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Know How: Carry These No-Fail Fire-Starters

Know How: Carry These No-Fail Fire-Starters

The last thing you need is another writer telling you that dryer lint with a little candle wax can get an emergency fire going, or that pine pitch is a natural fire-starter. Such things are interesting, but if you’re lost and cold and will have to spend the night out there, looking for a bird’s nest for tinder means you put yourself in a preventable survival situation. Unless you’re starring in an episode of Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid,” you shouldn’t have to use such skills.

What you should do is carry a few foolproof essentials. Keep your fire kit light, so you won’t be tempted to leave it behind. Use a Ziploc bag or small waterproof container to carry these four things with your emergency medical kit:

1. Fire-starting material, such as the nuggets or sticks sold to start wood-burning fireplaces. Recommendation: Lightnin' Bug.

2. Butane lighter and waterproof matches. Recommendations: Kilpp Lighter, Survival Matches.

3. Small candle—its flickering light will give you peace of mind, and it keeps burning and burning even if your tinder is too wet to give you a fire. Recommendation: 9-Hour Candle.

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