Starting a fire properly is a highly beneficial skill when surviving in the wilderness. Crackling fire can keep you warm enough, cook up meals, boil water, and can be a perfect light source for your site. When traditional matches do not work well, the best camping fire starters can be the anchor. Check what you must pack in your survival kit.
Just like water, food, and shelter, fire plays a core role outdoors. So why rub rocks; shop the best camping fire starters from all 13 options.
In a hurry to know the top picks; see our quick recommendations.
- Best overall- Überleben Zünden Bushcraft Ferro Rod Fire Starter
- Best for ease of use- Zippo Emergency Fire Kit
- Best for budget- SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency Fire Starter and Magnesium Fuel Bar
- Best for poor weather- UST Blastmatch Fire Starter
Camping fire starters may seem a little in addition to your pack, but it is a super essential tool for great outdoors. So get the right one for you from the best camping fire starters.
- Überleben Zünden Bushcraft Ferro Rod Fire Starter
- Zippo Emergency Fire Kit
- SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency Fire Starter and Magnesium Fuel Bar
- UST Blastmatch Fire Starter
- Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter
- UST StrikeForce Fire Starter
- MSR Strike Igniter
- Pull Start Fire
- UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
- Exotac PolyStriker Firestarter
- Wolf and Grizzly Fire Starter
- Light My Fire FireLighting Kit
- Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL
The market is full of different options when you search for the best camping fire starters. From all, we round up 13 best considering the type of the fire starter, user compatibility, and weather resistance. So, what’s your pick?
Überleben Zünden Bushcraft Ferro Rod Fire Starter
This is a wooden handle supported fire starter with a solid grip than ones with plastic handles. It comes with a perfect balance between softness and stability. In fact, it throws a 5,500ºF shower of molten sparks regardless of the weather around. Überleben Zünden Bushcraft Ferro Rod Fire Starter is waterproof and fits at any altitude. So it can be the best addition to your pack.
You can have this fire starter in multiple sizes fitting well for different needs. And with less weight, it is made for neck carry. The tool here comes with two different scraping faces for sending sparks. And it also comes with a bottle opener, a small ruler, and a built-in hex wrench. Using this as a fire starter is really fine and it will provide more strikes than even 12,000.
- Price: $16.00 – $22.00
- Wooden handle supported fire starter
- In any weather, it throws a 5,500ºF shower of molten sparks
- Lightweight and durable
- Will provide over 12,000 strikes
- Extremely easy to use
- Need some tinder preparation
- Comes in different size variants
Zippo Emergency Fire Kit
If you are already a fan of Zippo classic lighter, you can easily use this Zippo Emergency Fire Kit for a very fair price. It provides a shower of sparks using the same flint wheel ignition system just as in its old lighters. It is very easy to use with just a flick of the thumb.
Its tinder is in the form of lightweight paraffin wax-coated cotton rolls which will burn for about five minutes until it catches a piece of wood. The spark wheel and the paraffin discs fold into a plastic tube that is watertight and floats. So even if it suddenly falls in a stream or any water source, it will be floating and bring no harm. And thanks to its molded lanyard hole, you can connect it to the lanyard or the clip and keep it attached to your backpack.
- Price: $11.22
- Easy to operate and made of years use
- Compact and high-caliber structure
- Comes with lightweight paraffin wax-coated cotton spark tinder
- Built of a reliable tinder, waterproof case that floats in water
- Reusable ABS plastic and features a textured grip to easily grip
- Portable and easy to carry
SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency Fire Starter and Magnesium Fuel Bar
If you are working on a tight budget, the best option is SE FS374 Full Magnesium Body Fire Starter which you can buy for less than $10. This is full-on magnesium and willingly ignites when sparks meet.
Just like its simple cost, it is very easy to use this solid magnesium bar. It is like using the striker tool or the blade of a knife to get sparks on the Ferro rod very easily. In any weather, fire is guaranteed sparks get into the shavings of magnesium blocks. If you ever feel the small Ferro rod may get over first, you can even buy another as this costs less.
- Price: $7.49
- Extremely budget friendly tool for best use
- Pocket fit size which is easy to carry
- Comes with an ideal fuel source
- One-sided serrated striker
- Waterproof, weatherproof and durable design
- Perfect for making a survivor’s kit
UST Blastmatch Fire Starter
If you are going to camp in heavy wind or rain, fire is a challenge. So it is important to pick the best camping fire starters that can work well in bad weather. It is just a one-handed operation in the flint-based fire starter generated with a directional shower of sparks focused on maximum heat. This is a unique tool that you can operate with minimal effort using one hand and work ideal for injured or immobilized arm persons.
While this is working well in all-weather it lasts up to 4,000 strikes. It can burn a wide range of tinder even when it is wet outside. Most notably, its sparks can be directionally targeted. The flint closed in the cap securely stopping unintentional sparks when it is not in use.
- Price: $18.14
- One handed, flint-based Firestarter to ease of use
- Directional shower of sparks
- Can use with minimal effort
- Includes the cap to prevent unplanned sparks
- Work well in all-weather including heavy wind and rain
- Tinder not included
- Last up to 4,000 strikes
- Compact design that can fold up to secure the flint and rod
Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter
Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter is a very affordable fire starter designed for surviving or die-like situations. It is a water-resistant option that is lightweight and easy to carry. It supports storage for tinder and also a 100-decibel emergency whistle.
We find this a compact fire starter with ferrocerium rod and metal striker which is good for about 8,000 sparks. So if you are thinking about having an emergency fire starter with you, this is a good fit for a good price. Thanks to its watertight build, it can be used for years and it comes with land-to-air rescue guidelines and SOS.
- Price: $21
- Very affordable and fitting for every camper
- Can get solid sparks with each strike
- More than 8,000 sparks guaranteed
- Features ferrocerium rod and metal striker
- Emergency Whistle attached with the lanyard cord
- Storage for tinder (waterproof but slightly small)
- SOS and rescue instructions
UST StrikeForce Fire Starter
If your choice is for a Flint-based fire starter, UST StrikeForce Fire Starter is a good option for a good price tag. It will work for about 4,000 strikes working well for different camping needs. It is best to use and provides heat three times more than a match. So it burns a wide range of tinder easily giving good campfire times.
This is a reliable tool that works evenly in all weather. So even in unexpected weather, you can trust UST StrikeForce Fire Starter for a fine campfire experience. It comes with a lanyard as additional support and the detachable cap is there to shield the flint and will leave no chance for unintended sparks.
- Price: $18.00
- Value for price
- Durable and flint-based design
- Will last up to 4,000 strikes
- Detachable cap to care for the flint
- Will not leave for unintended sparks
- Pocket-fit size and compact design or can take in the neck with lanyard
MSR Strike Igniter
This ultralight, flint-based fire starter is best to use lighting canisters and white gas stoves. MSR Strike Igniter shows how useful it is and why you should have a Flint-based fire starter at least as a backup on bad weather days. It is waterproof and windproof but still has some troubles on higher windy days. It produces 5,500°F sparks and can light white stoves very easily.
Since moisture and pressure do not affect the performance of the fire starter, this is an ideal option over lighters and traditional matches. Lasting up to 3,000 to 12,000 strikes it can work for all your camping seasons. It is a lightweight fire starter that is ideal for minimalist packers. But with its smaller size, you need to take a few strikes to get sparks and it is found to be the only downside of this product.
- Price: $15.95
- Ultralight fire starter best for backpacking
- Waterproof and windproof
- Produces 5,500°F sparks and best for lighting white gas stoves
- Features a built-in bottle opener
- Last up to 12,000 strikes making it long-time usable
- Smaller size of the tool takes a few strikes to give sparks
Pull Start Fire Starter
This Pull Start Fire Starter is another fun method to start a fire with no lighters, matches, or even kindling. It is simply taking the fire starter, keeping it between the campfire logs, and simply pulling the red string to fire up. It will burn for about 30 minutes and fit your fire needs. So if you are thinking about the ease of use over all other concerns, this will work the best.
This is in a size a deck of playing cards making it easy to carry. And you can have it in 3 fire starters-pack which is good enough for a camping trip. And if you feel like you need more, you can buy more of them. But they are slightly pricier when you are going for packs with more pieces.
- Price: $26.50- $199.99
- Require no kindling, matches or lighters
- Windproof and waterproof
- Will burn for about 30 minutes
- Easy red string to pull to burn the box
- Can get in 3 packs and can get more if needed
- Comes featuring built-in safety specifications
UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
Changing the scope from Flint-based fire starters, UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit comes as the best Titan match. These are not like the matches you find at home; these are bigger and stronger and light even in the toughest conditions of weather. They have a fine burning time of 25 seconds and will be enough to light up kindles around.
This heavy, long-burning match kit is windproof and waterproof. A kit takes 12 matches and three replaceable strikers. And thanks to its water-resistant casing it is safe in any weather and also floating. All the contents are safe and dry to use for a long-time. It is a less pricey option in the market and can call a value option for its price.
- Price: $9.95
- Longer matches that burn up to 25 seconds
- Kit of 12 matches with three replaceable strikers
- Windproof and waterproof
- Comes in a durable, waterproof case that floats
- Work well in hard-hitting weather conditions
- Matches only work with its strike surface not with any other
Exotac PolyStriker Firestarter
If you are thinking about every ounce to carry, Exotac PolyStriker Firestarter is a great option with about half an ounce of weight. This is working for every adventure featuring a carbide striker and ferrocerium sparker. It has a small fire starter profile but fits the best with a minimalist camper.
This will last up to 1,000 strikes since it is a smaller fire starter in the market. But compared with others, this is quite less. For some new campers, this seems somewhat difficult to use at first. But this fits well for those who are experienced and highly prefer a small design. When not in use, you can snap in the tungsten carbide striker into the ABS plastic handle folding into the right pocket-fit size.
- Price: $16.00
- Simple and quality build
- Lightweight and best for minimalist campers
- Tungsten carbide striker down the ferrocerium rod
- Lasts up to 1,000 strikes
- Striker and the rod are linked by a lanyard
- Quite tricky to use at first but good for experienced campers
- Snap-in tungsten carbide striker fit into the plastic handle
Wolf and Grizzly Fire Starter
This is a lightweight, easily operated fire starter that comes with a larger striking surface. It is again a budget option you find under the best camping fire starters that produces 5,400°F sparks. And as it lasts up to 20,000 strikes, it can be used for a long time.
Wolf and Grizzly Fire Starter makes striking easy with the large surface area of Ferro rod helping you to get strong sparks. The striker here is made of knife steel, which you can sharp as you do with any knife. In case if there is an emergency, simply cut the paracord, take away the jute and use it as an instant fire.
- Price: $22.95
- Ultralight and easy to use
- Generates 5,400°F sparks and last up to 20,000 strikes
- Striking easy with the large surface area
- Value for its performance
- Slightly time-taking especially for the first time users
Light My Fire FireLighting Kit
This Light My Fire FireLighting Kit is a very user-friendly and environmentally-supporting fire starter that is totally fun to use. It works well in all conditions and all altitudes with magnesium alloy in this fire starter. It is powerful enough to produce power sparks to get the campfire lit.
This kit includes Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Scout, Grandpa’s FireFork, Tinder-on-a-Rope, and for storage, a CircBag. The fire starter is constructed of magnesium alloy that lasts up to 3,000 strikes and produces 5,400°F sparks. And this can also be used to light gas stoves and your barbecues when camping. The best part of this fire starter kit is its BPA-free bio-based plastics that made this totally an eco-friendly option.
- Price: $19.95
- Smart design and fun to use
- Highly user supporting fire starter
- Magnesium alloy in the fire starter to produce power sparks
- Work well on all conditions and all altitudes
- Last up to 3,000 strikes producing 5,400°F sparks
- Eco-friendly with BPA-free bio-based plastics
- Sometimes challenging in some wind conditions
Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL
Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL is a good-looking fire starter that you can have in different colors as well. It is a solid option as a fire starter that features an exceptional compact, portable strike tool design. Its waterproof Ferro rod provides powerful spark worth for its size. And as it is replaceable, it adds more value. So pack it in your survival kit wherever you plan to adventure outdoors.
This lasts up to 3000 strikes and is safe to take in your backpack, survival kit, and pocket or with the rest of your stuff. And thanks to its high-performance materials, you can use it for a long time for a great fire starter experience. Its replaceable rods come together with a sharp tungsten carbide striker to give a good experience overall for its price. But for some, this seems a pricier option for its features.
- Price: $27.42
- Produces immense shower of sparks
- Work well in all conditions including wet
- Effective with stainless steel and tungsten carbide striker
- Highly portable and fits in any luggage
- Last up to 3,000 strikes
- Available in different colors and comes in a good look
- Ferro rod is waterproof and also replaceable
- Slightly pricier but worth buying
Looking for the best camping fire starters; Buyers’ guide
Different activities when outdoors need different fire starters. So choosing the best camping fire starters need more knowledge to offer the expected output. Before you spend some dollars, go through the buying guide as well.
What type of best camping fire starters are there?
To serve the different needs of the user matching with different conditions, you find a wide range of fire starters out there in the market. So let’s take a quick look at them for a better understanding of their performance.
- Ferrocerium rods: This is a blend of rare-earth metals that output as strong firesteel. These last up to 12,000 strikes and good for many conditions
- Flint and steel: These have been used for a very long time and thanks to engineering today, these two metals come in a great combination for producing powerful sparks in both dry and wet conditions
- Matches: Here matches are referred to as heavy-duty camping matches that are different from what we usually find. These can survive the toughest conditions of weather. But here different from Flint-based starters, the matches will quickly finish as to how often you use them
- Lighters: These are convenient flint-based fire starters that work on liquid gas. These will probably run out quickly and should have prepared for a backup
How easy is it to use your fire starter?
Most probably you are coming to a campfire after a long day of hiking, biking, climbing like adventures. So you do not need any more fights with your fire starters. There, if your fire starter is not easy to use, it is not the best option to take with you for the next journey.
Think about the following factors to confirm the ease of use of your camping fire starter.
- Right size: It is important to find compact fire starters to use easily whenever needed. If your fire starter is too small as manufacturers’ have made it for minimalist campers, it will be a discomfort for you. Therefore, find the right size for your hand to easily light up your fire
- Matches: These are easy to use to light kindling and start your campfire. But remember to find the ones large enough to survive well in rain and windy conditions around
- Ferrocerium rods: Good to use in extreme weather even if they take some more time to bring sparks. And they also need dry kindling or tinder to work well
Wind and water-resistant capabilities are important especially if you are going through some challenging situations. Most of the best camping fire starters are water and windproof to some extent and that is very important to consider before you buy one for yourself. And if you find an option with waterproof storage that is even useful to keep tinder dry to start easily with fire.
What is the right size and weight of your fire starter?
Lightweight and portable fire starters are highly demanded in the market today and we find the majority of the options are supporting this fact. But remember, it would be difficult to spark if you go smaller with the camping fire starter. However, being small in size does not always make it weak. So check the deliverance of sparks together with the size and weight.
What I recommend is to stand in the middle when it comes to size and weight to find the best camping fire starters easily. While too small is not easy to handle, too big will make extra trouble with weight and space.
How much are you willing to pay?
Just like with every other camping gear, price matters when it comes to choosing the best camping fire starters. The normal rule works as a higher price gives higher quality in the product. But never spend more dollars just going with this. Check the insights, read reviews, and think about how useful it is for your camping needs. And in case you are on a tight budget, think about the price first and then go for the best options from the list.
Without fire, there is no fun in camping; so shop the best camping fire starters for your next journey!