The wilderness survival gurus often talk about starting a fire by primitive methods. Bow and drill, ferro rods, striking a flint etc… are some of the primitive methods to start a fire. While it is good to know these skills, and I do carry ferro rods, starting a fire that way is my last resort, not my first. Lighters are my go to. I have one in my kit, one in the pocket of my pants, one in the pocket of my jacket (each layer of clothing with a pocket has a lighter in it), one on my primary knife sheath, and usually one around my neck.

Considering if one were in a survival situation, the weather conditions would usually by pretty adverse. Trying to prepare a tinder bundle and getting a red hot cherry burning from friction when you maybe injured and nearing hypothermia is not winning. Along with my lighters, I have rubber inner tube strips. That guarantees a fire. But I have added, what I consider the best method yet, an emergency road flares.

They come in 5 minute, 15-20 minute, and 30 minute varieties. They burn hot, they don’t go out in the rain, and they are wind proof. They are cheap and plentiful. They work the same way as striking a match. They come with a protective cover on the area you have to strike to initiate the burn. They can also act as protection against wild animals, and as a signaling device. Save the bushcraft primitive fire stuff for the TV survival shows or if you want to impress someone in perfect weather. Put some flares in your kit if you really want to survive a wilderness emergency.

Here are some videos of them in action.

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