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Sparkie fire starterOne of the most basic skills necessary to one’s survival is being able to start and keep a fire going.  Just ask Tom Hanks’ character in the movie “Castaway”.  Of course the simplest way is to stockpile matches and keep them in a waterproof, airtight container.  Just make sure you have some way to strike them.  Other methods include magnesium flint, magnifying glasses and even a 9 volt battery with steel wool.  This review doesn’t explain all the steps to making a fire, but simply identifies some sources you can use.

The Carson Magniflip 3X is a very handy, lightweight magnifying glass.  Its compact, light and nearly indestructible.  I purchased one for each of our bugout bags as well as a couple for around the house.  Just like when I was a kid, on a sunny day you can get a fire going with dry tinder.  But it only works in the daytime.

For starting a fire at night, you can use a magnesium flint, but perhaps the easiest is the Sparkie Fire Starter from Ulitmate Survival Technologies.  This gadget is small and weighs less than an ounce, but best of all can be operated with one hand.  Simply gather your tinder in a pile, place the tip of the starter on the tinder and press down on the handle.  Sparks fly out and downward onto the tinder.

Finally, you likely already have this fire starter in your home.  Take a 9 volt battery and fine steel wool.  Place the steel wool over the contact points of the battery and in seconds the steel wool will burst into flame, allowing you to then put it under your pile of tinder.  This is one reason why we are urged to be cautious when tossing 9 volt batteries in the trash.  They can ignite certain materials unexpectedly.  Who knew?