5 Best Backcountry Fire Starters [Updated 2021]

A reliable fire starter is one of the most essential tools that you can take with you when you head out to the backcountry this season for adventures that you will remember for a lifetime. When you are planning to go deep into the backcountry for the many adventures that it can offer, you need to know that you have the ability to start a fire should you have to do so. Whether you are staying overnight in the wilderness voluntarily, or circumstances arise that leave you no choice to do so, being able to reliably start a fire is a must. This is because you can on being able to start a fire to stay warm and dry at night. Beyond this, being able to reliably start a fire could literally save your life in conditions where the temperature drops to freezing conditions.

When you decide to purchase a backcountry fire starter, you want to get the best product for your money that you spend. To help you to find a fire starter that you can rely on for your backcountry adventures, we have put together some useful information. There are a lot of various wilderness fire-starting tools on the market and it can be difficult to know which ones are the best out there. The fire starters on this list are top sellers that have been rated highly by users that have put them to the test. With this said, these are the 5 best backcountry fire starters for 2021.

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1) UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case

The Titan Stormproof Match Kit With Waterproof Case is an outstanding backcountry fire starter from UCO. This is the perfect product for backcountry adventures and survival needs. These unique matches are thick and durable. They are also waterproof and windproof. These are all factors that have helped to make them one of the top 5 best backcountry fire starters for 2021.

Features and Specs

  • 24 waterproof, windproof fire-starting matches
  • 3 strikers
  • Comes with a durable ABS plastic case
  • The extended length matches help to prevent the burning of fingertips
  • Kit weight: 1.7 oz.
  • Match length 2.75 inches


Q: Will these matches continue to work if the striker pad has gotten wet?
A: They will not, but the set comes with extra strikers so you should always have a dry one.

Q: What is the shelf life for these fire starter matches?
A: If the matches and the strike pad are kept in the container and sealed, they can last for several decades.

Q: Does the container that the matches come in float? Will it stay dry inside if submerged?
A: The container will float. As long as it is properly sealed, it should remain dry inside.


  • These matches have a long shelf life
  • The waterproof case is durable and capable of floating
  • Along with the 25 matches, this kit comes with 3 additional strikers


  • Some who have purchased these matches complain that they burn up quickly

2) Lightning Strike Standard Fire Starter by Holland

The Lightning Strike Standard Fire Starter by Holland is another one of the top 5 best backcountry fire starters for 2021. It is a popular choice among backpackers, hikers, hunters, snowmobilers, and snowboarders, and skiers because of its reliability. The design is intended to keep everything dry even during the worst weather that nature can produce. The fact that it is designed to be simple and easy to use is another factor that weighs heavily in favor of this backcountry firestarter.

Features and Specs

  • Available colors include – forest green, fiery red, dark blue, and black ops
  • Comes with a striker that stores in the barrel of the firestarter
  • Ferrocerium rod that generates sparks


Q: Where do I go for a replacement ferro rod?
A: You can contact Holland to order a replacement.

Q: Can any ferro rod be used as a replacement for this fire lighter?
A: You have to use the proprietary one by Holland.

Q: How long is this fire starter?
A: It is 7.5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. The weight is 4.5 oz.


  • Durable construction
  • Capable of carrying a good amount of tinder
  • Produces a large concentration of sparks


  • It is a more expensive fire starter than some options

3) UST BlastMatch Fire Starter with One-Handed Operation

The UST BlastMatch Fire Starter With One-Handed Operation is another high-quality fire-starting product that continues to gain strong reviews from those who have put it to use in the backcountry. It is one of the easiest fire starters on this list to use. As the product name indicates, it can be operated with one hand. Simply pushing a button is all that is required to produce a dense amount of targetted sparks.

Features and Specs

  • Dimensions – 19×9.5×2.5 cm
  • Height – 1 inch
  • Weight – 91 grams
  • Made of plastic, metal, and carbon
  • Waterproof protective cover


Q: Is the ferro replaceable?
A: It is not.

Q: Can this fire starter be carried on a keychain?
A: It is not designed for this use.

Q: Is this fire starter easy to carry in a camping bag?
A: The fire starter is designed to be easy to tuck away in your camping bag so that you will have it available when needed.


  • Sends a large number of sparks onto tinder
  • Easy to use
  • An affordable price tag


  • Some who have bought the product have noted that it is not as durable as they would like

4) Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter

This Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter also includes a useful compass and whistle. This truly is a useful tool to have with you when you go deep into the terrain of the backcountry. Beyond being a reliable fire starter, it also comes with other handy gadgets such as a compass and a whistle. Though the cost of this product is much less than many other options, it is noted by those who have used it to be reliable at putting out a significant amount of sparks.

Features and Specs

  • Material – Steel
  • 5.5-inch fire starter rod
  • Strikes up to 15 thousand times
  • Magnesium fire stick
  • Scraper
  • Lanyard
  • Whistle
  • Compass


Q: Will this fire starter light a propane camping stove?
A: It should be able to do this.

Q: Can the striker and rod combine together for storage purposes?
A: The product comes exactly as shown in the images of it.

Q: What is the diameter of the magnesium rod?
A: Its diameter is 5mm.


  • This fire starter comes at a great price
  • Consistently produces a dense amount of sparks
  • Easy to operate


  • Some users claim that the statement that this fire starter is windproof is not entirely accurate

5) Bellows Fire Starting Kit

The Bellows Fire Starting Kit from Epiphany Outdoor Gear is the final product on our list of the top 5 best backcountry fire starters for 2021. Those who have purchased and field-tested this kit note that it performs well. It is also priced affordably and is lightweight.

Features and Specs

  • Package weight – 0.15 lbs
  • Waterproof
  • Includes bellows
  • Fast-starting


Q: How many fire fuses are included in this kit?
A: There are 8 fire fuses included in the kit.

Q: Are the fire fuses ignited using the included flint and steel?
A: Yes, this is how they are ignited.

Q: What is the retractable metal item featured in the image of the product?
A: This is the pocket bellows.


  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight
  • The plastic seal fits tightly and keeps moisture out


  • Nothing major to complain about given the price and performance

What Should You Look for in a Quality Backcountry Fire Starter?

There are some key things that you need to consider when choosing a backcountry fire starter. The first thing that you need to remember is that weather conditions in the backcountry are difficult to predict and you might often find yourself in a less than ideal situation. You need to choose a backcountry fire starter that can perform in wet, freezing conditions as well as more optimal conditions. This way, you can rely on your fire starter regardless of what nature throws at you.

What Should You Avoid When Purchasing a Backcountry Fire Starter?

There are also some key things that you should avoid when purchasing a firestarter for use in the backcountry. You do not have to spend a huge amount of money on a reliable fire starter, but at the same time, you want to avoid being overly thrifty when it comes to a tool like this that could potentially save your life. You also want to avoid a fire starter that will be difficult to operate if the temperature has dropped and your fingers are cold. When the temperature drops, it can be much more difficult to operate your tools and you want something that is simple enough to use.


I hope you liked this post on the best backcountry Fire Starters. If you liked this post, you may also like our guides on the best backcountry First-Aid Kits and our guide on the best backcountry water filters.