No matter how good you get at starting fires, if you don’t keep your fire starters and your tinder dry, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Luckily, many of the methods that are outlined above will work in just about any condition. Storm Matches, butane lighters, magnesium bars and fero rods; all of these are essentially waterproof fire starters. Unfortunately, other methods, like safety matches and friction based fires are completely dependent on dry tinder in order to work.
Never hamstring yourself into only having one way to start a fire. Even if you have “mastered how to start a friction fire, odds are when you need a fire fast, you won’t have the time you need or the right conditions to get your fire going and get warm before hypothermia sets in. You need to make sure that you have multiple methods (at least 3) of striking a fire and it is a huge advantage to keep dry tinder on hand, no matter what.
Your best bet is to create a waterproof fire kit that contains several methods to get a spark as well as a foolproof way to make sure that you have dry tinder when you need it.
It’s actually pretty simple (and cheap) to make one of these that is not only waterproof but fits in your pocket, and doesn’t stand out.
This kit is a great way to make sure that you have everything needed to start a fire when you need it. By using a little ingenuity knowhow, and a few materials that, by now, you should already have, you should be able to have one of these in your pocket and at the ready in as little as 10 minutes.
There are a few things you’re going to need in order to create your fire starting pocket kit.
- An Altoids tin
- Small cigarette lighter (BIC mini’s are my preferred choice)
- A book or two of matches. (If you don’t want to shell out any cash for these, you can usually pick them up free at restaurants and bars.)
- Small pocket knife (optional)
- Small fero rod or magnesium bar
- A few pieces of dryer lint
Now with your materials together what you’ll need to do is the following in order to put the kit together.
The first step is to line your tin box with the dryer lint. This provides a cushioning layer as well as a fire starting material for your kit. This will protect your matches, lighter, knife and magnesium match from bumping around too much and getting damaged in the tin box. Also the dryer lint can be removed from the fire starting kit and set on fire as a tender to get the fire started with at your campsite whenever you need to start a fire. It will also pull double duty to insulate your kit and reduce the amount of noise it produces when rattling around in your pocket or B.O.B.
Next, arrange your pocketknife, matches, and fero rod or magnesium bar into the tin so that they all lay flat. Be sure that you have a knife small enough to fit in the tin box. If you are using a firesteel or magbar that has its own striker, you can completely skip including the pocket knife.
But if there is room for it, you can never have too many knives on you. Now you want to add some more lint on top of your kit to add more tinder and insulation to it.
Close the tin up. It should fit tightly without bulging. If the tin bulges it will be more vulnerable to opening up and absorbing water. Now, you can either leave it as is and it will be fairly water resistant, or you can take it a step further by sealing the tin to make it water proof.
You can either use electrical tape or duct tape to seal the tin where it closes to insure the contents of your kit stay dry as a bone, or you could melt paraffin wax and brush or dip the tins seams with it to fully seal it. You now have a waterproof fire starting kit that you can carry in your pocket. This kit is a great compact, lightweight, cheap and efficient way to carry fire with you, no matter what. But this is only one way to waterproof your fire kit. There are plenty of others; you just need to choose what works best for you.