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Flint & Steel -

Ferrocerium Rods (Ferro Rods)

Kindling - Twigs, thin pieces of wood, pieces of dry bark, etc.

Tinder - Wood shavings, dry leaves, dry grass, dry pine needles, dryer lint, etc.

Fuel - Sticks, logs, gas, kerosene, oil, paraffin, alcohol, etc.

We're not going to try and convince you that a certain product, technique, or tool is the BEST or the ONLY tool you need. YOU have to decide this for yourself. There are certain things that we like for certain reasons. If those reasons change, then our choices change as well. So, let's get a quick run-down of what we use, why we like them, and stuff we did to alter these items.

I like having the ability to recharge an electronic lighter with solar, water power, wind power, or heat. That being said, there are a lot of fire tools that simply do not have this capability. The shortcoming of an electronic lighter is the short life of the battery. What we do is wrap a goodly length of duct tape (about 1"-1.5") at the lower part of the lighter. You only need a second or two to light some duct tape on fire and that fire is good for quite a while. We do this rather than killing our battery trying to keep it going without the duct tape. 

I also like having some flint/chert & steel as well as a ferrocerium rod and some charcloth. This doesn't mean that I am getting rid of my electronic lighter, these other choices are in addition to the electronic lighter. If you're going to scrimp on something make it something other than your fire-starting capabilities. The small size of fire-starting materials is well worth the security and comfort a good fire offers, as well as giving you plenty of options as to how you use that fire. 

Pencil sharpeners, especially metal pencil sharpeners are great for making tinder, and for situations where your only choice of tinder is wet twigs that have been rained on. Usually, the inner portions of the twigs are still dry, the problem is getting to that dry material. Pencil sharpeners are great for this purpose and their small size makes them ideal to hid a couple of them in different places in your gear.

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