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There’s evidence that early humans first manipulated fire as long as 1 million years ago, and now the ability to start a fire is generally taken for granted. From pocket lighters to stoves to matches, it’s pretty easy to make fire just about anywhere. The hardest place to set a fire is arguably a place fire is most needed. When going on extended camping trips, you can’t necessarily count on a fuel lighter to set a campfire. If you run out of fuel, it’s not like you can just pop into a convenience store and pick up a Bic. Other methods of setting fires, like matches, are almost impossible to use if they get wet. That’s why for camping, it’s crucial to pack reliable and lightweight firestarters. That way, even if your gear gets wet or the kindling isn’t ideal, you can still count on building that roaring fire.
1. Midwest Hearth Fire Starter Squares
These firestarter squares from Midwest Hearth make it easy to stock up — 144 squares are included. They’re made from non-toxic materials, including wax, wood chips and recycled newspaper. That means you can breathe easy at the campsite BBQ. They’re designed to be quick lighting, and because they’re small, it’s easy to load up a few in your camping bag.
Pros: Bulk option includes 144 squares. Non-toxic materials. Quick lighting.
Cons: Pieces can be hard to break into individual squares.
2. Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter
Bear Grylls is probably the best-known outdoorsman and survivalist, so you know you’ll be able to count on this collaborative fire starter between him and Gerber Blades for your next camping trip. It has a ferrocerium rod and a metal striker, and those two components click together to make their own case.
Pros: Easy to start a fire, works even if it gets wet, the striker is its own container.
Cons: Larger than some other options.
3. SE 2-in-1 All-Weather Magnesium Firestarter Kit
This compact kit has a striker and a magnesium fuel bar. Start by shaving off some of the magnesium from the rod. Then, use the striker and strike it against the flint part of the magnesium bar. It also comes with a mini compass.
Pros: Compact, affordable way to light a bright fire.
Cons: Magnesium is reliable, but the striker isn’t as sturdy.