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Building a Complete Firestarting Kit

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When it comes to planning out your firestarting kit, it’s a good idea to account for the types of situations you will likely encounter when you need a fire…specifically when it’s dark, cold or wet. In addition to getting the fire started, you need to have components in your firestarting kit that will help maintain the flame until your fire is large enough for your needs.

Many of the firestarting kits you see on the Internet are geared towards getting a fire started, but don’t include enough pieces to keep the fire going until it reaches critical mass. These kits have a number of redundant fire starting methods, but leave out this important feature.

In this article we will break down an excellent Firestarting Kit video from Everyday Carrying to show you a versatile firestarting kit checklist that you can use to make your own multi-purpose kit.

Firestarting Kit Checklist

Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer

This handy little bag is the perfect size for your portable firestarting kit. You can cut off the draw strap if you want to make the bag even more compact.

Streamlight Nano Flashlight

Remove the paracord zipper attachment and add a Streamlight Nano flashlight. Many times when you need to make a fire it is because it’s getting dark. It’s not fun to try to get a blaze going when you can’t see what you are doing. The Nano is a weatherproof, personal flashlight featuring a 100,000 hour life LED that produces 10 lumens of light.

Numyth Tohil Lighter

A simple peanut style lighter that works every time you need it. The Tohil was designed to give you a compact, well-made, long-lasting fire-starting tool. An o-ring seals the opening of the body, giving you watertight construction and keeping the lighter fluid from drying out while in your pocket or pack.

UST Micro SparkWheel

The Micro SparkWheel is a small, reliable fire starter that will generate sparks in cold, wet, and windy conditions.

Ferrocerium (Ferro) Rod

Use as a last resort spark generator. Strike it with a knife to get a spark if for some reason your lighter and sparkwheel fail.

ITS 550 Jute Paracord

By simply removing the inner strands of the paracord, you can access the Jute core and roll it into a fire starting tinder bundle. Just the slightest spark will ignite this natural fiber. It works best if you pull it apart a bit until it looks like a bird’s nest.

SOG Flash 1 Folding Knife

Good for prepping your tinder, or getting some shavings to help get your fire started. The Flash I (Straight edge) comes with glass-reinforced nylon (GRN) handle and a straight edge, Satin finished blade.

Tinder-Quick Fire Tabs

Each Tinder-Quik Fire Tab is specially treated to a high standard to ensure the cotton is waterproof and will provide a more than adequate burn time for starting a fire. Each tab burns for 1-2 minutes.


InstaFire is a patented blend of volcanic rock, wood pellets, and paraffin wax. This patented formula makes InstaFire water resistant for use in even the most severe weather such as rain, snow or high winds.  InstaFire burns at nearly 1000 degrees and will dry out your wet wood.

Fresnel Lens

Fresnel lenses act like magnifying glasses, which means that you can focus the sun’s rays on a small point to instantly light many kinds of tinder.

Aluminum Soda Can

While it’s not the most high tech piece of equipment in your kit, an aluminum soda can is useful as a wind screen when you first get your fire started. Cut your can up ahead of time and put it in your kit.

Fatwood Tinder Sticks

Made with high resin content wood, fatwood tinder sticks are extremely easy to light, work even when wet, and produce an extremely hot flame. You can shave the wood down a bit to make your fire easier to start.

Putting Your Firestarting Kit Together

We recommend that you watch the entire video below for a more in-depth breakdown of each component in this firestarting kit. Near the end [8:15 mark] you’ll also see step-by-step instructions for using the contents to get a nice, warm, potentially life-saving fire going.

Other Fire Starting Resources



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