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 to find the best firestarter for backpacking purposes. We thought since the best firestarter for backpacking will be carried most of the time it’s important that it’s practical and relatively lightweight. Also, it should be straightforward to use, and it’ll benefit to have waterproof capabilities or a watertight compartment.
Top 5 Best Firestarters for Backpacking – Editor’s Pick
The following table addresses the main features of the top five firestarters.
|Product Name||Starting Method||Weight||Estimated Strikes||Editor’s Rating|
|Überleben Zünden Ferro Rod Fire Starter||Ferro rod and striker||7oz (Trad), 2.2oz (Pro), 3.1oz (Fatty)||12,000 (Trad), 15,000 (Pro), 20,000 (Fatty)||4.7|
|The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter||Flint rod and striker||6oz||5,000||4.7|
|Lightning Strike Fire Starter by Holland||Ferro rod and striker||5oz||20,000||4.8|
|EricX Light Ferrocerium Rod Flint Fire Starter||Ferro rod and striker||8oz||12,000+||4.8|
|The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Fire Starter||Magnesium alloy rod and striker||9oz||10,000+||5|
10. SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-in-1 Fire Starter and Magnesium Fuel Bar
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 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
- Takes some getting used to
9. Campfirepiston 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, with the compressed air system giving off the feeling of making 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 on how it holds to water.
- Has a tight seal
- Quality wood exterior
- Easy to use
- Can be hard on your hands
- Difficult removing gasket for storage
- Requires lubrication out of the box
8. Ralix Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter w/ Compass & Whistle
Ideal for: Backup firestarter, bug-out-bag, beginner users
With the Ralix Survival Spark Fire Starter, you also get a mini compass and whistle. However, the additional accessories seem low in quality. As for 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
- Difficult in freezing temperatures
- Not designed ambidextrously
- No heavy duty handle
7. Gerber 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
- Heavier than it should be
- Too small storage compartment
- A tad bulky
6. Light my Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter
Ideal for: Casual backpacking, backup firestarter
This is designed to light fires under most weather conditions and altitudes, and it appears to do an adequate job of 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 grip.
- Provides a good amount of sparks
- Quality lanyard
- Makes quick fires
- Not the most comfortable
- Have to press hard to get a spark
- Ferro rod can wear fast
5. überleben Zünden Ferro Rod Fire Starter for Survival
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 ruler, bottle opener, map scale, concave-serrated tinder scraper, hex wrench, and straight-edge spine.
- Comfortable to hold
- Easy to control
- Throws a good deal of sparks
- Poor quality control
- 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 produce 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. You can also look at our best camping tents suggestions.
- 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 general amount of tinder
- Expensive replacement parts
- 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.
- Easily gripped
- Good amount of room for striking
- Fast fire starting
- Doesn’t throw a lot of sparks
- Could use a softer rod
- On the heavier side
1. The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Emergency Easy Grip 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
- Ball-chain can pull apart
- Requires a good deal of force
- Rod may become loose from the grip
The best firestarter for backpacking may vary depending on your needs, but in general, it is 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.