My husband (the son of a fireplace equipment manufacturer) says all you need to start a fire is a match and the ability to commune with what he refers to as “the platonic ideal of wood.”
Unfortunately not everyone who wants a toasty, roaring fire is can be married to my husband. Yet anyone can become a fire whisperer—with the right tools. Kindling, flint stones, fireproof matches, and sparking rods come to mind.
If you’re ready to welcome winter with firelight, or if you have a wood-fire lover on your holiday shopping list, here are 10 fire starter kits to consider:
Above: Photograph via Goodwares.
Manufactured by a small family business in southern Lapland, a Tinder-Box comes with flint stones, steel, kindling, and carbon cloth and is 305 KR (about $33 US) at Wilma Naturprodukter.
Above: A set of 14 Fire Lighters made of recycled materials (wood scraps, recycled cardboard, and wax) is €18.90 at Merci.
Above: Made in Minnesota by Sanborn Canoe Co., a Firestarter Kit ($16 from Boston General Store) comes with eight cedar fire starters, kindling made from scrap cedar, and a Marble’s match safe.
Above: Two options from Germany-based Manufactum: a carton with 38 pieces of Wood Wool in Rolls (at Left) made from wood resin and paraffin (obtained from Swiss trees under sustainable management) is €10.50 and a box of 18 Fidibus Firelighters made of wood fibers is €9.
Above: Among the tools for an emergency included in a SOLKOA Survival Kit is fire-starting equipment: waterproof matches, six fire tinder tabs, and a sparking flint rod. The kit is $188 from Best Made Co.
Above: The same type of fire starter used by fur traders and explorers in the 17th century, a Copper Tinder Box Fire Starter has a magnifying lens, a striking steel, a piece of flint, dry rope fibers, and a piece of char—all the equipment necessary to start a fire on either a sunny or cloudy day. It is $68.75 from Garrett Wade.
Above: Make your own herbal fire starters (or give them away as a holiday gift) with step-by-step instructions for our DIY Natural Fire Starters.
Above: An Adirondack Firestone Complete Kit, a favorite of Janet’s since 2011, is $124.95 from Adirondack Firestone Company. Writes Janet: “Based in Syracuse, New York, the Adirondack Firestone Company ‘celebrates the warmth of the fire.’ To get the blaze going, the company offers the kit, which includes a stoneware pot, a reusable FireStone with a cold rolled steel handle, and two bottles of Candle & Lamp Oil. The appealing ceramic pots are crafted in small batches, hand-glazed, and hand-numbered.”
Above: A wooden Fatwood Crate is filled with 10 pounds of fire starters made of non-endangered species of pine that have natural resins that make them “an ideal ignition point.” A refillable crate of fatwood is $44.95 from L.L. Bean.
Above: “Always put the pine cone with the scales pointing downwards,” advises the Local Brands, where a set of nine Firestarters in a Gift Box is $17.