In this article I intend to introduce you to the best devices that you can use to start a fire outdoors. The devices covered in this article are zippo lighters, a magnesium fire starter and waterproof matches.
A Zippo is a great device, as if you smoke chances are that you have one. They are cheap and they are easy to come buy, they are sold at every gas station, or seven eleven. Even though zippos are easy to come by they are not the best devices for lighting a fire outdoors. They are better and quicker than rubbing two wooden sticks together to get a spark, but zippos are pretty risky. They don't work if they get wet, but on the other hand they are windproof, and they are very easy to use.
The biggest upside to them is that they work well in windy conditions. Unfortunately they work with fuel that not only evaporates as time goes on, but it is unbeleiveably hard to find and refill in nature.
Aluminum Fire Starter
An aluminium fire starter is my favorite device for starting a fire outdoors. It works by scraping off little aluminium pieces off a rod, and then lighting it on fire with a spark. The spark can be induced by scratching the blade of your survival knife or swiss knife to a piece of metal on the side of the aluminium rod.
The aluminium pieces burn eight times hotter than normal fire made of wood, so you can start a fire with aluminium in more difficult conditions. Aluminium firestarter can be used with propane or gas grills. The best aluminium firestarters have a carbon steel blade attached to them so that you don't need to use your own knife. The best ones also come with a leather stray so you can clear the aluminium pieces off your blade.
The only negative to a firestarter is that you have to practice it a few times before you can use it properly. The trick is to hold the rod in a 45 degree angle when you slide the blade, and apply enough pressure with the blade so that you can induce sparks. This device is harder to use than a zippo or a match, but it can be learned with a bit of practice.
The problem with matches is that they become useless if they get wet. However you can make matches waterproof with an easy trick. All you need is a candle. You have to light the candle, wait for a few minutes. You have to cover the head of the match in the wax, which will provide a waterpoof cover layer for your matches. If you want to use the match just remove the wax, and scratch it to a surface, and you have a fire.