In the event of an emergency a fire can be used for (1) warmth, (2) signaling, (3) cooking, and (4) a psychological uplift. You should have at least two ways to start a fire. I highly recommend adding Fire Mini Kit to your hiking kit, bugout bag, and vehicle kits.

You need four things to start a fire:

  1. An Ignition source ignites the tinder. Your ignition source can be matches, lighter, sparker, bow and spindle, etc. Be sure to include at least two reliable ignition sources in each kit.
  2. Tinder is combustible material that ignites the kindling. Always include tinder in your kits. You can purchase commercial tinder or make your own from cotton balls or fabric, lint, candle wax, etc.
  3. Kindling consists of smaller fuel and is used to light the main fuel.
  4. Fuel consists of larger pieces of wood that provides heat and light.

Starting the Fire

Your igniter lights the tinder which then lights the larger kindling which then ignites the larger fuel. There are a number of good fire starters that are easy to pack. “Fish & Fire” paracord has inner cords that can be removed and used as tinder or emergency fishing line. Dryer lint makes an inexpensive fire starter. Just pack the lint in the small zip bags and you can usually ignite it with a single stoke of a sparker. Be sure that you have sufficient, dry kindling and main fuel before igniting the tinder. Keep some tinder in your fire kit (details on tinder).

Be sure to have a fire mini kit in each hiking kit, bugout bag, and vehicle kit. Test the matches, lighter, and sparker occasionally and replace any items that no longer function.

Test Everything!

Be sure to test your matches, lighters, sparkers, etc. I once purchased waterproof matches and when I tried them and they would not light. Had I needed these in the field it could have made a bad situation much worse. These were simple waterproof matches and they would not light at all. I also purchased a sparker that did not work. Be SURE to test all of your equipment because your life could rely on this equipment.