Adventurous trips to the backcountry are exciting and fun, but a trip into the wilderness means that there are always some unseen dangers involved. Whenever you venture outdoors, being equipped with a fire starter kit is as important as carrying a water bottle with you. It is one of the most valuable tools to keep in handy when you go backpacking. In emergency situations, it can make or break your life.

Most of us may think that a matchbox will suffice to start a fire, and maybe it will, but what about on windy days?. While matchsticks and a lighter are good enough to start a fire, carrying a more reliable fire starter for extreme situations is a good idea. Therefore, before you head out for your next trip outdoors, just throw in one of the following best fire starter in your bag and enjoy a trip without any difficulties.

There are numerous fire starters available today, but in order to pick the one that is the best for you, there are a few things you need to consider.

  1. Weight

Weight is always an important factor to look into any equipment when taking a trip outdoors. Firestarters are small in size, so weight won’t be a big issue here, but it is always better to cut off those extra grams whenever possible. However, when given a choice between the reliability of a fire starter and the weight, you should choose a more reliable fire starter rather than a lighter one.

  • Ease of use

Outdoor adventures call for unforeseen circumstances. You may find yourself in situations where you need to light a spark under extreme conditions or while wearing gloves. Therefore, make sure that the fire starter is quick to start, and you are comfortable with the purchase.

Keeping all these in mind, read on to find out one of the best fire starters for backpacking available in the market for you.

  • Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

This compact fire starter was produced in collaboration with the famous outdoor adventurer, Bear Grylls, and promises years of reliability and durability. This fire starter comes with a remarkable ferrocerium rod and a metal striker. All these pieces can be safely put kept together in a lanyard, which is an amazing feature because you don’t want to miss those pieces when you are out in the wild. 

The whole construction of the fire starter is waterproof, thus making sure that the tinder inside is always dry and ready to be used when needed. Another interesting feature in this fire starter is the whistle that comes attached to the lanyard for quick access. You may sometimes wander off from the group or try to ward off wild animals from your trail. In such situations, having a whistle works wonders.

The fire starter comes packed in a light, small-sized self-contained unit that can be easily stored in your backpack. After undergoing multiple performance tests, this fire starter promises a total of about 8000 strikes, so you know that this is a product that will last. There is also a booklet with emergency rescue and SOS instructions that come along with the kit. This is the best camping firestarter you can ever find. 

  • Lightning Strike Fire Starter

The lightning strike fire starter could probably be the best backpacking fire starter available out there today! The price is a little more than the average range, but it is totally worth a few extra dollars. The whole construct of this fire starter is made up of a machined aluminum tube that call be pulled apart while using. One end of the tube houses the tinder, thus making sure that it is always dry and ready to use. The other end of the tube is hollow, and the ferrocerium rod is attached to its bottom.

The striker has its own slot where you can take the striker to slide it along the rod. This ensures maximum contact and powerful sparks.

The incredible feature in this fire starter is the way it has been designed to allow the fire spark to be concentrated in a narrow area and fire like a rifle shot. This is possible because the ferrocerium rod is placed inside the tube, thus guaranteeing a spark in your first try itself.

  • Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter

This particular fire starter was built by keeping the outdoor survivalist in mind. Made up of high-quality materials, this fire starter is the best product if you are on a budget here. The entire kit comes with three very essential items – a large striker, a magnesium fire starter rod, and a premium quality compass and whistle. All these items are packed conveniently into one compact tool. It also comes with a lanyard that holds these items together and can be conveniently worn around the neck for easy access. 

This fire starter is cold-resistant, weather-resistant, windproof, and compact at the same time. You can easily shove this tool inside along with your other backpacking gear. It is simple to use and promises about 15,000 sparks, so you know this product is built to last. From lighting a bonfire to starting a barbecue, you can be assured that this fire starter won’t disappoint you.

  • Light My Fire Swedish Fire Steel 2.0

The Swedish Fire Steel is yet another fire starter that is a highly reliable backpacker’s tool. What makes this fire starter stand out from the others is it’s the ability to produce a 5400 degrees Fahrenheit spark, thus producing a powerful flame that is best suited for adverse conditions. The ergonomic design of the product, along with its dependability and durability makes it a popular choice among many armies in the world. It is super easy to use, compact, and can easily fit inside your pocket.

The rod and the flint striker are held together by a lanyard, thus preventing the loss of any essential item. A built-in whistle comes with the striker, which is yet another useful item for emergency situations. Another attractive feature about this fire starter is that it can produce sparks bright enough to send emergency signals in the wild.

This fire starter is super reliable and will work no matter the temperature or the altitude it is in. You don’t have to worry about longevity with this product.

The rod of the Fire Steel is a little harder than others to increase its effectiveness; hence it requires a little breaking in.

  • Coghlan Flint Striker

For those who are on a low budget but still want quality and reliability, then this is the fire starter for you. This waterproof fire starter will last a long time, giving thousands of strikes and promises to light your campfire under any temperature or altitude. The striker and the ferrocerium rod are connected with a cord, thus making it compact and perfect for any bushcraft use, trekking or camping.

If you are into simple gears, then this is the right choice because this fire starter is as simple as it gets. The rod and the striker are plain and simple but work great—the rod needs and little scraping and breaking in before you start using it successfully.

  • Exotac Nanostriker XL

The Exotac Nanostrike XL, as the name suggests, is a nano-sized fire starter that can be easily attached to your key ring. This fire starter is compact, self-contained, waterproof, and fully collapsible, thus making it totally non-intrusive, but at the same time giving it powerful sparks. The high-quality ferrocerium rods work perfectly even when it’s raining, and the sharp tungsten striker sends down a shower of sparks on your tinder easily.

The ferrocerium rods throw out 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit sparks, thus making rain, cold, or wetness a no-problem when you want that tinder burning down. The striker is made up of tungsten carbide and is placed inside the waterproof anodized aluminum body of the fire starter. The striker is sharp and high durable.

  • Zippo Emergency Fire kit

An outdoor adventure needs you to be prepared for the unexpected. There can be multiple emergency events where a reliable fire starter might be needed, and during such times, the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter will help you send emergency signals along with lighting your tinder when needed.

This zippo fire starter comes with a flint wheel that can light up to 1700, speaks under any adverse weather conditions, and promises to quickly start a fire without any hassle. This flint wheel is easily replaceable, thus allowing you to use the fire starter for a very long time. The whole kit is waterproof and also floats. The tinder is protected by a waterproof seal, thus ensuring that your tinder is kept dry always and ready to use.

The whole ergonomic design of the fire starter makes it super easy to operate. It has a lanyard that holds all the pieces together, making sure that no piece is lost. The lanyard also allows free movement and portability of the fire starter kit. This is a highly reliable and durable product that is recommended for all campers. The only drawback of this product is the use of a flint wheel instead of a rod striker. A jammed wheel could lead to a dangerous situation rather than a broken rod.

  1. Weber Fire Starter Light Cubes

When it comes to being cost-effective along with being an overall best choice, none can beat the Weber Fire Starter Light Cubes. These non-toxic, odorless, and lightweight cubes will save you from any dangers in the wilderness and let you light the perfect fire. It comes in a package of 24 cubes that are super light even when they are wet. This is one of the best firestarter for wet weather. 

From starting your grill at home to lighting a bonfire on your campaign trip, these cubes can do them all. Each cube burns for about 10 minutes and measures 1 square inch in size. While packing them for your next backpacking trip, make sure that you pack every cube individually since they come unwrapped in a package. These cubes are a great choice for long camping trips because of their ultra-lightweight and high reliability.

  1. Zippo Matte lighter

For those who find it uncomfortable to use strikers or matches to light a fire, here is the best option for you- a lighter. The zippo matte lighter is a windproof lighter that is available in multiple matte colors such as pink, red, blue, white, yellow, green, and black. It is scratch less and shows fewer fingerprints on the surface than the glossy ones. 

The lighter is 1.5 inches wide, 2.25 inches high and 0.5 inches thick. It is best to choose a bright color in case you drop it in the wild. The fuel for the lighter is sold separately, so make sure that you have stocked enough before you move out.

  1. Swedish Fire Knife

The Swedish fire knife is the best two-in-one first starter manufactured by the collaboration of Mora of Sweden and Light My Fire. Mora of Sweden is a renowned knife making company and has been making knives for the last 120 years. This kit comes with a Swedish FireSteel scout fire starter that gives approximately 3,000 powerful strikes.

The knife is made of Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade with a polypropylene sheath. To ignite a spark, simply slide the dull side of the blade against the FireSteel with full force and viola! Your fire is ready! Now you can use your sharp knife to cut that trout and cook it!

  1. Swedish FireSteel Army Fire Starter

There is nothing that you can’t do with the Swedish FireSteel Army Fire Starter. From sending out emergency signals, starting bonfires to grilling meats while camping, this fire starter can do it all. The design is simple and compact, which makes the product completely portable. 

It can be easily stored in your backpack or can be even attached to your keychain for quick access. This fire starter is highly dependable and produces intense fire sparks even under wet conditions. It delivers around 12,000 strikes, thus dismissing the need to buy a new fire starter anytime soon.


Firestarters are an indispensable tool that everybody should carry while going on an outdoor trip. Be it rain, snow, or wind; your fire starter should be reliable, simple to use, and light up a fire in a jiffy. While there are different types of fire starters available in the market, the one listed above are some of the best fire starters for backpacking that everybody should own. 

Rod strikers are reliable and easy to use, while lighters can be super convenient for anyone who is used to it. Keeping the tinder safe from rain or cold conditions should be the utmost priority, for which a lanyard comes with almost all firestarters.

Firestarters are essential not only for outdoor but also for home use because you never know what emergency situation you may be faced with.