Best firesteels

(Image credit: Amazon)

No outdoor skill is as valuable as being able to light a fire. It doesn’t matter whether you’re halfway up a snowy mountain or having a barbecue in your backyard. While lighters and matches will do the job, the most failsafe method is with a firesteel. 

They are very durable, don’t need fuel, or to stay dry. You can light thousands of fires with one, simply by running the steel striker down the iron alloy ‘ferro’ rod to create a shower of sparks and ignite the tinder or a gas burner. It’s easily the coolest-looking way to start a fire too.

Best overall

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Bayite Ferro Rod

Strike and light in any weather

Nothing’s wasted with this ferro rod kit. It comes with a 9ft paracord handle attached to the steel striker and looped through a hole in the ferrocerium rod. Wearable as a lanyard, it keeps the two vital parts together so you always have the means of creating sparks from the 4” rod and so can light a fire in any weather condition. 

Most compact

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Zippo Survival Tools Mag Strike

Lock, load and light anywhere

Lighter legends Zippo have designed their ferro rod and striker blade so they snap-lock together in one compact unit. The triangular-shaped grip is easy to hold and there’s a shielded internal chamber to keep the corrosion-resistant ferro rod dry. You can attach it to a lanyard or key ring so it’s always ready to go.

Easiest to use

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Light My Fire FireSteel Army Magnesium Firestarter BIO

Simple to spark into life

Originally designed for the Swedish army, this high-quality firesteel will light your fire approximately 12,000 times. The magnesium alloy rod and stainless steel striker both come with bio-based plastic handles. Attached with a nylon cord you can keep them in the included CircBag, made from recycled bottles. The striker even has an emergency whistle built-in making this perfect for all your adventures in the outdoors.

Best for backpackers

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The Friendly Swede Magnesium Flint Fire Starter

Failsafe fire lighting with no tinder

This magnesium fire starter, sold in packs of three, doesn’t need separate tinder. Instead, after removing the protective coating, you scrape some flakes from the mag block using the attached striker before using the flint side to create sparks to ignite it. Magnesium burns very hotly, making this a great emergency fire starter to have stowed in your kit.

Bottom line

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There’s something very reassuring about having a fire starting method that can’t fail. These firesteels are always ready to ignite your campfire or light a gas stove. You can put them somewhere safe and rely on them when you need them without worrying about leaking fuel or if they have got wet. Our pick is the Bayite Ferro Rod because it has a good size rod for the striker and comes with 9ft of paracord making it a valuable addition to any backpack at a great price.

An easier-to-use choice would be the Light My Fire FireSteel Army Magnesium Firestarter BIO. It feels like it’s made from high-quality materials and needs less pressure to get a good shower of sparks so younger people can use it.

Advnture team

Launched in July 2020, Advnture is the ideal destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Whether you're into epic hikes through the wilderness, camping trips with the family, climbing with your friends, or looking for a trail running personal best, our team of experts will point you in the right direction, with top buying advice and in-depth guides to help you get the most of your time in the backcountry.