A quality firestarter is necessary when loading up your backpack for hiking or camping.
You never know when you’ll have to strike up a fire, therefore, we decided to take on the task of finding the best firestarter for backpacking purposes.
We thought that, since it will be carried most of the time, it’s important to have a relatively lightweight firestarter, besides its being a practical one.
Also, it should be straightforward to use, and it’ll benefit to have waterproof capabilities or a watertight compartment.
These are some of the features that helped us select the best firestarters, so let’s see what we found!
Top 5 Best Firestarters for Backpacking – Editor’s Pick
The following table addresses the main features of my choice of top five firestarters, as well as a direct link to getting them.
Get It AT
|Überleben Zünden Ferro Rod Fire Starter
|Ferro rod and striker
|12,000 (Trad), 15,000 (Pro), 20,000 (Fatty)
|The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter
|Flint rod and striker
|Lightning Strike Fire Starter by Holland
|Ferro rod and striker
|EricX Light Ferrocerium Rod Flint Fire Starter
|Ferro rod and striker
|The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Fire Starter
|Magnesium alloy rod and striker
10. SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-in-1 Fire Starter Kit
Ideal for: Emergency bag, casual backpacking, intermediate users
In searching for the best firestarter for backpacking, this All-Weather Emergency 2-in-1 product makes the cut.
The firestarter is unobtrusive to fit easily in your backpack, and it’s waterproof and weatherproof.
It includes a magnesium alloy block, flint rod, and serrated striker.
However, using a knife may be easier than using the striker.
Also, it helps to strip the first layer of the block to get better results.
- Easy to grip handle
- Shavings ignite well
- Compact size
- Brittle striker rod
- Difficult to scrape into shavings
9. Campfire Piston Hickory Fire Piston
Ideal for: Backpacking, camping, emergency kit
This Hickory Fire Piston is a reliable fire starter. The handle on the end of the piston allows you to get a firmer grip.
This is truly a product that utilizes classic technology.
Its compressed air system gives off the feeling that you are starting a fire the more ‘primitive’ way.
It even comes with two extra o-rings in the event that you need them.
This can work well in the cold, but there’s no mention of how it holds to water.
- Has a tight seal
- Quality wood exterior
- Easy to use
- Made in the USA
- Can be hard on your hands
- Difficult removing gasket for storage
8. SharpSurvival Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter w/ Compass & Whistle
Ideal for: Backup firestarter, bug-out-bag, beginner users
With the SharpSurvival Spark Fire Starter, you also get a mini compass and whistle.
The firestarter itself, it can handle up to 15,000 strikes.
It’s compact enough to fit in any bag as well.
It may not be completely weatherproof, but it can hold up well in windy conditions.
- The starter is easy to use
- Creates a good spark
- Good length w/ the rod and lanyard
- Convenient and Compact
- Difficult to use in freezing temperatures
- No heavy-duty handle
7. Gerber Blades Bear Grylls Fire Starter
Ideal for: Backup firestarter, backpacking, hiking, camping
Another product seen as the best firestarter for backpacking is this product from Bear Grylls.
It uses a Ferro rod and a metal striker. Lighting a fire is so simple that children should be able to do it.
The entire thing is kept together by a quality lanyard.
It has a waterproof storage compartment to keep dry tinder.
You also get an emergency whistle integrated into the lanyard cord.
- Fully sealed design
- Easy to start fires
- Quality handles
- Waterproof tinder storage container
- A tad bulky
6. Light my Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter
Ideal for: Casual backpacking, backup firestarter
This product is designed to light fires under most weather conditions and altitudes.
So far, it appears to do an adequate job at it.
It has decent durability, and it should last about 12,000 strikes.
The firestarter is a good size and weight that you can slip it in a pocket in your backpack easily enough.
Though it has an ergonomic design, it isn’t always easy to keep a good grip on it.
- Provides a good amount of sparks
- Quality lanyard
- Fast fires
- Can be used as an emergency signal
- Have to press hard to get a spark
- Ferro rod can wear fast
5. überleben Zünden Ferro Rod Fire Starter
Ideal for: Casual backpacking, emergency bag
This firestarter is available in three sizes so you can choose the one that best suits your backpacking needs.
The hardwood handle is handcrafted, but it’ll benefit to stain it to make it more waterproof.
As for the scraper, it’s a 6-in-1 multi-tool. It can be a:
- Bottle opener
- Map scale
- Concave-serrated tinder scraper
- Hex wrench
- Straight-edge spine.
- Comfortable to hold
- Easy to control
- Throws a good deal of sparks
- Hasle-free guarantee
- The handle could be longer
- The striker may be too lightweight
4. The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter
Ideal for: Backup kit, general backpacking, camping
This product comes in a three-pack, so you have more than enough material to feel secure in the event you need to start a fire.
The sparks it creates are large and hotter than standard firestarters.
It has good waterproof capabilities and cold protection, but it may not hold up well to harsher weather.
The striking tool also serves as a bottle opener, making it ideal if you stop your backpacking to set up camp.
- Sturdy striker
- Quick to start fires
- Well sized sparks
- The coating seems too thick
- Poor wind protection
- Rod wears off fast
3. Lightning Strike Fire Starter by Holland
Ideal for: Primary firestarter, long backpacking trips
The Lightning Strike Fire Starter is seen by many as the best firestarter for backpacking due to its longevity.
It’s self-contained and lightweight, but the design itself isn’t sleek enough to slip into a pocket.
Still, it can pack well in a good backpack.
It generates large sparks, so take care when using to better control it all.
The handle’s preloaded with tinder and it’s contained with a waterproof cap.
- Sparks almost every time
- Great reliability
- Carries a general amount of tinder
- Comes with a storage barrel
- Ferro stick could be longer
- A bit bulky
2. EricX Light Ferrocerium Rod Flint Fire Starter
Ideal for: Heavier backpacking
These thick, durable rods are capable of lasting 12,000+ strikes.
They are designed to work under any weather condition in addition to being waterproof.
The rods also perform well at any altitude, so you can backpack longer and higher.
Because of their weight, they would benefit more in a larger, sturdier backpack capable of holding more materials.
- Easy grip and extra-large
- Good amount of room for striking
- Fast fire starting
- Fit for all-weather and any site use
- Could use a softer rod
1. The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Easy Grip Emergency Fire Starter
Ideal for: General/heavy backpacking, primary and backup tool
Last on our list as the best firestarter for backpacking is The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Fire Starter.
It is long-lasting and compact enough to fit into any backpack with no trouble.
It features ergonomic handles that can be an advantage if you’re out in the cold.
The tool is waterproof as well, and it’s easy enough for beginners and powerful enough for seasoned users.
- Ferro rod and striker fit comfortably in the hand
- Good striker length
- Gives a good shower of sparks
- Lifetime warranty
- Ball-chain can pull apart
- Requires a good deal of force
The best firestarter for backpacking may vary depending on your needs.
However, generally speaking, it must be compact enough to fit into your pack and reliable so that you can use it even under unexpected circumstances.
If you have used any of the products on our countdown, feel free to comment to let us know how you felt about them.
Suggested Read: You might also need a survival knife too, just to be safe while you’re out discovering the wilderness!