Build A Guaranteed Fire Kit

Spring’s a comin’ and many of you are reorganizing your gear and kits for warm weather on the horizon.  I’ve written posts before about Survival Fire Kits but I’ve never listed suggested contents in detail.  In this post I’d like to share with you what I call a Guaranteed Fire Survival Kit.  When it comes to fire, I don’t screw around. I want guaranteed fire and I want multiple options to get it – no matter what The Mutha’ might throw at me.  This is my current fire kit and one that I believe is fairly thorough.  I’ve also listed the exact contents just in case you want to build your own or modify your existing fire kit.  The fully assembled kits are also available for those who may be looking for a turn-key solution: Creek’s Guaranteed Fire Kit


Below is a description of my Guaranteed Survival Fire Kit contents:

  • QTY 1: Maxpedition EDC Pocket: The entire kit is packed in the Maxpedition EDC pocket. I love Maxpedition gear and this is a great little kit. It’s a 5″x7″x.75″ clam shell MOLLE compatible case with tons on interior storage pockets and loops for all kinds of fire implements. It’s made from 105-denier water and abrasion resistant ballistic nylon fabric and is built like a little tank. It makes for a great packable fire kit container. It’s also triple polyurethane treated for water resistance and has taped interior seams.
  • QTY 1: Char Cloth Tin: This is a 2 5/16″ x 3 11/16″ x 13/16″ metal tin (Altoids size) with a hole punched in the lid. 100% natural fabrics like cotton can be made into Char Cloth, which is an outstanding fire starting material. When you have a fire, it’s important to plan for future fires. This tin allows you to make Char Cloth and plan for future fires. See my article here about how to make char cloth: CREEK SHOWS HOW TO MAKE CHAR CLOTH
  • QTY 25: 2″x2″ 100% Cotton fabric squares. These can be used to make char cloth using the tin above. These are sealed in a water-proof resealable bag.
  • QTY 4: Tinder Quik Fire Tinder: These are a compressed, cotton based, fuel impregnated fire tinder. They are also waterproof. Each of these will light with just a spark and will burn for a solid 2 minutes!
  • QTY 15: UCO Survival Matches: These storm proof matches come in a sealed reusable plastic waterproof match case with 2 replaceable strikers. Each match will burn for 12 seconds. These are like matches on STEROIDS! They are also wind and waterproof!
  • QTY 1: 9-Hour Candle: Whether using this candle to dry fire tinder or shaving off the wax to be used as a fuel extender, this is an often overlooked piece of fire kit. This sucker will burn for 9 hours!
  • QTY 1: Light My Fire Mini Fire Steel: Light My Fire Firesteels are my favorite. They are made in Sweden and are a really great piece of kit. This one is good for 1500 strikes and produces sparks that burn up to 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is without a doubt one of the best fire starting tools on the market. It is small, compact and effective. It will great sparks in virtually any weather condition on Planet Earth.
  • QTY 6: FireStix: These compressed fiber and wax impregnated sticks will light instantly with flame or sparks. They will ignite even when wet and are odorless. Great source of kindling in a pinch.
  • QTY 2: Fatwood Sticks: This all natural fire starter is one of the best I’ve used. These are harvested from stumps of pine (fatwood) from the highlands of Mexico. With their 80% pine resin content, these little guys are extremely easy to light and work even when wet. These burn long and hot and will light about any fire you can imagine. They ignite with spark or flame – must shave into shavings to ignite with sparks.
  • QTY 2: 6″ length of Jute Twine: These pieces of Jute serve as the lanyard for the Fatwood Sticks. Jute is one of the best natural firestarting tinders on Planet Earth. Buff up one of these 6″ Jute lengths to make an instant tinder bundle. Invaluable fire-starter! Will ignite almost instantly with sparks!
  • QTY 2: WETFIRE CUBES: This is a man-made fire starting tinder that will ignite even while floating in water – I’ve done it on national television! One cube can burn up to six minutes. I’ve even used one of these cubes with my Esbit Stove before to make Ramen Noodles.
  • QTY 1: Solar Fresnel Lens: The sun comes up every day and no fire kit would be complete without at least 1 solar fire starting tool. I’ve used these little fresnel magnifiers to start fires countless times. They are lightweight and easy to use. Use it on char cloth, deer poop, punky wood, tinder fungus or any other fire tinder that will smolder. These will not produce flame. You’ll need to create an ember and blow it into flame using a tinder bundle (like the JUTE TWINE).
  • QTY 1: Punky Wood: I’ve hand gathered this punky wood from the forest here at Willow Haven Outdoor. This can be used to create a BIG FAT EMBER with the Fresnel Lens listed above.
  • QTY 3: Cotton Discs: These cotton pads (make-up removal pads) are perfect for catching a spark or mixing with chap stick, petroleum jelly or pine sap to create a long burning fire tinder.
  • QTY 1: Steel Wool: Steel wool is another one of those amazing fire tinders. It will smolder with just sparks and burns VERY hot. Use this to blow a tinder bundle into flame. This will ignite even after being dipped in water!
  • QTY 1: 6″x11″x3″ 5 MIL Barrier Pouch: This heavy duty resealable pouch can be used to keep extra tinder dry or to store more fire starting tools. I can also be used as a water container as well.
  • QTY 3: 4″x6″x2″ 5 MIL Barrier Pouch: These heavy duty resealable pouches are a perfect added layer of water proof protection for water sensitive fire materials such as cotton disks and punky wood.
  • QTY 1: Disposable lighter: Uses are obvious
  • QTY 1: Carmex Lip Balm:  This can be mixed with tinder fibers (Jute/Cotton) to make the flame burn much longer – also known as a fire extender. Click here to read about how I make PET BALLS: Creek’s PET BALL Recipe

Hope you’ve found something here that’s useful.  Your turn – what’s in YOUR fire kit?

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,



  1. sunshine says:

    This is way too much. This is a month’s supply of stuff, way too bulky. Way more than a person needs to carry or should have to carry. I almost need a backpack to carry this.

    The items in the tin are more than adequate for EDC, although a person may want to add some lint from the dryer filter. It starts amazingly well. This tin has a fancy striker, there are less expensive alternatives with a magnesium block and an attached striker.

    • ben blizz says:

      I believe that creek didn’t have this in mind as an edc, but instead as an addition to your BOB. even if you are thinking along the lines of edc, you should have the mind set of “have it not need” not a mind set of “need it not have”

    • (sunshine) I agree, this is a little much. In my experience, the less expensive fire starters as you have described can leave you without a fire, due to failure of the device. On three separate occasions, I have been using the striker part of those type of systems, when the striker has broken off the magnesium block and went flying. Granted, that is a lesson in testing your equipment in a controlled environment, but also, sometimes you get what you pay for.
      On another note, I would not put all my fire making tools in one place, which I doubt Creek is suggesting, because, obviously, you drop it down a ravine, or into the drink, and you have lost your fire.

  2. I just bring a couple of highway flares. They will light in any weather.

  3. Seriously? And how many AR-15s and 5.56 rounds of should I pack? I’m with the road flare guy.

    • ben blizz says:

      you need an AR for ever person you have with you, and 300rd of 5.56 for each person. that’s about 10 mags, and even that wont last long

  4. wad of pine sap

  5. I dont see any chewing gum wrappers???

  6. Luis Villalta says:

    can you by this kit?if yes let me know please,thanks!

  7. Great kit Creek. I would only add one item that I started using many years ago as a Boy Scout. A small bag of Fritos corn chips. One chip will burn for about 5 min. Due to the oil contained in the chips. Plus you always have just a bit more survival food and much lighter than flares.

  8. ben blizz says:

    i like it! I personally prefer ferrocium rods to lighters, so the only thing I would change is the lighter and instead pack a second ferro rod

    • just try to light a candle stick with a ferro rod, a lighter is so light, you won’t even think its there, not unless your super duper weak.

  9. Great list
    OK for all the nay-sayers I think of this more as many possibilities and then choose what works for you.

    Now for two other possible items:
    one a pencil sharpener – use shavings from twigs to make tinder
    two a couple trick birthday candles, get one lit and almost impossible to blow out

    Not as practical, but good for demos like for Boy Scouts:
    go old fashion with flint & steel
    or more modern with a compression tube

    also consider a steel tube (straw) use it to concentrate/direct air when blowing on embers

  10. honestly a comprehensive little kit for a b.o.b. all i would add is a mag bar and extra firesteel i personally had the ferro rod on a coghlan’s mag bar fall off and lost it so i just put it on the string of my light my fire scout firesteel and carry it around in my pocket as my edc and that would make a great addition to this kit however very nice and well thought out i personally would only carry this in my b.o.b and would have one of these kits in every bag of my family just in case one of our b.o..b’s happened to get lost or damaged along with the e.d.c’s such as a windproof butane torch lighter

  11. This is a great article, Creek. Thanks!

    Cool pack. You’ve got a LOT of bases covered here.

    One neat trick I came across uses twine and parafin wax to make a waterproof, gauranteed firestarter.

    It’ll spark even in wet conditions, and hold a flame for a while to let you get a fire going.

    And you’ll have more cordage with you. Can never have too much cordage. 🙂

    In a nutshell, you melt the wax and dip about 12 feet of twine into it.

    Then wrap the twine around a large nail or pin until you have a cocoon looking thing.

    Push the nail/pin out of the wad, pull about 2 inches of twine from the cocoon, and dip the bundle back into the wax.

    Let it dry, then re-dip it. Repeat this three more times.

    It is waterproof!

    To use, simply pull it apart.

    It’ll catch flame quickly, and keep on burning.

    If you want more details, or to see it in action, it’s here:

    Thanks again!


  12. Andrew Auman says:

    I see these fire kits all the time just overkill IMHO I bet that kit weights 1lb at least with knowledge you don't need so many items I personally only carry a fero rod a chunk of fat wood and some storm matches in a water proof container and the matches I pray I never have to use their for when I'm too cold or hurt to use my no fail fat wood I personally soaked fat wood for a month in water and it still lit right up.

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