Having some sort of survival fire starter in your bug out bag is paramount
A recent incident when I was in the bush comes to mind when I think of this. Me and a buddy went camping for a long weekend. It was all planned the week before.
My bug out bag doubles as my camping bag. So i try to make my bag as useful as possible for all situations. As much as I don’t especially agree with the idea of Bugging out in an emergency. I still keep the bag ready to go.
First we loaded the truck up with our bags, The shotgun (bears are not fun), and a Jerry can of gas. After we loaded the side-by-side on the trailer we set out. We made it about 50 Km into the bush with his side-by-side and we found a spot to park it to make our trip up the mountain we wanted to make camp on.
Once we found a good spot we set the site up and went to make a fire for dinner. The wind was picking up and He pulls out his all-weather matches and goes to town trying to light one. They seemed to be cheap dollar store all weather strike anywhere matches. When i tried one it just broke and crumbled off the match stick. With no success he went and grabbed his flint and steel. With the first strike it broke. It was a long rough striker and a flint in the end of a plastic rod tied to it. The flint broke loose and was lost rendering it useless. to top it off he forgot to make sure that he had a lighter in his bag.
Luckily I was ready and was able to get the fire going.
So that brings me to my point.
Having good quality and reliable survival fire starter. He did indeed bring the right tools for the job. But the quality was not there. That is the key difference. To top it off he had to remove them from the original packages. Meaning he did not test them out first. If it was a SHTF situation, or we got lost or hurt/stranded. Or if I was not prepared. It was getting late and we were tired. That could have been a much worse time if just one or two things went differently.
You can find cheap matches, flint and steel or gimmicky survival fire starters all over the place for next to nothing. But when you need them they don’t perform. You are better off spending a bit more on quality and having a but of confidence in your kit.
Don’t assume a product does what they say, or it does it well. Test your kit. Test it in all-weather if it is sold as such. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these products you might rely on. When you need it you should not be taking the wrapping off for the first time.
And again you get what you pay for. If it is a cheap chinese product it is not going to perform when you need it to.
What Fire Starter to Pack
Obviously your best bet is a lighter. They are reliable and last a long time. Also they can take a beating and if wet, after you dry them they will work.
The downside being weather. Wind will make them useless (unless it is a Zippo) and rain can put them out of commission pretty quick.
These are a fantastic fire starter to pack. The only thing to watch for is cheap matches and strikers. With good matches this is less of an issue but still test them out before you commit.
Flint and steel
Reliability is its main selling point. It is an excellent choice as a long-term fire starter. As well as working in the wind and light rain.
So whether it is for cooking, heat, or protection. Fire is one of the most important thing to consider when in the bush. Don’t get caught unprepared as it can mean life or death.