The Best Tinder for Fire Starting

Whether you are camping in the wild or spending some time with friends at a campground, there is a good chance that you’re going to …

Whether you are camping in the wild or spending some time with friends at a campground, there is a good chance that you’re going to need to know how to start a fire. To do this, you’re going to need fuel, something to ignite a spark and tinder to help it catch more easily.

Tinder is something that is designed to be combustible, so it’s going to be important to have on hand. 

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at five tinder fire options that you can use so that you can find the best tinder for fire starting.

Best Tinder for Fire Reviews

1. TinderQuik Firestarting Tabs

TinderQuik Firestarting Tabs
  • Designed for use with spark generating ignition tools like the Spark-Lite firestarter or ferro rods, the Tinder-Quik tab also works well with matches, lighters, flint strikers, etc.
  • Simply pull the compressed cotton tab apart, ignite it, and add kindling. Tinder-Quik tabs burn for 60 seconds or more even in harsh environments, greatly increasing fire-building success rates.
  • These are the same tabs included in military aviator survival kits, and are popular for downed pilot and backcountry professional survival kits around the world.
  • Windproof, waterproof TinderQuik compressed cotton tinder tabs ignite easily, even on damp windy days.
  • Manufactured in the USA. Complies with Berry Amendment.

Last update on 2024-02-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The first product that we are going to look at in this guide is a tinder that is designed from braided cotton. The cotton is small and lightweight, and it only needs to be pulled apart slightly to ignite it. It will work well with any type of lighter, matches, striker, or a starter. Once the tinder is lit, it will burn for about 60 seconds.

This is a tool that is often included in survival food kits that professional pilots and military personnel receive if there is a possibility of a survival situation. These cotton tinders are designed to be waterproof and windproof, which will make them easier to light in adverse conditions. This package comes with 50 tabs that can be used over time, so you will have plenty of tinder for a season of camping. 

  • This is a very compact option, so it can easily fit into your travel bag or backpack
  • This cotton tinder lights very quickly, which can save time in an emergency
  • It is designed to be waterproof and windproof
  • The burn time is not as long as it is rated to be

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2. Emergency Fire Starting Magnesium Bags

Emergency Fire Starting Magnesium Bags
  • (8) Reusable 2 1/2in x 3in waterproof zip lock bags, full of magnesium shavings, chips, shreds, and spirals.
  • Magnesium is a solid combustible material, ignites with with ferro rod, match or lighter in 2-5 seconds
  • Ignites wet tinder in seconds, lightweight
  • 4000 °F burning temperature

Last update on 2024-02-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The next product that we are going to look at in this guide is bags full of magnesium. The magnesium is shaved, shreds and chipped to make it a more convenient size for starting a fire. This package comes with six bags, all of which are resealable so that they can easily be saved to be used at another time. The bags are about 3 inches long and 2.5 inches wide, which makes them small enough to carry in your edc backpack as you’re hiking.

This material is designed to start fires quickly, and it will even work well when the ground is wet outside. This magnesium is designed to burn at about 75% hotter than most other tinder material; in fact, it will burn at approximately 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit in most conditions. 

  • This tinder is a great option that will help start a fire in no time
  • The small pieces of magnesium are easy to manage because they’re so lightweight
  • The bag that the pieces come in is resealable, which makes it very easy to store the tinder for another time
  • It can be tricky to light with a flint starter

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3. UST WetFire Tinder

Last update on 2024-02-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The next product, which is the UST WetFire Tinder, is a very versatile option that can be used with any type of starter. Each package is only about ¾ of an inch high and wide. In fact, the small packaging for each cube is only about 0.16 ounces in weight, so it will not take up too much space in your survival pack. These lightweight tinder options are also very safe to use because they work well in most weather conditions. In fact, they’re designed to light easily in the rain, the wind, and other inclement weather.

Inside each package, there is a small cube that you can use to light your fire. Ideally, the tinder on the cube will be scratched off into a pile so that it can quickly start a fire. Once the spark ignites, it will only take a small amount of tinder for a fire to start. Once it starts, the fire will easily burn for five minutes or longer without adding any kindling to it. 

  • These tinder will have a shelf life of up to five years before the packaging is opened
  • It will only require a few shavings to start a fire; in fact, you can easily start four fires or more with a single cube
  • This product is very lightweight and easy to carry
  • The burn time for the tinder may not last as long as the product is rated to last

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4. Phone Skope Pyro Putty

Phone Skope Pyro Putty
  • EMERGENCY FIRE STARTER: Starting a fire can be challenging, especially when there’s wind, rain, and poor weather. That’s why we created an easier, more efficient, non-toxic fire starter to support every survivalist, adventurer, hunter, outdoorsman, and bbq enthusiast. Whether you need a fire for outdoor cooking, warmth, light, ambiance this fire starter makes it easy!
  • WATERPROOF & WEATHER-RESISTANT: Designed to burn through sleet, rain, wind, high altitudes, and a wide range of temperatures, the PYRO Putty Orange Summer Blend is an essential addition to any 72-hour kit or survival supplies. It’s designed to burn in the warmest temperatures. Burn it in summer, fall, spring, and mild winters.
  • QUICK IGNITION: A proprietary, patent-pending putty that's pliable, sticky, and totally waterproof, this fire starter is easy to stick on logs, torches, or tinder. Create a fire that continues to burn for up to 15 minutes with a single quarter-sized dab. Stay safe out there without slowing yourself down with propane, complicated fire starters, or lighters that need to be recharged.
  • DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Add this fire-starter tool to your emergency preparedness kit and you’ll be ready for any situation. Be prepared for any natural disaster, power outage, or off-grid survival scenario with this fire-starting fuel can. Add it to your survivalist backpack, outdoor recreation accessories, or zombie apocalypse survival kit.
  • FIRE IN A CAN: The PYRO Putty Orange Summer Blend comes in a 2 oz. can that will light many fires in all conditions. Don’t worry about wet logs, damp wood, or harsh weather. This fire starter fuel will burn in any weather or circumstances. It’s the perfect addition to any outdoor lover’s survival kit, camping supplies, or recreation gear.

Last update on 2024-02-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a product that is very simple to use, then this putty is an option for any time of the year. It comes in three different color options that will work best at different times of the year because of the temperature change from season to season. Blue is designed to be used in the wintertime, while orange is made for the high temperatures of the summer. Green is also an option that will work at any time of the year.

Each tin is designed to work well for multiple fires, and it will even help you to make a fire in wet conditions. When the weather is dry outside, the tin can be used to make up to 30 fires; however, when it’s wet, it may only last for about 12 fires because you will need to use more putty. Once the tinder sparks, a piece that is only about the size of a quarter is likely to burn for more than 15 minutes. 

  • This product is designed to work well, even when it is wet
  • A very small pinch of the putty is all you need to start a fire
  • The different colors have different scents that match the season
  • It is more difficult to light with some types of starters

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5. Fatwood Natural Firestarter Sticks

Fatwood Natural Firestarter Sticks
  • (1) Tin can 3 5/16" x 2 9/16" x 15/16", fits in your shirt pocket
  • (1) Ferro rod is 5/16" thick x 3" long, will last for thousands of strikes. (1) Striker, 3" long, may be grey, blue or black in color
  • One (1) 36in piece of jute soaked in soy wax, starts on fire quickly from ferro rod sparks
  • Tools For Your Survival. These fire starting survival kits are made from the most durable materials available. All of our kits are tested in the wilderness before we offer them for sale. Designed and assembled right here in the USA, Kaeser Wilderness survival kits and Firestarter's are built to perform every time under the most severe conditions.
  • If you have any question please feel free to contact me. See you out on the trail. Steve Kaeser

Last update on 2024-02-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The final product that we’re going to look at in this guide is one that’s designed to use fatwood, which is a very flammable product when its used correctly. Each one of these kits is made by hand when it’s ordered so that nothing is missing inside of the package.

The kit is designed to come with a Ferro rod that’s designed to strike against the included striker over 1,000 times. This rod can be black, gray or blue in color. The kit also comes complete with a bag that’s filled with dust and small chips from the wood as well as several fatwood sticks that have been cut by hand. To help the fire catch quickly, there is also a 45-inch piece of jute that has been thoroughly soaked in soy wax. 

  • The kit comes in a tin that can easily fit in your pocket
  • This kit makes lighting fires very simple
  • The tinder has a lovely pine fresh scent
  • The striker is a bit on the flimsy side

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What Makes Good Tinder?

Tinder is something that you can use in the wilderness survival kits because it catches fire more easily that the wood that you’re going to want to use for the actual fire. There are a lot of options that can be used as tinder; in fact, some can even be found in nature.

All tinder will need to be a dead material that’s going to catch fire quickly. It cannot be rotten wood or a similar item because the decomposing part of the wood is likely to lose the fuel that you’re looking to use. Anything that you find in the great outdoors will also need to be dry. Wood that has been sitting in the rain or a wet area is not likely to burn well.

Dry tinder is the only option that will start the fire quickly and easily every time. In addition, tinder that is light and airy is going to be one of the better options to select as well. 

The fluffiness that’s created by this type of material will cover more of the surface area so that it can easily ignite.  

Best Tinder for Fire

There are a lot of different options that you can find to use as tinder to start a fire, but some of the most common options can be found right in nature if you’re willing to take the time to look for it. Some options that you can look for when you’re camping include: 

Tinder Fungus

This is a material that grows on the underside of the bark of the Birch tree. The fungus actually has a light brown color and a texture that resembles what you would expect to find in a cork. Because the fungus is so airy, it will easily crumble into a powder that you can use to start a fire. 

Tree Bark

If you have a knife, you will be able to shave some of the inner bark off of a tree to use. This bark from a birch tree will easily catch fire, and it will even work well when the wood is somewhat wet. The oils in the tree bark of other trees like cedar will also work well. 


Grass that is dry can easily be rolled into a ball and used as tinder. If you use the grass and the tree bark shavings together, you are likely to get a good spark in no time. Wet, growing grass will not work though, so try to find a patch of grass that’s turning brown to use as tinder. 

Pine Needles

Pine needles rarely maintain moisture, even when they are in the rain for an extended period of time.If you are attempting to use kindling to light the fire, some pine needles may work well to allow the fire to have the air circulation that it needs to grow into a fire.  

Key Considerations to Make When Purchasing Tinder

If you’re purchasing tinder for fire, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s something that has a few specific features that will help make it more valuable in the wild. Some of the features that you will want the tinder fire options to have include: 


When you’re starting a fire, one of the main issues that some individuals have with getting it started is the wind that is present. With that being said, a tinder option that you can purchase that can help block the wind may be worth investing in. 


Water is another thing that often hinders campers from starting a fire. This is an issue that can easily be rectified, especially if you can purchase tinder that will not get wet as you are camping. 

Number of Uses

When you’re looking for a good product that you’re going to need to start a fire, it is essential to consider how many uses you will get out of the package. The larger the package that you purchase, the longer it will last. However, this can vary based on the type of tinder that you have, so make sure that you buy enough for your needs. 


Having a tinder fire starter is important, but you will want to have something that’s lightweight so that it’s not noticed in your backpack or travel bag. This is especially important when you’re walking to your destination in the woods. 

Long Shelf Life

Another important thing to consider when it comes to tinder for fire is the length of time that it will be able to be stored away without being used. When you go camping, you often keep these types of things from one year to the next, so ideally, something that lasts a few years or more will be best. 

Easy to Ignite

The idea of having tinder is to make it easier to start a fire when you’re in the wilderness. You’re going to want something that works with several different methods of starting a fire so that you have options when you are in an emergency survival situation.  

Final Thoughts

When you’re looking for tinder for fires, there are going to be a lot of different options that you can try that range from natural alternatives to the ones that we have covered in this guide. 

We have given you five great options that you should consider for your next camping trip or survival situation, but if we were to select one that stands out above the others, it would be the UST WetFire Tinder

It is lightweight, versatile, safe to use and it has a relatively long shelf life. It is also designed to be able to light in windy and rainy conditions where a fire could be more challenging to start.