The bow drill is a good skill to have and all for when you’re dumped into the forest with nothing but a knife. But it’s not exactly the easiest fire making skill. The point of being prepared is to be able to acquire not only the skills but the proper equipment as well in order to make sure that you’ll be able to survive.
Building fires can be fun! But they don’t have to be difficult and in a prepper or survival situation, you want to be able to get that fire up and running as quickly as possible. Minutes really can mean life or death.
The below methods can be used no matter what type of fire you plan to make and it’ll keep you sane.
Below are the top 3 fire starters that I feel anyone will be able to build lots of fires and are easy to master.
Lighter – Lighters last a long time and you’ll be able to create a lot of fires with just one lighter. Store lighters in every kit that you have, even if it’s not a fire kit. Store a lighter in your purse, in your pocket, in your vehicle, in your vehicle kit, in your bug out bag, in your EDC kit, in your drawers at home….store them everywhere! You never want to be without a lighter.
Ferro rod – The second fire starting method that I feel is extremely easy to use is a ferro rod. You can scrape a ferro rod against rocks, bricks, cement and of course, steel, in order to create a spark. It’s very easy to use a ferro rod with only a little bit of practice. Even people who have never practiced with one before, can figure it out easily and get a spark within less than a minute. Even the small ferro rods will be able to create numerous fires. I generally keep a ferro rod in all of my kits, in addition to a lighter.
Flint/steel – I never used to like flint/steel, but the moment I tried it for the first time, I realized that it’s almost as easy as using a ferro rod! In fact, it quickly became my favorite way to start a fire because of how easy it actually is. People have been starting fires with flint for ages and ages. Even someone who has never picked up a flint rock, can figure out how to create a spark with it very easily. I’ve shown many first timers how to use flint/steel and they always get it on at least the third strike. Not every region has flint rock, so you may need to buy a set from someone or ask a friend to send you some flint rocks. You’ll also want to carry some char cloth (you can make your own char cloth very easily) to make the fire making process even easier.
You may be wondering, why didn’t I include matches? Because matches simply don’t work in every situation, even those “windproof/waterproof” matches aren’t always “windproof/waterproof”. Plus, instead of carrying a box of matches, you can carry 1 lighter. It just makes more sense to carry a lighter over matches.
I still do carry matches, but I only carry a single box and they are my backups to all of the above. If they get wet or lost or break or whatever…I don’t shed a tear cause they aren’t my main source of fire.
The point here is to practice these techniques and prep the necessary items that you’ll need in order to make fires with ease. The name of the game is to be able to get a fire started as quickly as possible. You’re already most likely going to be fighting the elements (wind, rain, snow, etc), not to mention you might be exhausted, cold, scared, etc., so being able to at least start the fire once it’s built, is giving you control over that one main aspect, giving you peace of mind. At least when it comes to the source of the fire.
The fire starters above also last a long time, you’ll be able to make many fires with any of the above methods. And even better is if you get redundant and carry all of the above methods (that’s what I do).