In an instant your life may depend on a quickly built fire.

A fall through the ice or a tipped canoe can cause only seconds to act for your survival.

I test out the all American made Lightning Strike Fire Starter, Napalm Tinder and Standard Tinder to see if it indeed is the fastest fire maker for when the chips are down.


A bad day can happen quickly when in the great outdoors. Your ability to quickly start a fire while your body goes numb to the quickly encroaching freezing temperatures is the utmost importance. This is not the time for making bow drills or using the sun to make a fire through your eyeglasses. There is not enough time for even a highly trained survivalist in those bad times. You need fire immediately.

Personally I have carried every form of flint sparker, lighters and even a small flare on occasion. Tinder of various types have been utilized from the great outdoors itself to the lowly dryer lint dabbed with Vaseline. Well lighters run out of fuel at the wrong time. Flares are a one shot deal. Flint sparkers generally take two hands and separately carried tinder to start a fire. Oh magnesium fire starters are a real hoot when you have to shave tiny flecks off to try igniting in a howling wind. Nothing is perfect right?

In the search for a perfect emergency fire starter I contacted Darrell Holland, the inventor and maker of the Lightning Strike Fire Starter and Napalm Tinder. Quickly I had a Lightning Strike Fire Starter at my door step, along with a container of Napalm Tinder and a bag of extra Standard Tinder also. The proprietary compound of the Napalm Tinder burns around 4 minutes per wafer. Peel the wafer apart to expose some fibers and you are ready to light.


Lets take a close look what’s inside of this fire starter kit. First of all you can see everything is self contained. The ferro rod is housed inside of the main assembly tube. The channel puts all of the sparks generated right on your tinder when struck by the striker that is attached by a bungee cord to the rear cap. The rear cap hides a stash of Napalm Tinder wafers. The full size model I tested holds 20 of these tinder wafers. The compact model holds 10 wafers.


A close up of the tinder compartment shows Napalm Tinder wafers ready in an instant. Below the cord is an attached cap that allows you to retrieve the wafers farther down in the tube compartment with no issues. Everything in one handy package. A fire kit just doesn’t get any more easy to carry and self contained than that.


The separate extra Napalm Tinder wafers and Standard Tinder imaged below. The treated cotton balls fit nicely into the tinder compartment of the Lightning Strike Fire Starter for refilling. Plenty were supplied for my review wisely as you will see it becomes quite addictive to use.


Here is the inside of the Napalm Tinder disk container that holds 9 wafers. These wafers are bigger than the Lightning Strike Fire Starter tinder storage compartment but can be wadded up if needed to fit inside with no issues.


For testing I picked a spot that nothing else was flammable (a flat very dry rock because wet rocks can explode in a fire) and removed the end cap and pulled out a piece of Napalm Tinder from the compartment. I replaced the cap and put the tinder on the rock. I fluffed out some fibers and removed the striker from it’s stored position. Placing the open end with the ferro rod tube assembly on the tinder I took the sparker and placed it in the groove against the ferro rod itself. This was all done with the bungee cord still attached to the end cap and the main body. With one motion a large shower of sparks attacked the tinder which instantly burst into flames. Impressed? Certainly so! It is a one strike emergency fire starter.


I tried it again and again even dumping water on the tinder first and then lighting it. First spark strike always lit. An old split fiberglass arrow made a great impromptu torch in the image below.


My wife got a great slow motion video of the actual ignition. It was so hot that she melted part of the camera during this shot. The advertised up to 5000 degrees Fahrenheit is no joke! With a true burn time of around 4 minutes there is plenty of time to get a good life saving fire started.

Here is an interesting way to start a fire with the Lightning Strike Fire Starter. Try it with one hand as you may need to do in an emergency with an injured hand. Since everything is at the ready use your foot to hold the end of the fire starter and use your good hand to spark. In reality the Lightning Strike Fire Starter is a one hand operation with the aid of something to hold it for the ferro rod strike. Try that with traditional ferro rod and striker fire starters. Yes your tinder would be scattered across the frozen landscape and you would be in about the same condition too.

Both the compact and the standard size Lightning Strike Fire Starters can be purchased in the green color above reviewed, blue, red, or Spec-Ops black. What happens when you wear out the ferro-rod many moons from now? Well replacement kits and refills are available to keep your new best friend running great.

I have found the Lightning Strike Fire Starter and Napalm Tinder to be the absolute most fool-proof fire kit available. No need to tap into primitive man’s fire making knowledge if you find yourself in a bad situation. Let making a fire be the least of your concerns and pack this great fire starter like I now do.

Check out the Lightning Strike Fire Starters and the Napalm Tinder on their website along with helpful videos and tips.

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