Monday, January 7, 2013

Fuel fire starters, review.

A few weeks ago I had some fire starters come in. This isn't rubbing 2 sticks together, you need a flame (or perhaps they would light with a fire starter, will have to try next time).
We gathered at the in laws for a gift exchange since we couldn't all get together for the holidays. A fire wasn't needed but it's a nice atmosphere, and it gave me a chance to get some pictures of these in action.
I used 2 of the fuel packs since that's what I grabbed out of storage. The wood is equal on both sides, the kindling is equal on both sides, the right side was packed with paper. I held the lighter to the fuel pack for about 2 seconds to get it light.
You can see the paper is making an effort on the right side and he fuel packs are roaring away.
The paper failed to get the fire light, there wasn't enough kindling. The fuel packs did great and have been burning for 30 minutes in this picture above.
This last picture is 45 minutes later with fresh wood added. The packs are still burning, but to be fair I hit each one with the fire poker and they crumbled apart but still burned for 10 more minutes. Almost an hour of burn time for each pack, and using 2 packs was overkill.

It was nice not to chop kindling up in the backyard, in the snow. The packs can be reused if you just blow it out or stomp it (lightly). They are light and individually wrapped in plastic, about the size of a hockey puck. I could see using a puck to cook dinner (on it's own, no additional wood/fuel) or boil water. I can certainly use them to start a campfire without having to worry about how dry the wood is or how much kindling was available.

A good addition to a get home bag for the winter, or for year round if you don't have a water filter. The food in my get home bag doesn't need to be heated by a fire and I have a water filter, I would use them to stay warm.

They are available from shelf reliance or from costco. There are other options out there for less and some for more. I'm going to get some for the in laws so they can do exactly what I did for this post, start a fire in the fireplace without chopping anything up.


  1. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Useful stuff!

  2. My pleasure. Once in a while I'll post useful stuff, much to even my surprise.

  3. Max,
    Have you used lint/candle wax starters? I'm curious how they compare to the starters reviewed here. I generally use kindling and paper, but you bring up great points about having different ways to tart a fire.

  4. I know these aren't cheap but I think they are far superior. You can cook with them without needing any other fuel source. With lint and wax you can only start a fire (and hopefully before the lint is all burnt up).

    These also don't produce a large volume of smoke when used alone for cooking/heat. Think how much lint/wax you could get in a hockey puck sized bag and how long that would actually last.