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Building a Fire Kit

Whether for a bug out bag, an EDC Kit, hunting/scout bag, etc, having the ability to make fire is essential. In this post we will show how to build a fire kit that you can take with you virtually anywhere.

Why a Fire Kit?

Why not just a box of matches? Well, mostly because matches suck. Ok, I’m kind of joking, but not really. The storm proof matches are decent, but really, after we put this kit together, you won’t need to mess around with matches anymore unless you have to.

What about lighters? Lighters are great, and they certainly belong in your kit in my opinion, but lighters can run out of juice, and lighters can fail just like anything else. The same goes for a ferrocerium rod (fire steel), though just like the lighter, they belong in your kit as well.

The point of the kit is to provide redundancy – in the event that one method does not work, you can use something else.


altoids tinThe first thing we need is a container for the contents of the fire kit. Your fire kit can be as big or small as you want, but in this post I will opt for what I consider to be a small kit. I like to use something like an empty Altoids tin because they are cheap and you can find them everywhere (and I like Altoids).


Next we need to fill up our container with several ways to make fire.

Ferrocerium Rod

firesteel-smallFirst up is the ferrocerium rod. Ferrocerium is a man-made pyrophoric metallic material that has the ability to give off a large number of hot sparks at temperatures at 3,000 °F (1,650 °C) when scraped against a hard surface.

A ferrocerium rod, also called a ferro rod or fire steel, is really a modern version of the flint and steel, where the flint drives off pieces of the steel, which then spontaneously combust when exposed to oxygen.


Pretty self explanatory, just go with a cheap Bic lighter. Two if you have room.


Tinder is easily combustible material that can be used to start fires – anything that will take a spark well. Dryer lint, char cloth, fatwood, and cotton balls are all good examples of tinder. It’s important to have some as you may not have tinder available when you need fire the most.


Fuel is technically tinder I suppose, but I decided to break it out into its own category. Fuel is basically any accelerant that will help you to start a fire when you’re in wet conditions. Excellent fuels are Trioxane tablets, WetFire and Mini Inferno.

Putting it Together

Once you’ve got everything, putting it together is just a matter of finding the best way to stuff it all into the tin. The only trick is keeping the tin from popping open. For that, I like to wrap ranger bands around the outside to hold it together.

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One Response to Building a Fire Kit

  1. Taylor Ruble May 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    The cotton balls are a nice addition to any survival gear especially when soaked in vaseline. The vaseline will make the cotton balls so that they will ignite even in a downpour.