What are fire starters? In my definition, fire starters do not generate a flame but rather sustains a flame that ignites it whether by a match, lighter, or possibly a ferro rod. It’s purpose is to sustain a flame long enough to ignite adjacent tinder that builds into a larger fire. This is particularly advantageous when the tinder is damp or larger in diameter than preferred fine material so that it has a longer time to dry or heat enough to ignite.
I have mentioned in previous articles alternative fire starters such as “Duct Tape Tinder And Fire Starters” and “Quick And Easy Fire Starters”. Many petroleum products will burn well but they are usually quite sooty. In the short term smokey flames are okay but be sure that you’re up wind when it’s burning.
Recently I wrote about using rubber bands in the process of making an “Antler Slingshot” so having various rubber bands on hand I decided to try one to see if it would be a viable fire starter. It takes a few moments to establish a solid flame but once established it burns very well… up to two minutes! Of course the thicker the rubber band the longer the burn time.
Rubber bands are a light weight, inexpensive, and easily obtained “flexible” resource that can be carried by wrapping around a water bottle or any other object of your choosing. It’s another potential resource to aid you in building a fire when needed.