In the wilderness, fire is comfort, peace, protection and life. No matter how advanced we become, we will never outgrow the mesmerizing entrancement of a simple fire.

In a survival situation, making fire is at the top of the list of critical tasks. Finding food, collecting water, organizing a simple agrarian community and fighting intruders are great, but if you are wet, cold and without a fire, you are combat ineffective.


There is something primal about a fire in the wilderness. Fire is comfort, warmth, peace and protection. The capacity
to build a fire is at the top of the list of critical tasks in a survival situation.

All-Weather Kit

Of all the countless methods of conjuring fire in a primitive environment, one in particular is waterproof, easy to use and extremely lightweight. The Spark-Lite fire-starting kit from Four Seasons Survival is as simple as it is elegant. The entire system fits into a plastic box small enough to get lost inside a pocket. At its heart, the Spark-Lite system is a small rod sporting a rotary flint and steel. The rod itself can be had in aluminum or brass, and the kit also contains eight pieces of waterproof Tinder-Quik as well as a spare flint. A plastic kit is also available, however these do not have the flint or wrench, and are made to throw away after the spark is gone.

Related Stories: 6 Backwoods Safety Tips Before You Build A Fire

Tinder-Quik is a small packet of compressed cotton fibers designed to be readily ignitable. To use the Spark-Lite, the Tinder-Quik is fluffed out a bit as twigs and similar fuel for the starter fire are set in place. Hold the striker wheel a short distance from the tinder and spin the wheel in the direction shown by the arrow. The resulting shower of sparks ignites the Tinder-Quik in a hurry. If the wheel is wet, simply shake the water out before using. If the Tinder-Quik is frozen, just warm it in your palm before lighting. The device is also designed to be usable one-handed in the event of injury. The striker wheel can be used hundreds of times.

When I was an Army aviator on active duty, we carried Spark-Lite kits in our survival vests. Matches can absorb moisture and become worthless, and cigarette lighters gradually bleed fuel over time until they are empty. By contrast, the Spark-Lite kit is impervious to weather and will likely outlive you. A truly trivial investment can put a Spark-Lite kit in your car, your house and your bug-out bag. With a Spark-Lite handy, you will never be deprived of fire. For more information, visit or call 814-234-0698.

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™ Winter 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.