One of the most important things you can have in your BOB, GHB or EDC, is a fire kit. You want to be able to start a fire in any situation, rain, snow and many other extreme conditions.
This means having different ways to start the fire and keeping your fire-starting gear dry.
In this video and article, I am going over some very simple things to keep in your bags for starting fires in emergency situations.
This kit is simple, but I like to keep my Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag as simple and effective as I can. But, the importance of an effective, simple bushcraft fire kit is something you should not underestimate.
How to Carry Your Fire Kit
There are many different ways to carry your fire kit, but I prefer a waterproof container. I chose the Plano 3440-10 Waterproof Stowaway (3400 Series) tackle box. It has a thick gasket around the lid that will keep water out and it can take a beating.
Although it is a bit bulky, it can withstand a lot of damage and will keep your fire kit dry even in a hurricane.
I have also used the MTM Survivor Dry Box with O-Ring Seal in the past and it worked really well too. This option is a bit larger and can carry more fire-starting gear but takes up a considerable amount of room in your bag.
If you are on a budget or want something lighter, a simple ziploc bag would work just fine.
What Should You Include in a Fire Kit?
Although everyone has a different view on what goes in a fire kit, I am going to go over what I put in mine.
- Schrade SCHFS1 4in Ferro Rod Fire Striker with Lanyard
- Bic Lighter
- Basic Matches
- Strick Anywhere Matches in an SE CCH6-1 3-in-1 Orange Waterproof Match Storage Box
- Cotton Balls
- Homemade Vaseline and Cotton ball fire starters in a drinking straw (see video)
- Kindling or some fatwood
What is a Ferro Rod?
A ferrocium rod is a metal alloy, a mixture of various elements such as:
When the ferro rod is struck with a sharp edge, the heat generated ignites the small shavings created and will ignite your kindling. These ferro shavings when ignited are extremely hot!
What are Some Other Types of Tinder?
Fatwood – Fatwood is found in the sap of coniferous trees, within the sap in these trees is a viscous liquid containing terpene, which is an extremely flammable compound. Over time the sap hardens and gets thicker forming a flammable resin.
Fatwood finds are treasured by bushcrafters, hikers and a little can go a long way!
Cotton Balls and Petroleum Jelly – Covering cotton balls with petroleum jelly is a cost effective and easy way to create fire tinder. The cotton burns extremely well, and the petroleum jelly keeps it burning for a longer period.
Charcloth – Charcloth is an easy to make tinder usually from old cotton T-shirts you cut up to use as charcloth. I will be adding a video on how to create charcloth and I will link to it from here.
Cedar Bark Shavings
Always be on the lookout for tinder when you are hiking or traveling to your destination.
You can never have enough in my book!
Fire Kit Ignition Tools
- Ferro Rod – A standard method among bushcrafters and hikers. Fun and easy.
- Strike Anywhere Matches – Some work some don’t. Don’t depend on these in an emergency.
- Regular Matches in Waterproof Container – Cheap and reliable if they don’t get wet.
- Bic Lighter – Cheap and easy so get a bunch.
- Bow drill – Difficult and takes a lot of time to master.
I hope this helps you get your fire kit started. I recommend you put together your own kit and don’t be persuaded to purchase those pre-assembled kits. They are usually junk and not something you want to depend on in an emergency.