Sunday, March 20, 2022

FireFlame Fire Starters

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.

As I've mentioned before, I have difficulty getting fires to start without cheating (using fire starters and/or accelerants) at the best of times. Since a survival situation is the worst time and place to use a skill I'm not good at, I've decided that until I can consistently start a fire without cheating then I'm going to build my preps specifically around cheating. To that end, I've been looking for fire starters which meet the following characteristics:
  • Affordable: Perhaps I should say "good value", as I can easily afford most fire starters on the market. It's really a question of price per unit and whether or not I feel that's a good deal. 
  • Catches easily: By which I mean "catches other things on fire easily". A fire starter which I can't light is worthless. 
  • Small volume: All fire starters are lightweight, but a lot of them are bulky. For example, a Wetfire cube weighs only 0.16 ounces, but is also 0.75” x 0.75” x 0.5”. Trust me, that adds up quickly in a GHB or a BOB. 
I still haven't found the ideal mixture of all three, but I have discovered on that I'm pretty pleased with: FireFlame instant fire starters

Small Volume
Each packet weighs only 0.2 oz and measures 2.75 inches L x W, but at its thickest is only about 0.25 inches. Furthermore, you can break up the fuel inside the packet without affecting burnability, so you can fit them into more places. 

Catches Easily
I didn't try to light one with a ferro rod, but I can tell you that these ignite instantly from both open flames and electricity from plasma lighters. They put out an impressive amount of heat and flame on their own and burn for a decent amount of time, but nowhere near the 8-10 minutes claimed above. 

I tested one on the "solid fuel plate" of a camping stove with 16 ounces of cold water in a steel cup. The FireFlame started strong with impressive flames, but it only burned for 5:50 before going out, and the last minute or so the flames weren't high enough to reach the cup. It did, however, make my cup very sooty up to the lip.

Picture taken just after ignition. You can see how high the flames reach. 

The water only reached 140 degrees F according to a food thermometer, which isn't hot enough to boil but is hot enough to make a nice cup of tea, cocoa or instant coffee. Two packets would probably be enough to boil 16 ounces of water, but that strikes me as being wasteful and only suitable for emergencies. 

This is the iffiest part. At 60 starters for $30 or 20 starters for $14, you end up paying between 50 and 70 cents per starter. While that's a lot better than $1.80 per Wetfire or even $1.00 per Esbit cube, that still feels a bit high to me. 

On the other hand, I scored my 60-unit tub with an Amazon Lightning Deal that cut $11 off the price, dropping it to 32 cents per unit. That's much better, so I recommend you wait for a similar deal. 

Recommendation: A-
FireFlame starters don't quite live up to their hype, which would have you believe they're the latest incarnation of hexamine tablets. They aren't, but they are still very good fire starters and emergency fuel, and therefore earn a place in my preps. 

For me, their biggest drawback is their per-unit price. $0.50 to $0.70 is just a little too much for me, but if you can find them on sale for $0.30 like I did, that bumps them up to a solid "A" rating. 

I will continue my search for the ideal fire starter and report in with any new discoveries. Until then, I wish you all a happy campfire!


  1. Ohh, definitely getting some of those things!

  2. I've got'em. They're one of my go to starters, along with Pyro Putty, Live Fire, and a Vaseline soaked cotton ball. (Triple antibiotic ointment works just as well, and you can just carry the ointment and save a space in your kit.)

    I wanted to take old romance novels from the used book store, soak them in melted wax, score then to make pieces easy to break off, and call it "Blazing Romance", but my heart just wasn't in it.


The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to