LightingOutdoor Picks

The Best Firestarter For Backpacking — OUR 6 BEST PICKS!

Have you ever wondered how a simple firestarter for backpacking opens a countless of possibilities and that includes your chances of survival out in the open woods? A Top-notch and best quality firestarter for backpacking is something to have especially if you are camping or backpacking far from home. We can agree that there are a variety of firestarter products that are readily available on the market. But what makes them so unique and worth buying?

Because the reality is, not all products are equally created. There will be instances that the product you will end up buying is the wrong one which is likely to happen. That said, it’s time to reconsider your selection process by carefully choosing the best firestarter for backpacking.

Fortunately for you, dear reader, you have come to the right place. Because we have listed some of the excellent firestarters that you can have for a fair price yet able to withstand extreme conditions. So better check them out by scrolling down and don’t forget to read it until the end for more content and additional knowledge!

Mag strike

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Gerber Bear Grylls
Fire Starter
Ferro Rod

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Fire-Fast Trekker
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Ferro Rod

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Survival Frog
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Granulated Check Price

The Best Firestarter For Backpacking — OUR 6 BEST PICKS!

OUR TOP PICK: Zippo Firestarter

Product Name: Zippo Firestarter

Product Description: Our overall best pick for this product listing is the Zippo Firestarter. Nothing beats a firestarter that has multiple functions in just a single, small device. Because this product has an ignition system and a water-resistant fuel packed into one package. Seasoned campers and other outdoorsmen have been recommending this because of its performance and the material is well made. This is specifically designed to save the day where the source of ignition seems difficult. The Zippo Firestarter is well crafted with an ergonomic design. This means it's made from reusable ABS plastic with an integrated texture grip allowing you to hold this even in the toughest conditions. In addition, this also has a tinder compartment to protect from any elements and for easy storage. This is also portable and easy to carry due to the lanyard hole where you can attach this simple to your backpack or carry it around your neck.

Offer price: $$$

Availability: InStock

  • Sturdiness
  • Weatherproofnes
  • Durability
  • Value for Money


Moreover, this product is water-resistant also and has a waterproof seal to prevent moisture build-up and to keep dry. Also, the spark of this is effective, with just a strike on the flint wheel, it will create a spark quickly. This can hold up to 1,700 sparks even in any weather conditions.

All in all, by far this is our best firestarter or backpacking. Because it serves multiple functions and has safety features to ensure safe ignition. Also, the flint wheel is replaceable, so no need to replace the whole kit. We like the compact design and the sturdiness of the kit.


Made from reusable ABS material
Ergonomic design


Relatively expensive


Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

firestarter for backpacking

Bear Grylls needs no introduction because he’s a well-known survivalist and a hardcore outdoor enthusiast which regularly appears on Man vs. Wild on Discovery Channel. As you can observe, his gears are incredible and of high quality.

Although there’s a particular product that needs also attention and that is the Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter. It looks promising and has a knack for quality. is it worth it? Let’s see.

This firestarter has a combination of a metal striker and a Ferrocerium rod. Its strike limit is impressive that boasts up to 8000 plus strikes.

The size is somewhat small and compact yet delivers an amazing capability and proves to be useful when tested outdoors. In addition, this includes a waterproof storage compartment which makes this suitable for any weather conditions. The kit has added features such as a rod, a starter, and an emergency survival guide.

The case is made from sturdy material which is anodized aluminum. This will keep it from corroding or rusting. The ferrocerium rod is not difficult to hold even when you have gloves. A single strike of this will effectively produce plenty of hot sparks.

Why buy this? Just like in the advertisement, what you see is what you get. And that’s the beauty of it. If you want to ensure your great chances of survival, then this is probably your go-to. That’s why it’s among our best firestarter for backpacking.

  • Includes emergency whistle and lanyard
  • Very affordable
  • Waterproof
  • Made from sturdy materials
  • None so far

Fire-Fast Trekker Fire Starter

firestarter for backpacking

Another product that is superb when it comes to convenience is the Fire-Fast Trekker fire starter. The main difference between this and any type of Ferro rod and magnesium bar combinations.

We think that this is the best firestarter for backpacking in terms of convenience and overall performance.

Made for extreme outdoor due to its high quality and sturdy materials. This product is a worthwhile investment. Never belittle this small powerful device.

The Fire-Fast Trekker uses authentic Austrian ferrocerium blended with superior technology and well-crafted design, this is suitable for outdoor activities.

Carefully sourced which makes this precious. In addition, it’s military-grade which is made from superior materials that even in extremely harsh conditions, you will have no problem igniting this. As a result, this can easily ignite with ease.

There’s also another feature that’s worth noting, and it’s the hardwood handle. The handle has a natural and tight grip even in the dead winter, which is very vital especially if it’s an emergency.

Moreover, the scraper/striker is hardened steel which creates sparks, not to mention the 550-pound paracord that makes the striker closer at hand.

All in all, although it has few drawbacks such as the size and the weight, it still has the best features and convenience. The quality is decent enough and sturdy which is built to last. The handle has a nice grip which is another plus for this product.

  • Authentic Austrian ferrocerium
  • Sturdy hardwood handle
  • Convenient
  • Ferro rod and magnesium bar are not replaceable

überlebenZünden Firestarter

The überlebenZünden Firestarter boasts its strike limit from 12000 to 20000 which is greater than other firestarters in the market. Nothing compares to finely blended Sanft -Korr Ferrocerium rods and blends with durable construction.

Apart from that, the handle is ergonomically handmade made from a well-crafted hardwood handle. This Ferro rod-type firestarter will make sure to the user that it will last long. Nonetheless, it has a striking balance between quality and affordability.

As you can see, the handle is carefully handcrafted for optimal ergonomic. Not only that, it’s made from hardwood which is pretty sturdy. It has a natural grip and it won’t slip the moment you use this. In addition, it has the best ferro blend.

That said, it has an excellent equilibrium between durability and softness. This also has more consistency when struck compared to other products. Effortlessly throws a 3,000 degree celsius of molten sparks regardless of the altitude and the weather.

What’s more notable about this is the multiple size option which lets you choose your preferred size. This fire starter comes with a paracord lanyard suited for neck carrying.

It features waterproof material which can withstand any weather. Moreover, this also has a map scale, hex wrench, micro ruler, and a bottle opener.

Also, it has an effective strike which makes fire quickly. Another thing, it has extra features which are extremely useful, especially in any backpacking trip.

All in all, every firestarter has its own distinctive features. What makes this distinctive is the ergonomic handle which has a feel of the natural grip.

  • The product is heavy-duty
  • Made from high-quality materials which are built to last Ergonomic handle
  • Has extra features
  • Not suitable for amateur outdoors folk but specifically marketed for professionals and seasoned outdoorsman

Survival Frog Firestarter

firestarter for backpacking

The Survival Frog firestarter is another powerful device that you can count on especially for your excursion trip in the far-flung areas where the source of ignition. It the reason why we include this among the best firestarter for backpacking.

We know how hard it is to prepare a campfire let alone igniting it. That’s why this small lighter yet powerful and heavy-duty will light your way when needed the most. Try and be amazed at what this product has to offer.

One push of a button and it will ignite excellently. What’s more interesting is that this does not require fuel but it’s run by electricity which is rechargeable, and its charging time is about 2 hours.

It’s not just any lighter but “the” lighter that works effortlessly both in windy and rainy conditions. It doesn’t need butane or any adjustments for altitude. It includes a safety latch and the plastic casing is sturdy enough not to let you down.

In addition, the Survival Frog firestarter can be used 300 times per charge and has a safety that has safety time out that’s up to 10 seconds. There’s also a flashlight on the bottom with three settings, an emergency whistle, and a para tinder lanyard for quick ignition.

Why buy this is actually not the question that should be asked with this product. It should be, why don’t you buy this? It highlights impressive features and the sheer size of this is unbelievable due to its capability. The warranty is three years and it’s rechargeable. It’s definitely worth buying.

  • Rechargeable and don’t require any butane Includes flashlight with three settings (low, high, strobe)
  • None so far

Insta-Fire Firestarter

firestarter for backpacking

So you are still not content with what you are searching for? Our last but not the least product maybe is what you are looking for. It’s the Insta-Fire Granulated Fire Starter. This will ensure that it will ignite and light that’s capable of about 13 meters per second.

Camp whatever weather conditions you and this will directly burn on the surface of water such as snow, ice, sleet, or even on water, it even works with wood that’s wet that’s even hard to light.

You will be surprised that this granulated fire-starter has excluded any harmful chemicals compared to fuel-based or cubes lighters.

Because this lighter is recycled volcanic rock, wood, with special and new patented paraffin wax that’s food grade. The ashes can be a natural fertilizer. On top of that, no starters or lighter fluids needed. It’s pretty convenient.

Among the notable aspect of this is the 30 years shelf life which is impressive and built for outdoor trips with the extreme weather condition. In addition to that, these firestarter and convenient although they require spark from external source.

Guaranteed that there will be no expected fires, only when it’s needed.

All in all, the Insta-Fire fire starter is great for your ultimate outdoor trips. It’s non-volatile which is safe to store and transport. Although the only downside of this is the price, but it’s well worth it and among the best firestarter for backpacking.

  • Feature 30 years of shelf life
  • Non-volatile
  • Made from recycled wood
  • Naturally insulated
  • Price point is a bit high for the product

What To Look For When Buying The Best Firestarter For Backpacking?

Man Starts A Fire With Magnesium Steel

When choosing the best firestarter for backpacking, there are important factors to consider. This is to ensure that your ideal product will have an impressive performance and will guide you even in the toughest weather condition. Obviously, the best firestarter should have decent quality.

Although, it’s easy to say that the products are high quality according to manufacturers. But what makes really a firestarter the best?

Good thing for you, reader, you don’t need to scour over and determine the ideal product for you. Because we have already listed some of the important factors that make the firestarter worth buying. Scroll over and see them below.


If you are going to bring a backpacking stove, then it’s suitable that your firestarter is compatible. Among the preferable firestarter, types are the bow drill or a fire piston. One of them is the Survival Frog Firestarter. That said, the keyword here is compatibility.

So, if you are going to choose a firestarter, make sure it’s compatible with your outdoor activity let alone backpacking. It’s always best to consider what’s appropriate.

Good thing that we have featured the products that are appropriate to whatever outdoor activity you are in. If you are still unsure, it’s best to know what type of light source you are going to have ( camping stove, campfire, etc.).

Ease of Use

Outdoor activities such as camping, trailing, backpacking, and others seem difficult and rough but exciting. Although even if there are some difficulties in these outdoor activities, there are certain ways on how to make your life easier, especially if you are just a beginner outdoorsman and learning how to use a firestarter.

That said, what you need to look for when buying a firestarter is ease of use. Because no one wants to have any camping gear that’s complicated to use in which it will only backfire to you by having difficulty in your outdoor activity when you can just enjoy and relax.

The ease of use factor is important, especially for beginners. In addition, it should not take up space and weigh heavy.


Almost all firestarters are competing for the best portability. It’s because when you are outdoor, one of the most important things to have is to have a light load. Granulated firestarters are a better option. In addition, sticks and wooden logs usually packed in bulk, although they can be store in waterproof tinder containers.

However, these may not be your ideal option if you are going to a far-flung area. But they are your best choice for outdoor barbecues and cook-offs. You may want to lighten up your load by choosing lightweight and compact firestarters. Some of those you can find on our product featured products.

Size and Weight

As you observe, we have always highlighted the word lightweight because it’s what backpackers need to have. The fact that every ounce counts in outdoor activities. So if you are going to choose natural firewood as a firestarter, then your outdoor trip should not be long but short. But, if you are going for longer outdoor trips, better to consider the size and weight of the firestarter.

Size and weight matter and it’s among the important factor that needs consideration. So, finding a middle ground with appropriate weight and size is crucial in getting the right product. too big is difficult and adds extra baggage to your overall load; too small may seem impossible to handle.

Waterproofness and Durability

After all, you are going for an outdoor trip. That said, choosing the best firestarter for backpacking should have extra features that bring sturdiness and built to last. Because backpacking and any other outdoor activities include unpredictable weather.

There will come a day that the sun is out; there are days that downpour is within the area. Better be prepared with the right camping gear than having a gear that lacks features.

With that in mind, you may want to consider the waterproof and durability features. Much better if the materials of the firestarter are sturdy and have a waterproof seal. In regards to wood or granulated firestarters, it should create many sparks even in the toughest weather conditions.


Every outdoor enthusiast will always look for decent quality, durability, and has an average of thousands of strikes when used. But most of all, they are looking for affordability. If affordability plus the other features don’t strike a balance, then it’s not worth buying.

That’s why finding a common ground between those features will make sure that the firestarter you are going to buy is worthwhile.

If you want some affordable yet gives an impressive performance, you can refer to our firestarters above. Keep in mind that skimping on a firestarter is a bad idea because it will do you more harm than good. Although a price can reflect the quality sometimes it’s not. So be sure to be watchful of the product.

Combustion Period

Or in other words, how long the embers or fires last, and this factor should be taken into consideration given that the basic function of firestarter is to start a fire effectively and properly so that your campfire or whatever type of thing you want to light, would be ignited by a firestarter.

Take note that the longer it lasts, the less time you would do it all over again. The fact that it can be tedious if it’s repeatedly done.

Also, it can consume your precious energy in just trying to rekindling the embers. After all, it’s such a waste of money if you have bought a defective firestarter.

Additional Features

Although it’s not that important, but as a camper or backpacker you need camping gear that has extra features making sure they are fully maximized.

It’s not enough to have just a firestarter, although it’s what you basically need, but if it lacks additional features, it may not be as reliable as it would be. Some of those additional features include a micro ruler, lanyard, and others else.

These additional features will make sure the chances of your survival are high and you can be more resourceful with a firestarter that has extra features. That said, taking this into consideration is vital.

Benefits of Using Firestarters for backpacking

Using a firestarter for backpacking is an excellent idea. Most of those products are designed for outdoor trips and able to withstand even the toughest weather conditions.

Also, this small and compact outdoor device is extremely useful, given the fact that it’s hard to create a light source especially if you are in a remote area where there are no means of ignition. The only thing you have is your firestarter.

That being said, what are the benefits of these firestarters? We have listed them below.

Emergency Preparedness

Fire is essential in outdoor. You can do tons of stuff with fire such as cooking, light source, emergency signal, and others. Without fire, you are exposing yourself to danger and missed opportunities. That’s why the benefits of firestarter are for emergency preparedness.

Because you never know what might happen outdoor and it’s better to be prepared. Having a firestarter is beneficial with regard to emergency preparedness.


Among the best thing to have while in camping is a fire. It’s the centerpiece of your camping area where people gathered and be amazed by the fire.

Not only that, a campfire has been used since the dawn of man for comfort. Besides that, it gives warmth, especially in the cold weather.

That’s why having the best firestarter will guarantee your comfort and you won’t any trouble with ignition which is the most difficult thing to do when starting to light a fire.

The Types Of Firestarters For Backpacking

Nowadays, there are various types of firestarters you can buy on the market which is a huge convenience the fact that it will give you more options that might suit you. Below are the common types of firestarters.

Ferrocerium Rods

Is a blend of rare earth metals which is the outcome of a strong fire steel. These firestarters are commonly in block form or Ferro rod. Quality ferrocerium rods will give you about 8,000 to 15,000 strikes.

These are often used by seasoned and experienced hikers because of their durability and often withstand even the toughest weather conditions. Among the best examples for this is the Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter.


When we are talking about the matches, it’s not the ordinary matches but a heavy duty camping matches that is able to ignite even in the toughest weather conditions. Although the downside with this is that it can easily run out compared to other firestarters due to limited capacity, that is depending on how frequently you use the camping match.

Granulated Firestarter

This type of firestarter, as the name suggests, is in granulated form. One of the best advantages of this is that the material used in these are often eco-friendly and even its ashes can be used as fertilizer. Not only that, among the strong suit of this is that it’s applicable to any weather conditions be it snow, water, ice, sleet, and can even sustain the winds that measure up to 30 miles per hour. Among the fine example for this is the Insta-Fire Granulated Firestarter.


Lighters are a popular type of firestarters. Products like the Zippo Firestarter, are more convenient. Also, the Survival Frog lighter is more economical and doesn’t use butane which is eco-friendly. That said, lighters have many variations but in general, they are easy to ignite because of this flint-based method.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How long typically Is The Shelf Life Of These Products?

A: There’s no definite answer. Although, it actually depends on what kind of firestarters. Generally, firestarters are built to last considering these products are made from sturdy materials or design to withstand even the toughest condition.

However, some firestarters like the wood can reduce its longevity when exposing to other chemicals, moisture, improper storage, and other elements that could affect its effectiveness. But flint-based and lighters usually last long until the rod becomes thin.

Better read the manual guide as there are some tips on how to properly store the firestarter to maximize its longevity.

Q: How Can I Tell That A Firestarter Kit Is Reliable?

A: Among the things you can tell is mainly the quality of the materials. The best firestarter for backpacking is durable and waterproof. For a Ferro rod and a Flint-based lighter, it should last thousands of strikes before it is worn out.

For natural wood, it should able to withstand extreme weather conditions. You can also refer to our buying guide for you to figure out what makes the firestarter reliable.

Q: What are the two most effective items to have in your kit for fire starting?

A: Among the suitable choice for a firestarter for camping, backpacking and other sorts of outdoor activities are weatherproof and durable. Such firestarters that outdoor enthusiasts choose are the combination of Ferro rod and magnesium bar combination. These are extremely useful especially for surviving outdoor.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best firestarter for backpacking can be a bit difficult because there are tons of products that are widely available on the market but the only question is quality-wise and performance-wise. Good thing that we have laid out what we think the best firestarter to offer. These are tried and tested and we also gathered informed opinions from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts which makes our product listings a definitive choice for you.

That being said, we hoped that we have catered the best product for you so you won’t have any problem when you are going on an excursion trip be it backpacking, camping, and other else.