Sometimes when you are camping or hiking you are going to want or need something to build a fire. Whether it’s because you need the heat on a cooler night or just want to toast up some marshmallows there is a variety of reasons why you may need or what a fire starter. I am going to explain a few reasons why you should choose a magnesium fire starter instead of a typical box of matches or lighter. After that I will round up my personal favorite 3 magnesium fire starters. Let’s get started and choose the best magnesium fire starter for you!
The 3 Main Reason to Choose a Magnesium Fire Starter Over the More Common Alternatives
Longevity: Typically, all the magnesium fire starters I have used have a crazy amount of uses before they run out. For example, the SurvivalSPARK Emergency Magnesium Fire Starter has ability to strike 15,000 times. Yes, you read that right 15,000 uses! It provides so much value in comparison to a lighter or matches.
Value: Of course the longevity ties in with this. You can get often 10’s of thousands of uses with one of these magnesium fire starters, and there are usually priced within the $5-10 range. You will get at least 10x -100x the value versus buying a regular set of matches, that’s one of the main benefits. Not only that but the build quality and functionality of these fire starters is just leaps and bounds ahead of the other counterparts which are often made poorly.
Safer: While I can’t say for sure all magnesium fire starters being safer, the ones I will talk about below are miles and miles safer than carrying a lighter or a box of matches. They are usually enclosed when not being used and this prevents from an accidental fire from starting. It pretty much makes it impossible from happening which is a huge weight of my shoulders.
My Top 3
Let me start of by saying this fire starter is incredibly easy to use and creates sparks with absolutely no problem at all. They are typically sold in a pack of 3 which is great to give to a friend who may also be camping/hiking with you and it’s also great to have a spare if you did happen to lose one. They also come with a handy chain with can be easily attached to your keys or whatever you like.
The main thing to note about this magnesium fire starter is its durability. People have reported using them for years on end without any problems or issues. This is also backed up by the lifetime warranty of the product. Yes, a lifetime warranty! Not only does this cover you if you did happen to have an issue with the product but it shows that the manufacturer is confident in their product being consistent and reliable and there is no better vouch for a product than that!
The first thing you will notice about this SURVIVOR fire starter is most likely it’s form factor. This fire starter is around the same size or smaller than a typical pen. Of course this means it is very portable and can be easily attached to your keys for example without feeling overly bulky or annoying to carry around with you. It’s about 4 inches long and weighs in at about 1 ounce. It doesn’t feel heavy but still feels sturdy and well put together when you use it.
The whole unit is waterproof that insures you will get your fire started regardless of the weather. In regards to the build quality of this magnesium fire starter it is 2nd to none. It’s made from an aluminium, the same aluminium that aircraft are made from, if that doesn’t scream quality material I don’t know what will. Of course when you have the product in hand you will know it’s a well-made product. It feels premium and nicely built.
How it actually works is the pen can be separated into individual parts, these parts are a scraper (used to scrape the magnesium), the actual magnesium compartment, the striker and a handy part used to store a little cotton wool for help you get your fire started much more easily. Each of the pieces split off from each other making it more simple to handle and use. Even though it all comes apart rather easily when you do put it back together it’s a tight and snug fit, which seals to make it waterproof.
This fire starter is split into a couple of pieces which are attached to a lightweight but strong rope/string. The one thing that I love about this fire starter is its simplicity. The two pieces that it includes are the actual magnesium rod and the scraper which is particularly large which makes it more consistent with its use. Both of these are attached to the rope.
The endurance of this fire starter is incredible. The manufacturer SharpSurvival claim that it can last 15,000 strikes, so it’s really suitable to last for many years to come even if you need to use it frequently. Of course saying that its true is one thing but multiple people have reported using it for multiple years and it still is working as it was intended which is very impressive indeed!
The magnesium starter rod piece also has a built in compass and whistle which are some nice additional features if you do need them. As the compass included here is not of the greatest consistency I would recommend going for something like a compass watch which will give you a much more accurate reading. Check out my best compass watch article.
The best magnesium fire starter for me has to be the SURVIVOR X Magnesium Fire Starter. The main reason being its very compact form factor. I am mainly thinking for a hikers or camper’s perspective where you are carrying all your gear you want things to as lightweight and as portable as possible. This fire starter really allows for that due to its immense portability which I love.
I like its design and build quality everything is sealed away tightly when you aren’t using it. I also like how its split up into compartments which makes it more intuitive to use and there is space for everything you need including some cotton wool to act as a tinder for your next fire!
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