This Top 20 Fire Starters (top 10 ignition sources and top ten tinders) infographic has become ultra popular on social media and has been featured and shared by countless other survival and preparedness websites and blogs. But it was here at EQUIP2SURVIVE where this awesome infographic was originally created!

We were inspired to make this particular infographic because there is another similarly popular infographic floating around on this same topic, but that infographic fails to distinguish between A) ignition sources and B) tinders. These are two very different beasts and it is important to distinguish them, so we felt compelled to take our own stab at a fire starter infographic, and this is what we came up with!

It is important to understand the difference between ignition sources (like Bic lighters, fire steels, ferro rods, storm matches, magnesium fire starters, solar fire starting with either fresnel lenses or parabolic reflectors, thermochemical reactions, primitive friction fire, compression, electrical ignition, etc.) and tinders / extenders like petroleum jelly cotton balls (PJCBs), commercial tinders, trick birthday candles, chemical fire extenders like hand sanitizer, fatwood, natural foraged tinders, wax, improvised urban tinders like steel wool, tampons, charcloth, etc. Both ignition sources and tinders/fire extenders play very different roles in making fire, which is the very reason we felt compelled to create this improved infographic to better distinguish the two.

Ignition sources are obviously the tools that we use to produce the heat required to create fire.

Tinders are very fine versions of fuel that can at the very least produce an ember (if not a full flame) when exposed to heat.

Fire extenders are substances that, when combined with a tinder, extend the duration of the flame that you just produced giving your larger fuels ample opportunity to ignite and your fire enlarge. A terrific example of a popular fire extender is wax. Wax is often added to the far end of jute twine fire starters because jute catches fire very easily and quickly but can burn out quickly. Candle wax on the far end of your jute tinder can extend the duration of the flame enabling you to add more and larger fuel to your fire to really get it established. Fire extenders are also a huge help in wet conditions!

For your convenience, we decided to split this infographic into two separate columns. The column on the left is dedicated entirely to just ignition sources. The column on the right is dedicated exclusively to tinders and fire extenders.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this infographic, please feel free to leave a comment below! Thanks so much!


Author: Josh Nieten

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