This article is aimed at discussing the Best Firestarter Tool to your EDC and why it is important to ensure you have one in your EDC Kit. There are a number of options and several types that might suit some better than others. Deciding which type is best for you can only be determined with practice.
Each type of fire starter is described below and should help you understand the differences of each. Although flint and steel are the main tools generally used, there are certainly many others to consider.
Why Carry A Firestarter Tool
A question I often find myself mulling over is: Where does the evolution of EDC take us? Does the world dictate what we carry or do we? Do the threats we face, and the requirements of our jobs drive us to carry more? There is also something to be said about geographic location.
The idea of an EDC firestarter might seem foolish to people in cities, or maybe not. Maybe having something like this on your person gives you a sense of preparedness. At the end of the day we rely on our EDC to provide us with that peace of mind. Otherwise what’s the point!?
Fire Starting Theory
Only through failing a lot, with fire, have I really come to understand the essential parts and pieces of a fire. In the world of survival videos and tv there is such an emphasis put on spark and tinder that the rest of the equation is often left out altogether. Or, it is such a side note that people don’t think it as much a challenge.
The truth is, there are 7 Essential Considerations For Every Fire You Make. Each deserves as much time and effort as you can muster.
A hard, dry surface to build your fire on.
Any type of spark that can be used in conjunction with tinder to create a flame.
When you add kindling to your small fire you must keep air flowing or the fire will quickly be smothered.
Pencil sized sticks that are collected before your spark and tinder are combined. These sticks will help grow your small fire.
Wait until you have built a nice flame that is taller than the kindling stacked on your fire. Only at this point should start to carefully add fuel.
The split wood you will use to sustain your fire. Gather 3x the amount you think you will need. Searching for wood in the dark is no fun.
What’s The Best Firestarter Tool To Carry?
Of course, the question comes down to: ‘What Firestarter should I carry?’ There are a number of answers. While I think this could be very personal, I would still like to give you an idea of what’s out there. Some are more common sense than others, but they will all get you fire when you need it.
The simplest way to generate a small flame is with a lighter. Now, that is only one part of the process above. Usually you use tinder and a spark to create that first flame but here you get spark and fire from a small electric current. While that small flame is easy to produce you still need good fuel and airflow as well as a bunch of kindling to keep that fire going.
Matches are a great method for starting fire. There are paper matches and wooden matches. There are also matches that have been coated to be waterproof. They will all give you a flame. Again, the flame is just one part of the fire but it’s a good start.
From an EDC point of view matches are small and inconspicuous. Like a lighter, it’s a very common item that wont raise eyebrows.
Flint And Steel
The flint and steel is a very different tool than a ferro rod. These two are often confused and some refer to the ferro rod as a flint but it is incorrect. A flint and steel is just that. It is one piece of striking steel. It is not an alloy like the ferro. This steel often fits in your hand in a way that will help it strike the flint more effectively.
The flint is naturally occurring rock that can be found all around the nation. That’s it. It’s a rock. It produces a small spark, nothing like a ferro rod but when used in conjunction with char cloth it can be very effective. The spark comes from the sharpness and hardness of the flint. The flint will scrape a shaving of steel from your striker and as it oxidizes it becomes a spark.
To understand the flint and steel you have to understand charcloth. This is a piece of cloth that is literally cooked inside of a metal container, in an open fire. You could use a piece of your shirt or handkerchief, place it in an Altoids can and toss the whole thing into a fire. The cloth inside will turn black after about 10-15 mins depending on its size. You will be left with a piece of cloth that can catch a single spark and hold onto it. This ember can be dropped into your tinder bundle and brought to life with some breathing.
It might sound complicated but its actually very simple to get the spark if you have quality charcloth.
Ferro rods, or ferrocerium rods, are a metal alloy that is designed to create sparks when scarped with steel or other metals. It is a synthetic alloy and is used in many applications outside of getting the campfire going.
These rods are perhaps the most sustainable method for starting fire because, if you know what you are doing, a little goes a long way. The ferro rod will shower sparks when struck and I find that thicker and longer rods are the best to have on hand for this. While sparks are great, you need to have good tinder to catch those sparks and turn them into fire.
My recommendation is dryer lint. Yeah. Don’t throw this stuff away its great to feed the ferro rods sparks.Try the Exotac nanoStriker XL Striker for your Everyday Carry.
The Best Firestarter Tool For EDC Conclusion
There are two types of people who are going to benefit from making a fire starting tool part of their EDC. The first will be the person who lives in a rural area or an area where a true disaster could mean overnighting in the woods on the way home. If your get home process requires a fire and a night out, you should have a firestarter in your Get Home Bag or in your EDC.
The second type of person who would benefit from the best Firestarter tool in their EDC is someone who is practicing to perfect their fire making skills. This is because fire starting gets easier with practice. It will also give you the ability to cycle through various fire-starting methods and get to know your tools better than if you just bought one and threw it in your bag.