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What is the best fire starter for survival purposes? If you could only bring one fire starter object, material, etc. and you had to survive for say, 5 days. The best? Let's pretend times not a factor, actually. So if matches are a choice, don't rule them out because they can run out. What's just the best for making a fire for survival?
 

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bic lighter... for short time quick reallable get the adjustable kind because it makes firestarting alot easyier

wooden matchs arnt bad because even if they break you can use them as kindling and as a fire starter with the heads to help get it going..
 

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I would opt for a lighter, too. I usully keep some in different places: pockets, pack, jacket and so on. Should be enough for a few days.
 

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a lighter would be my first option for only five days. but if it was around ten days i would have to pick the sweedish fire steel. i dont want to take the chance of the lighter running out of fluid on me and it be a cold night.
 

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Yeah, a bic lighter or some wooden kitchen matches, this is what I usually carry anyway.
It also helps to carry along some fire starting material, either home made or store bought.
 

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I always carry a lighter even though I do not smoke. But for reliability I would have my fire steel. For tinder I carry a snuff can with strips of cloth soaked in wax with one end uncoated. I fray the uncoated end and lite with the fire steel. I have never counted how many strips are in a can but it would easily last five days.
 

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One really easy way to start a fire is with four aught (0000) steel wool and a nine volt battery. It's so easy it practically lights itself.

I carry so many different fire starters, but for ease the bic lighter is best, bic lighter with a tea candle can light damp tinder. Chunk of magnesium with a man made flint will last for a long time. Get a magnesium bar though and cut it to size yourself. You can pick one up for a few dollars and cut 20 or 25 bars out of it. There's your fuel and all you'll need is a spark of some kind from there. Something flammable with petroleum jelly smeared on it will light and burn long enough to light tinder. Old jeans can be cut up and the pieces smeared with petroleum jelly.

Try lighting a fire at least once with a fire plow or bow drill. Even if you never do it again, it gives you so much confidence just to know you can.

blt
 

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my god, use a napalm grenade and that's it... matches are the best thing i think there is, easy too use, small, cheap and easy to get... don't buy all this waterproof boxes and bags for it... just use an empty photo-film container (you know, the little black one) its small and fit exactly for that use, just dont forget to put some sparker in it. its about 50 matches in one container... i carry about 3 and a few simple lighters (for smoking)... do your math, for how much fires it will be enough.
 

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By far the best thing to come on the market has been the ferro rod ( fire striker), Small, compact and light weight. If tinder is not available, some folks recommend picking lint off your socks but this can take a while and if your hands are cold, difficult. Much easier to scrape your knife blade down your pant leg or shirt sleeve. You can scrape incredible amounts of lint in no time.
 

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I like the magnesium blocks with the flint rod embedded along one side:


I am a firm believer that you should always carry 2 or 3 methods of starting a fire but if I had to choose just one it would be this and here is why:

1. Very light
2. Magnesium shavings burn at over 5000 degrees F, hot enough to ignite even damp kindling without tinder.
3. The flint striker rod can light fires by itself without the shavings if you have good dry tinder.
4. Will start hundreds of fires, even if you use the shavings every time.
5. Indestructible and impervious to moisture.
6. Cheap and easy to find ($2 or $3 at Walmart or any sporting goods store).

Forgot to mention though that these things require you to have to a good knife for making the shavings. The magnesium is soft enough that it doesn't dull a good blade. The knife can also be used to strike the flint rod though I prefer to use one of those steel scrapers (attached to the block with a lanyard made of para-cord).
 
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