Best Fire Starter Sticks: Start a Fire With Ease

man wearing gloves starting a fire
Written by Kane Dane

To make outdoor excursions elegantly enjoyable beyond ecstasy, it’s important to arm yourself with all the required tools in your camping gear such as the best fire starter sticks, the best keychain multitools, and best portable solar panels, to mention just a few. Without these tools, your outdoor activity may end up being fruitless.

Wise backpackers always get prepared for the unexpected in all their outdoor excursions. They know that the weather conditions can fluctuate unfavorably and this demands one to have all tools. For instance, a fire is indispensable, if you plan to cook during your traveling endeavors.

It can also be used to warm your camp or your shelter in extremely cold conditions. To create campfires or light BBQs, many survivalists have been taking matchboxes which are prone to damage due to unfavorable weather conditions. With matchboxes, you had to make sure that they are completely covered to avoid contact with damp materials.

This has necessitated an alternative solution that is weatherproof and is easily used in damp and moisture-bound environments. The fire starter sticks have proven to be the most reliable and lightable sticks irrespective of any unfavorable weather condition.

Product NameDimensionsWeightDurabilityPrice
Coghlan's1 x 1 x 1 inches4.2 ozWeatherproof, water resistantCheck price on Amazon
Velocity5.2 x 5 x 1.1 inches5.6 ozWaterproofCheck price on Amazon
Light My Fire2.7 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches7.8 ozWeatherproofCheck price on Amazon
Zippo WaxedUnlisted1.4 ozWater resistantCheck price on Amazon
Fatwood 100% Natural 1 x 2.75 x 3.5 inches6 ozWeatherproofCheck price on Amazon
Camco 51017 4.4 x 3.7 x 1.7 inches2.4 ozWaterproofCheck price on Amazon

In this article, we bring you the best sticks on the market. We also help mention important points to consider when purchasing your favorite fire starter sticks.  Also provided are the cons and the pros of using these products.

Most Important Features to Consider

There are apparently many fire starter sticks deemed to be the best. That could be confusing to the backpacker to choose one. However, these products have varying features which may appeal differently to outdoor activists.


With regard to costs, all these fire sticks are reasonably charged and affordable. The prices vary in line with the features. To view individual prices for the aforementioned starter sticks, click the link to the online retail side wherein prices are listed. It’s only a few dollars to own the product in preparation for your next outdoor excursions.


Most starter sticks are made of natural substances that pose no danger to your health. Any stick that uses chemical additives should be eliminated if that substance is noxious.

fire starter sticks in bag

Fatwood chips and resin contents are predominantly used to enable powerful and strong flames harmlessly to the customers.


These fire starter sticks are reportedly capable of creating strong flames. This could have adverse effects to your other tools if not taken care of.

It is, therefore, important as a backpacker that you start campfires far away from your shelter for safety reasons. It could be more adverse in windy conditions wherein sparks could damage all that you brought in your camping gear.

starting a fire

If you plan to warm your shelter with these fire starter sticks, make sure you use only handy woods that are put on either a steel surface to prevent burning of your valuables. The fire should be monitored until it fulfills the purpose thereof.

Users are also advised to look for naturally manufactured fire starter sticks for their safety, the safety of their children and that of the environment. Chemicals were frequently used as additives in some fire starters to help create strong fumes. However, the repercussions have resulted in a compromised health state.


You should get fire sticks that are durable and can work in all kinds of weather. For outdoor excursions, sometimes you just can’t predict the weather and the last thing you want is to be stuck at a campsite, freezing and you can’t light a fire.

starting a campfire

Most of the sticks we have reviewed can withstand cold weather and are waterproof, meaning even if they came into contact with water, you can still use them to get a fire going.

Top Product Reviews

Below we listed some of the best scopes you can find on the market right now. We checked their features and reviewed their pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

Coghlan’s Fire Stick

Coghlans 7940 Fire Sticks

Price: Approx. $6

Dimension: 1 x 1 x 1 inches

Weight: 4.2 oz

Specific features: Nontoxic, have no noxious fumes, no chemical additives that can be harmful to your health, quick and convenient to start, functions well even after being submerged in water, weatherproof properties, burn completely

Best use: BBQs, fireplaces, campfires

Description: For an easy and quick way to create campfires and barbecues the Coghlan’s Fire Stick is the right one for you. It leaves no odor when starting a fire with it. There are 12 sticks found in this Coghlan’s fire stick and all are non-toxic and non-poisonous.

What will entice the user is that fact that the sticks work well even if submerged in water by mistake. This reassures backpackers that damp conditions are never a hindrance to use these sticks. They can furthermore be suitable for emergencies.

These fire sticks also burn completely such that you are left with no residue that can end up polluting the environment. What’s more? You can use them not only as a source of heat, but also for light and also as a flare.

Users love the fact that you don’t always need to carry all the 12 fire sticks with you every time because you can use just one to start up several fires, especially when broken up in pieces. For better use, when the fire lights up, pull out the stick and rub it in dust and you can easily reuse this several times.

Since they work so well, even with damp wood, you can comfortably use the sticks even in freezing weather. Additionally, they are perfect to use at home if you have a wood stove. They are also super compact which allows you to carry them alongside your other camping supplies easily.

Most users also love that they will burn very slowly and can serve you for so long with good use. The convenience, these fire sticks give you, will make your trip worthwhile because lighting a fire becomes such an easy affair, unlike other techniques that can easily frustrate you.


  • Compact; Easy to carry
  • Can be reused several times
  • They are not affected by cold weather conditions
  • Affordable


  • Might not work too well in the wind
  • Hard to ignite sometimes
  • Pretty thin

Related: The fire sticks don’t work so well unless you have a fantastic lighter to go along with them. And that’s how the Survival Spark magnetic lighter comes in handy. At approx. $9, this lighter comes with a compass, lanyard and a whistle perfect for all your outdoor excursions.

Check the price on Amazon

Velocity Fire Starter Sticks

velocity fire sticks

Price: Approx. $5

Dimensions: 5.2 x 5 x 1.1 inches

Weight: 5.6 oz

Specific features: Waterproof which makes them usable regardless of damp conditions, contain 50% wood and 50% paraffin wax, odorless and non-toxic, burn completely

Best use: outdoor excursions, indoor fireplaces

Description: The Velocity Fire Starter Sticks are composed of composite wood and paraffin wax that helps create a long-lasting strong flame. This will help you cook efficiently or warm-up your destinations in case of cold rainy days.

Even if it rains, there’s no fear of having your 24 Velocity sticks being ruined because they are waterproof. They can be in contact with your wet clothes or damp materials, but still work well in any given condition.

Moreover, what’s enticing about these sticks is the absence of toxic chemicals and the absence of odor. They will burn completely, leaving no residue in any kind of weather. For prolonged use, you can break the stick in half and use the pieces to light up a fire, one at a go.

However, some users have complained that they are nasty to touch and that the flame is sometimes very weak, such that you may need two sticks to keep a fire going, which depletes your stock pretty fast. The sticks also break too easily, and are a little hard to separate which speaks volume about their durability.

Getting a fire started doesn’t come easy, according to some users. Moreover, the sticks will leave a sticky and waxy residue on your hands after handling them. Overall, you will end up using more at a go which means they are not cost effective and neither are they efficient to use.


  • Affordable
  • Packs small
  • Waterproof
  • Odorless


  • Not highly durable
  • Hard to separate sticks
  • Might leave a waxy residue on your hands
  • Weak flame

Related: To be able to light fires more effectively, why not purchase the Cos2be Light My Fire Survival fire starter tool? It goes for about $8, which is a good value for your money given the great qualities it has. The Cos2be has a magnesium flint rod that works perfectly even in wet weather to help you get your fire going. It’s designed with a glass breaker that you can efficiently use during an emergency situation to defend yourself.

Check the price on Amazon

Light My Fire TinderSticks

Light My Fire TinderSticks

Price: Approx. $8

Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches

Weight: 7.8 oz

Specific features: Free of harmful chemical, 100% natural composition, manufactured from fatwood stumps found from cultivated pines montezuma originating from the highlands of mexico, contains 80% resin content that enables the sticks to light extremely fast irrespective of damp conditions, no chemical additives, supersede the properties of paper and paraffin in starting fires because they are hotter and burn longer

Best use: BBQs, campfires, house fires

Description: With these Light My Fire TinderSticks, you are guaranteed 100% natural compositions that assure you the absence of toxins or noxious chemicals. Our outdoor stay that is predominantly in cold weather conditions demands very strong flames to keep us warm.

These sticks are designed to produce strong flames with their 80% resin composition. The sticks are sought after by the Fatwood stumps that are used in their compositions. No chemical additives whatsoever that can jeopardize your health while enjoying your fires in your heartwarming outdoor activities.

The manufacturer has ensured the safety of customers by completely eliminating noxious fumes and poisonous chemicals that are used to make fire. Paraffin and paper do not match the features of these tinder sticks. Although most users admit that this is among the best tinder in the market, they are also keen on pointing out that the pack is quite overpriced.

What you may not know is that these sticks will work better if you can splinter them into thinner strips. Using 2 or 3 strips to light a fire will usually work as opposed to using just one strip. You can also shave a few splinters off for the tinder if lighting the sticks is not working for you.

What’s more? They smell great and will not contaminate your food if you use them to light a fire to cook. There have been complaints that they take a little bit more time to get a fire going which can be frustrating for a camper.


  • No odor or residue
  • Chemical free
  • Weather resistant


  • Quite costly
  • May take longer to light a fire

Related: This Swedish Fire Starter by the same manufacturers will allow you light your fires with little effort and in record time. Going for about $13, the lighter is highly durable and can last for up to 12000 strikes, if not more.

Check the price on Amazon

Zippo Waxed Tinder Sticks

Zippo Waxed Tinder Sticks

Price: Approx. $6

Weight: 1.4 oz

Specific features: Lightweight sticks best suited to travel with, water resistant, thus safeguarding them if in contact with damp materials, lengthens burn time, made purely of a natural fiber: compressed cotton, tear quickly for convenience of use, standalone fire starter sticks, designed to be replacement tinder sticks for zippo emergency fire starter kit, burn easily without the addition of harmful chemical substances

Best use:  Camp fires, house fires, backpacking

Description: For a quick, hassle-free, fire starting quest, Zippo Waxed Tinder Sticks are the best fit. There are 8 sticks in a pack that is purely made of compressed cotton.

Customers can rest assured that there are no artificial noxious chemicals added to jeopardize or compromise their health when creating fires using these sticks. The natural fiber used in manufacturing this product helps expedite fast lighting for emergencies.

Moreover, these sticks are water-resistant. This means you still can use them even after it had rained on them. Damp or wet materials are not going to ruin your sticks to eventually ruin your outdoor adventure. The burn time is also increased with these sticks.

For prolonged use of the sticks, the Zippo tinder can tear quickly for easier use. And that’s not all. With these sticks, you will get a fire just with the first strike, even when wet, though you should always try to keep them dry. You can try store them in zip lock bags.

Zippo sticks will also work perfectly with flints, matches and zippo lighters. You will soon realize that wax and cotton catch fire pretty fast, but it’s different when using flint and steel.

Some users have complained that the sticks are hard to light especially if you don’t have a Firestarter. Additionally, they claim that they don’t burn as long as other fire sticks in the market. However, they love the price, which is quite affordable and won’t break your bank.


  • Lightweight
  • Water resistant
  • Pack small
  • Gives a good value for your money


  • Might be hard to light without a Firestarter
  • Don’t burn for long

Related: With the knowledge that the Zippo sticks might give you a hard time without a Firestarter, maybe getting an emergency lighter is not such a bad idea after all. In comes the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter, which will cost you about $13. It comes in a lightweight plastic case that you can carry around with you wherever you go. What’s more? It’s water resistant and is designed with an O-ring to seal the lighter’s contents and keep them dry. Additionally, you will get about 4 already waxed tinder sticks with your purchase.

Check the price on Amazon

Fatwood 100% Natural Firestarter Sticks

Fatwood 100% Natural Firestarter Sticks

Price: Approx. $11

Dimensions: 1 x 2.75 x 3.5 inches

Weight: 6 oz

Specific features:  Prepared in a 3 5/16inx2 9/16inx15/16in tin that perfectly fit  in a pocket for convenience of travel, versatile: can be used in any weather condition because they are weatherproof, non-toxic; made of 100% natural fatwood chips, no noxious chemicals or fumes that could be detrimental to your health or the health of the beloved ones that you travel with, naturally soaked in the resin of the trees, jute soaked in wax, 5/16inches thick ferro rod sparks help expedite the fire starting process

Best use: Campfires, wood stoves, backpacking

Description: For outdoor survivalists endeavoring to care for the environment, these, Fatwood 100% Natural Firestarter Sticks are more suitable for use. The fire sticks made of chemical substances will not only be harmful to your health but also your surrounding environment.

Harmful chemicals will be emitted to corrupt the environment wherein wildlife animals could consequently be affected. Fortunately, these fire starter sticks are made of Fatwood that is hand cut in the USA. The Ferro rod sparks enhance the speed with which the fire could be started.

The sticks come packed in a tin. They are jute soaked in natural hot soy wax extracted from soybeans in the USA. A combination of Ferro rod, striker, and 100% natural Fatwood chips results in the excellence of these sticks in fire starting purposes.

Backpackers now have a portable and reliable product to start a fire quickly without hassles in any given inconvenient weather condition. Some forms of sticks do not withstand damp areas due to lack of water resistance. Most of these are made of chemical additives.

Keep in mind that you may need to use a knife to break up the Fatwood in pieces if you are not using the shavings or the twine, because using the striker for the cutting will prove futile.

The kit is super compact which allows you to transport it with you without any hassle. Most users love that the purchase gives you everything you need to start a fire and the kit has some extra storage space for your other small items.


  • Compact kit
  • Easy to start fires
  • Great price


  • Fatwood may burn to ashes in such a short time
  • Striker not sharp enough to cut the sticks

Related: To ensure that your Fatwood kit won’t disappoint you in the future, you can purchase some extra Fatwood Sticks to act as an emergency fire sticks. They also work well with campfires, hiking, preppers and an overall emergency kit. They go at about $7, and are super lightweight and water resistant. These sticks have been naturally soaked in the tree resin, which allows them to ignite instantly. Additionally, they have no chemicals, which makes them non-toxic, hence very safe to handle.

Check the price on Amazon

Camco 51017 Fire Starter Stick

Camco 51017 Fire Starter Stick

Price: Аpprox. $7

Dimensions: 4.4 x 3.7 x 1.7 inches

Weight: 2.4 ounces

Specific features: Can be cut into pieces to extend the usage, No cover to protect it from wet clothes or damp materials is needed

Best use: Campfires, wood stoves.

Description: If you have planned to spend 12 days outdoors in the forests during winter season this Camco 51017 Fire Starter Stick is the best fit. But their sticks can be cut into pieces to extend the usage.

No supplementary tinder needed to help create strong flames, as this product is a standalone in starting a fire quickly and easily. Furthermore, it needs no cover to protect it from wet clothes or damp materials as it is waterproof. This makes it a best choice and alternative for traditional matchboxes previously backpacked.

Of notable importance and advantage in these sticks is the elimination of harmful chemicals in their manufacturing. They burn out completely with subjecting the user to odor and toxic smells. Camco fire starter sticks are lightweight and portable to carry in pockets to any outdoor excursions.

Some users aired their disappointment with these fire sticks and pointed out they did not work so well. To start a fire, they used up almost the whole package which is not economical in the long run. They are also hard to break apart and despite being waterproof, they might give you a hard time when trying to light up a fire in the cold season.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry around
  • Waterproof


  • Don’t work well in cold weather
  • Hard to break the sticks apart
  • Need more sticks to light a fire

Related: For an extra approx. $13, you can purchase these great Stansport fire starter sticks to supplement your Camco sticks when they give you a hard time starting a fire. They will allow you start up your fires quickly and in a safe manner. You will love how they burn completely, leaving no residue or odor. You can also use these fire starter sticks in any kind of weather because they are waterproof.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

These aforementioned fire starter sticks are a must-have for all backpackers. They are recommended for everyone who loves to travel to various outdoor destinations. You need these sticks to start a fire that can be used as a light in the night or to cook when you’re hungry.


There is nothing harmful about these sticks since they are made of natural substances. No noxious fumes or harmful odor. As an advice, carefully select the product that matches your needs. Take into account its costs, warranty, and features.

If you found this article to be useful and you feel like sharing your thoughts about it with us, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.


Kane Dane


  • Light My Fire TinderSticks live up to their name. Although they cost a little more than some other brand, they are worth it. We were caught in the rain and all wood and leaves were damp so I was worried that the fire was not going to start. The Light My Fire TinderSticks still delivered. I needed to use 3 this time because the wood was damp.

    • Investing in quality gear is ALWAYS worth it! The Light My Fire TinderSticks is a product that has proven its worth many times over and I’m pleased that it hadn’t let you down! Imagine if it was a substandard brand? Too horrifying to think…!

  • You can’t go wrong with Fatwood firestarter sticks. I have them on two backpacking trips so far and I have been impressed. I was a bit hesitant when buying them as I often am when trying out a new brand but I was right away impressed on opening the package. The kit came with many sticks and a big rubber band to secure everything. And, they give off enough sparks to get the fire going.

  • Hi Eddy and thanks for the input. I never leave home for camp without my firestarter kit. I also make sure I have my waterproof and storm-proof matches and lighter with me.


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