Your kit should include multiple ways to ignite the fire. Those skilled in bush craft can start fires with available materials but for us amateurs it is much safer and easier to have ready made ignition sources. Ignition sources include:
- A Disposable lighter is small, inexpensive, and easy-to-use. Lighters can fail so you MUST have other ways to start a fire. Be sure to test the lighter before hitting the trail. If you are using the refillable type be sure that it is fully fueled and has extra flints. Disposable lighters can work well because they are normally durable and well sealed. But again, be sure to test the lighter before you need it.
- Waterproof Matches are an excellent way to start a fire. You can get normal burning matches or storm matches. Storm matches are waterproof, almost windproof, and burn for up to 15 seconds. I do NOT recommend these as normal household matches but they work very well when starting campfires. Be sure to store your waterproof matches in a waterproof poly zip bag or other sealed container. The matches are waterproof but the box is normally NOT waterproof and the striking strip does not normally work well when wet. I like the Stormproof Matches. Be sure to test the matches before taking them out into the field.
- A Sparker is small, inexpensive, lightweight device that generates sparks that can start a fire.
- Optional: A small Fresnel Lens can act as a magnifier and can be used to concentrate sunlight to start a fire. These lightweight, plastic lenses are available on eBay or a variety of other sources for a very low price.
You want multiple ways to start a fire in your kit. You want to be able to start a fire even if you have multiple equipment failures. Fire can be critical to survival and comfort so having backup ignition methods is a sensible precaution.