We all understand the importance of fire in a survival situation. Apart from the warmth they provide, you have the ability to cook your food, sanitize your water, and dry wet clothing.
Perhaps equally important is the mental health aspect a fire provides. Few skills are more important than the ability to build a fire in an emergency situation.
Getting a fire started is made so much easier by having good tinder which will take a spark and help you on your way to a roaring camp fire in the shortest possible time.
In the money making world that we live in, it will come as no surprise that there are a number of commercial tinders available. These can be purchased packaged and ready to be put into your Bug Out Bag should their usage ever be required.
Here are some of the commercial tinders available and some important information about each one:
This is very portable tinder. We all know and appreciate the many uses of 550 parachute cord (known as “paracord”). Firecord is paracord with an 8th inner strand that can be used to take a spark.
Firecord can be used as regular paracord for all your cordage requirements, but when the need for fire arises, simply remove the inner strand, pull it apart, fluff it up and it is ready to take the spark from a fire steel or the flame from a lighter etc.
This tinder is also waterproof, so it is going to be a great fire lighting choice if you are setting up camp and find yourself in an unexpected downpour.
Advantages of Firecord include its portability – you could use it for a paracord bracelet etc and it will take up very little space in your kit
Disadvantage of Firecord is that it can be quite a fiddly task to remove the inner strand of tinder, particularly if you are in a rush to get a fire going.
Fire Dragon Solid Fuel Blocks
These are individually packaged blocks of fuel (tinder) that are one of the simplest tinders to use. All you have to do is open the packet and place your fuel block onto something that will be the base of your fire.
Give it a spark and it will light and burn long enough for you to build a fire over. This will be the best choice for a fire used to cook food due to it being odorless. It is also safe to package and carry with food.
Advantages of Fire Dragon Fuel include that they burn for around eight minutes and they are odorless. They are also environmentally friendly, as they are nontoxic and they could be used as hand sanitizer if melted – as they are made of natural ingredients.
Disadvantages of Fire Dragon Fuel include that this tinder can work out expensive if you light a lot of fires. Each pack contains six blocks so your supply may need replenishing fairly frequently.
Light My Fire Maya Dust
This is made from a fatwood pine and covered in resin to light easily. It comes in a waterproof tin that will fit nicely into a side pocket of a backpack. To use – place into a bundle and light.
Advantages of Light My Fire Maya Dust include lightweight and very easy to transport.
Disadvantages of Light My Fire Maya Dust is that it does not take a spark easily. If you have a lighter on hand, you will likely get a fire going (providing you use quite a big bundle of the dust). However if trying to light with a striker, you will need plenty of time and luck!
EOG “Baddest Bee” Fire Fuses
This weatherproof tinder takes a spark easily and when lit will produce a flame of 7-9cm which will continue to burn for up to 10 minutes. As with the other tinders, they are waterproof and will take a spark during wet conditions.
To use, simply drop one of the fuses into a bundle of natural tinder and give it a spark.
Advantages of Baddest Bee Fire Fuses include being very easy to carry – they come in small plastic containers of 8 fuses, the burn time (up to 10 minutes) and size of flame (7-9cm) are also big advantages.
Disadvantages of Baddest Bee Fire Fuses include cost – although they are fairly cheap to buy, the fact you only get 8 fuses means you may use them up fairly quickly. Another negative is that you will need other tinder to increase the size of your fire. As the fuses are so small you will need to drop one into a larger tinder bundle which will be lit by the fuse itself which you can then use as a starting point for your fire.