If you are even halfway serious about your survival, you have a fire kit stashed away on your person or your gear, ready for use. Everyone has a slightly different take on what goes in a kit, but generally speaking any basic fire kit has a fire starter and some type of tinder.
From this point, a personal fire starting kit tends to evolve based on personal preference. Some people use an Altoids tin, others choose waterproof containers and some choose to add other survival essentials to their kit.
After more than a few times lighting fire in both dry and wet conditions, my kit evolved to follow the rule of 3. Three fire starters and three sources of tinder. I figure if I can’t get a fire started with this, then maybe it’s time to hang up the rucksack and call it quits!
Let’s take a look at the contents and why I chose each item:
1. Exotac nanoStrikerXL: This modern take on the classic fire starter takes up 50% less space in my metal tin as compared to a traditional flint and steel combo. The ferro rod is good for 3,000 strikes and burns at nearly 5500°F (3000°C). The ultra-sharp tungsten carbide striker makes throwing sparks a breeze, even for a beginner.
2. UCO Stormproof matches: These windproof and waterproof matches are a common sense addition to the kit. Average burn time is about 15 seconds, depending on the conditions.
3. Wetfire: My favorite brand of commercial available tinder. This stuff never disappointments, Wetfire is waterproof and easy to use. Simply use your knife to make some shavings and then sprinkle on your natural tinder like magic dust.
4. Fatwood: Two large chunks of fatwood give me the ability to create a big pile of shavings that will burn long and strong enough to get the rest of my fire going.
5. Cotton & Vaseline: I carry two compressed “wicks” made of cotton balls and Vaseline. These have a long burn time and are a great choice for getting damp wood started.
6. Lighter: The fastest and easiest way to get a fire going under dry conditions. Always have one in my kit.
7. Tinfoil: Can be used as a wind screen or as a makeshift cup for boiling water
8. Metal tin: Small metal tin with rubber gasket.
That covers the basics of a fire starting kit. I always consider it a fun challenge to see how much I can pack into my container. Thanks to the addition of the Exotac nanoStrikerXL, I was able to add the fatwood and extra cotton balls to the container with ease.
For those of you interesting in the nanoStrikerXL and other badass gear from Exotac, be sure to check them out online and use code TSO1 to save 15% on your purchase!