How to Use a Fire Starter – The Survival Guide (2023)

Learning to use a fire starter is an important skill

Preppers know that a fire starter is an essential item to have in your emergency preparedness kit. A fire starter can help you start a fire even when no other ignition sources are available. This article will discuss how to use a fire starter, along with the different types and some safe handling tips. We will also provide information on storing and caring for your fire starter.

1. How to Use a Fire Starter

A fire starter is an important tool for preppers and survivalists alike. It can help you start a fire in a disaster situation where it may be essential. There are many different types of fire starters available on the market.

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2. Types of Fire Starters


Matches are a common way to start a fire. They are inexpensive and easy to use. Matches are also small and lightweight, making them suitable for emergencies.

The main disadvantage of matches is that they can easily be damaged or lost. They also have a short shelf life and often won’t perform well in wet or windy conditions.


A lighter is a standard tool used to start fires. It consists of a flammable liquid that is ignited by a spark. Lighters are easy to use and are available in many different sizes. You can purchase them in both disposable and refillable versions.

The main disadvantage of lighters is that they can run out of fuel. They can also be damaged in wet conditions.

3. What Are Some Ways To Start Fires Without Matches or a Lighter?

Flint and Steel

Flint and steel are one of the oldest methods of starting a fire. As you would expect, it consists of a piece of flint and a piece of steel. To use this method, you must strike the flint with the steel to create sparks. The sparks will ignite the tinder, and the fire will spread from there.

This is a popular method for starting a fire in the wilderness, as it does not require any additional equipment. However, it can be challenging to achieve a spark in windy or wet conditions.

Magnifying Glass

A magnifying glass can start a fire on a sunny day

You can use a magnifying glass to start a fire by focusing the sun’s rays onto a small area. The lens will create a beam of heat that can be used to ignite tinder.

This is an effective method for starting a fire in sunny conditions, but it will not work if it is cloudy or raining.


You can use a battery to start a fire by generating heat. To use this method, you will need two pieces of metal (preferably aluminum). Place the two pieces of metal next to each other and connect them with the battery. The metal will heat up and start a fire.

This is an easy way to start a fire in any weather conditions. However, it requires a battery, which may not be readily available in a survival situation.

Ferro Rod

A ferrocerium “Ferro” rod is a type of fire starter that consists of a metal rod with a striker. You must scrape the striker against the rod to create sparks to use this tool. The sparks will ignite the tinder, and the fire will spread from there.

You’ll need to strike the rod at an angle, so practicing ahead of time is critical. You don’t want to have to learn when your life depends on it!

Ferro rods are a popular choice for fire-starting, as they are durable and easy to use. They also have a long shelf life. Unfortunately, there are also many inferior Ferro rod products on the market that will fail you in your time of need, so be sure to check the reviews and ratings of anything you purchase. This is another reason why it is so important to test your gear before you need it!

Magnesium Bar Fire Starter

A magnesium bar fire starter is a type of magnesium starter that consists of a block of magnesium with a striker. You must scrape the striker against the magnesium fire starter to generate sparks to use this tool. The sparks from the magnesium block will then ignite the tinder, and the fire will spread from there.

Magnesium fire starters are popular among preppers and survivalists as they are durable and easy to use. Because it’s a metal bar, magnesium fire starters have an indefinite shelf life.

Magnesium Shavings

Magnesium shavings can be purchased on Amazon and other sites. They are easy to light and can cause an intense flame with high heat. You must take extreme care and fire safety if you decide to use a shavings-based magnesium fire starter.

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3. Fire Starter Tips

Here are some tips on how to use your fire starter:

  1. Always carry a fire starter with you when you’re in the outdoors. You never know when you’ll need it.
  2. Make sure your fire starter is always dry and in good condition.
  3. Practice using your fire starter in different weather conditions. This will help you become familiar with it and increase your chances of starting a fire.
  4. Store your fire starter in a cool, dry place.
  5. Ensure you know how to use your fire starter before you need it. It’s essential to be familiar with the ignition method and the necessary steps to start a fire.
  6. Keep your fuel dry and close to the fire starter. This will make it easier to ignite the fuel and start a fire.
  7. Be patient when trying to start a fire. It may take several attempts before you are successful.
  8. Always have plenty of tinder at your fire site, just in case you don’t get the fire started the first time.
  9. Practice building different fires with your fire starter in a safe fire pit or ring. This will help you become familiar with the various starting methods.
  10. Practice fire safety when using a fire starter. Make sure you are aware of the surroundings of your fire site and take precautions to avoid injury.
  11. Never leave a fire unattended.

4. How to Stay Safe With a Fire Starter

Firestarters are an essential part of any outdoor adventurer’s gear, but they can also be very dangerous if not used safely. That’s why it’s important to learn how to use them properly and stay safe. This section will discuss some safety tips for using a fire starter.

Follow these safety tips when starting a fire

How to Safely Use a Fire Starter

Using a fire starter is not difficult, but there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind to stay safe while doing so.

1) Read the instructions that come with your fire starter carefully. This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s essential to make sure you understand how your fire starter works before using it.

2) Always start your fire starter in a well-ventilated area, preferably a fire ring or pit. This will help to avoid any accidents.

3) Be careful when handling your fire starter. Please keep it away from flammable materials and never leave it for kids to play with.

4) Make sure the area around your fire pit is clear of any flammable materials. This includes things like leaves, twigs, and grass.

5) Never leave your fire unattended. Make sure it is completely extinguished before you leave the area.

By following these simple safety tips, you can enjoy using your fire starter without worrying about any accidents.

Best Fire Starter

UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case

The UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case is an excellent survival fire starting option. The matches are very easy to light, and they stay lit even in the rain. The case is also waterproof, which is excellent for keeping the matches and even a bit of fuel dry. The only downside is that the kit doesn’t include very many matches.

Waterproof Lighter Outdoor Windproof

This rechargeable lighter is great for outdoor use. It’s windproof so that you can use it in difficult conditions, and it’s also waterproof. This makes it an excellent choice for camping, fishing, or any other activity where there is a chance of rain. The only downside is that it will eventually require recharging, which may not be an option when you need it.

Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter

I like the Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter because it’s easy to use. The ferrocerium rod is a great fire starter, and the striker makes it easy to get a spark. The case is also convenient for carrying the rod and striker with you.

The Bottom Line of How to Use a Fire Starter:

In this article, we have discussed the basics of how to use a fire starter. We have provided tips on staying safe while using one and shared our picks for the best fire starters on the market. By following these simple tips, you can safely enjoy all the benefits that a fire starter offers. Thanks for reading!

Do you have any tips on how to use a fire starter? If so, let us know in the comments below!

Additional Resources:


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How to Use a Fire Starter - The Survival Guide (2023)

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Brian Duff

Brian's preparedness career began at sixteen and included professional roles as a lifeguard, firefighter, paramedic, Special Operations team leader with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, Diplomatic Protection Specialist, and international security director. He's managed medical clinics in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, provided high-threat diplomatic protection in Iraq and Pakistan, advised a rebel army in Africa, oversaw U.S. embassy security in Baghdad, and directed a premiere tactical medicine training facility. Brian is an expert in Security, Crisis Management, and Preparedness Mindset and hosts the Mind4Survival podcast. He holds a bachelor's degree in Security Management and an MBA in Information Technology Management.

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