similar to ferro rods, but what makes them different is that magnesium rods can be scraped and added to tinder. Once you have a pile of magnesium shavings, you can light it up with your fire steel and start a hot burning fire.


include a lighter in your fire starter kit

A lighter will do just fine for many fire lighting situations. You wanna make sure your lighter is up for every task, though. Its uses are already obvious, but not everyone is aware of the different types.

Here’s a list of the basic types of lighters:

  • Spark wheel plastic lighters
  • Piezo spark ignition lighters
  • Torch lighters
  • Electric coil lighters
  • Candle lighters
  • Pipe lighters

Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t rely on your lighter alone as a fire starter. It helps to take extras with you, but it’s smarter to bring a variety of backups.

Tea Light Candles

tea light candles can burn for several hours

Don’t underestimate these little candles because they can burn for several hours.

Candles are perfect for drying fire tinder, especially under wet conditions. Their wax shavings can also be used as a fuel extender to have a consistent flame burning in your camp.

And the best thing about these tea light candles? They’re inexpensive. So go ahead and secure yourself a stash from your local Walmart.

Cotton Balls and Petroleum Jelly

If you’re looking for a cheap and lightweight fire starter, cotton wool coated with petroleum jelly works best. Once it’s lit, you’ll have a nice little ball of flame to make your campfire last longer.

You can also have your cotton balls pre-dipped at home, so you won’t have to bring a whole container of petroleum jelly with you. Just store them in a small sandwich bag to keep the jelly from staining your other survival supplies.

Fresnel Lens

If you want to create a fire easily, get a compact and foolproof tool like the Fresnel lens. As long as there’s decent sunlight, it’s guaranteed to work to your advantage. You just focus all the light passing through the lens into a tiny, burning spot.

A Fresnel lens is a good backup fire starter for sunny days if you ask us. You can easily keep the lens in your fire starter kit or carry one in your pocket or wallet.


Fatwood comes from the heartwood of pine trees, the non-living center of the tree’s trunk. The stump left on the ground is the primary source of fatwood, which contains a high concentration of natural resin. This means fatwood lights quickly even when wet. It’s also very wind-resistant and burns hot enough to light larger pieces of wood.

There’s no denying fatwood is great kindling material. It’s definitely a must-have for every prepper building their fire starter kit.

Watertight Container

Your fire starter kit will mostly contain flammable tinder, so you’re gonna need a watertight container to store all your fire-starting items. A box or a resealable pouch will keep important things safe and dry. They’re convenient, easy to use, and uncomplicated to pack. Even grandma with her bad eyesight will find it easy.

With a watertight container, you won’t have to worry about any form of liquid entering your backpack and getting the things in your fire starter kit soaked.

Final Thoughts

While you may be tempted to put your trust in that good ol’ box of matches, you just can’t risk it. And now that you have way better options for your fire starter kit, you should probably stick to them for a better chance at survival. We know we would.

Any fire starter kit essentials we left out? Let us know in the comments below!

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