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Best Overall: Weber FireStarters Light Cubes
The Lighter Cubes by Weber are the most cost effective and successful choice when it comes to getting a fire started, especially in the wilderness. You’ll get 24 cubes in the pack, 24 cubes that are odorless, nontoxic, and light even when wet. Take these along when camping in the backcountry or use them to start your grill at home. If you do take these into the backcountry, you will have to pack them individually as they come unwrapped, together in the package. The cubes are 1-square inch and burn for about 10 minutes.
Best Runner-Up: Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter
If you’re in need of a small, portable fire starter, the Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter is a compact rod and striker. The ferrocerium rod and metal striker fit into a small storage compartment (just less than five inches) that has enough space to also hold tinder. Both handles are sturdy enough to provide a solid grip even with larger hands. The tool has been tested to provide a spark for more than 8000 strikes. The kit also comes with a lanyard, emergency whistle, and a pocket survival guide.
Best Stick-Form: Coghlan's Waterproof Fire Sticks
Coghlans 12-Pack of waterproof fire sticks is ideal for starting fires in your fireplace, lighting up a grill and using outdoors. They are non-toxic, have no odor and are a safe addition to your emergency backpacking kit. These lightweight sticks are not individually wrapped, so store them in a watertight bag if you are taking them into the great outdoors.
Best Liquid Fire Starter: Rutland Products One Match Fire Starter
If you tend to use other liquids to get your fires going, try the Rutland One Match Fire Starter instead. Because this fire starter is a gelled alcohol, it eliminates any potentially dangerous flare ups from gas forms of fire starters. The gel is odor-free and smokeless and can be used for cooking, fire pits or campfires.
Best Windproof Lighter: Bernzomatic Zippo Matte Lighter
For an alternative to matches and strikers, use the all-metal Zippo Matte Lighter. The classic lighter is windproof and is available in a variety of matte colors that scratch less and show fewer fingerprints than their glossy counterparts. We recommend choosing a bright one in case you drop it in the woods. Colors include black, cream, green, yellow, blue, orange, pink, red, royal blue, and white. The compact lighter is 2.25 inches high, 1.5 inches wide, and .5 inches thick and the fluid is sold separately so be sure to stock up before your caught without it.
Best for Emergencies: Zippo Emergency Fire Starter
Stash the bright orange Zippo Emergency Fire Starter kit in your backpack or car, just in case. The small kit comes with a flint-wheel ignition and four water-resistant, waxed tinder sticks. For clumsy hands, the easy-to-spot case includes a water-resistant seal and also floats, which is ideal for multi-day rafting trips or lazy days on a boat.
Best Weather-Resistant Matches: UCO Stormproof Match Kit
The UCO Stormproof Match Kit contains 25 extra-long matches (2.75 inches), three strikers, and a waterproof case. Each match burns for up to 15 seconds, and will relight even after soaking wet. The case floats, and has an external and integrated striker for easy lighting. A great option to use when camping or backpacking, especially if rain is in the forecast. Case colors include dark green, bright orange, and yellow.
Best One-Handed Tool: Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch Fire Starter
For one-handed, quick operations, use the Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch Fire Starter. The tool uses a flint bar with a spring-loaded tungsten carbide striker. Press the button while pushing the flint against a hard surface, and sparks will fly. The flint bar rotates 360 degrees so that one side won’t wear out, even after multiple uses Providing up to 4,000 strikes this starter will be along for the long haul with it's waterproof case and durability.