A classic scene from a great movie. And I bet if you are like me, each time we get our camp fire going, no matter if it was with super-dry tinder, truckloads of dry wood, and a Bic lighter, or you were rubbing two sticks together in wet desperation, you feel the same way. I have been known to, and often, repeat that quote.

There really is nothing better when camping or backpacking, or even in your own backyard, to have a toasty fire going. There is something in all of us that just loves a good fire.

The ability to make a fire when on the trail is a must. And for that, like water, you need to be able to have multiple ways to create fire.

As I’ve said before, always have a backup, to a backup, to a backup.

Whether I am hiking, camping, or backpacking, I always have the following with me, and all within a heavy-duty gallon freezer zip-lock bag:

  • Bic lighter
    • It’s the simplest method, and if its not wet, it still works, and sometimes even when it is wet, it works
    • This is in its own zip-lock bag within the big bag for added protection
  • 2nd Bic lighter (mini)
    • If the first one dies, I have a spare
    • Also in its own zip-lock bag
  • Waterproof matches
    • They are just like normal household matches, only waterproof!**
  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Magnifying glass
    • I have a miniature magnifying glass with me, built into a compass
    • This can be used on a sunny day to intensify the suns rays down to a single point and get hot enough to catch flame
  • Knowledge
    • If needed, and I cannot make a fire with either of the above two options, knowledge is key
    • My preferred method is the fire bow, I always have some paracord on me, and there are always sticks around, and this is the least-intensive method of starting a fire without the above supplies
    • This knowledge I keep in my head, and not in the gallon zip-lock freezer bag with everything else***

I also carry dry tinder around with me as well, in the same bag (a clump of dryer lint), just in case it is scarce when on the trail.

There are other ways to start a fire, such as a chemical fire, but, that would require the proper chemicals, and, I am no chemist… as proved by my blown-up mobile home while I was trying to get my crystal meth business off the ground.****


* That was a sad attempt at humor.
** More humor.
*** Alas, still more humor.
**** You guessed it! Even more humor! I am on a roll today!


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