According to Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods and shared it with humanity. Since that fateful day, humans have relied on fire for things such as purifying water, cooking food, providing warmth, and protection. In today’s society, starting a fire on a daily basis can be as easy as grabbing matches or a lighter. When venturing into the great outdoors, a viable alternative may be the difference between life and death. While the same lighter and matches may prove reliable in favorable conditions, we recommend carrying one of these best fire starters to easily create this “gift from the gods.”
Zippo Emergency Fire Starter – $25
There’s probably not a more recognizable name in lighters than Zippo. With more than 80 years in the business, they know how to make fire starters that last. This brightly colored lighter uses pre-packaged tinder sticks to get a fire going with a minimal spark. It’s a nicely confined waterproof and buoyant package that will be ready time and time again.
Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army with Emergency Whistle – $12
If it’s good enough for the Swedish Department of Defense, it’ll be good enough for you. This strike starter works at just about any altitude, whether wet or dry. At 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit, it has one of the hottest spark temperatures on the market too. This edition is built to last up to 12,000 sparks, meaning it’s going to be a long-lasting addition to your trekking pack.
UST BlastMatch Fire Starter – $13
Fire is just a click away with this easy-to-use gadget. A custom flint material is spring loaded to strike against the interior of the handle for a direct spark. It’s designed for at least 1,000 ignitions with an added safety mechanism that only allows a spark with a press of the thumb. For three times the heat of a standard match, it doesn’t get much easier. Plus, its tiny size hardly adds any weight to your trail-pack.
Exotac nanoStriker XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter – $28
Our most portable option comes in at just over four inches long and one-fourth-inch thick. It burns at nearly 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit and has a replaceable interior rod. It’s lightweight body is a handsomely finished aluminum and is, of course, waterproof. It’s also our most expensive option, but the pure portability is worth it.
Infinite Electric Flameless Dual Arc Plasma Lighter – $16
For those interested in a purely electric option, you can’t go wrong with this USB-powered model. The lighter connects directly into any port and charges in two hours for a week of regular use. It uses a concentration of two plasma beams to light cigarettes, candles or just about anything else you need. For a tailgate or weekend away with the RV, it doesn’t get much better.
Article originally published March 16, 2017. Last updated December 22, 2017 by Clay Abney.