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The Ultimate Fire Starter™

The Ultimate Fire Starter™
Vargo Ultimate Fire Starter

“Okay…so what is it?”

Fire starters come in a plethora of different styles, shapes, and sizes. Some create hot sparks while others generate flames. Others even use electricity to generate enough heat to cause combustion of any flammable material. However, they all have one major flaw. And to understand this flaw, we need to go back to our handy dandy Fire Triangle. What’s the Fire Triangle? Glad you asked.

The Fire Triangle: Where Geometry and Pyromania Converge

The Fire Triangle_ Where Geometry and Pyromania Converge

The Fire Triangle is a simple diagram to convey an eternal truth–that fire needs 3 things to exist and survive: fuel, heat, and oxygen. If any of those are missing, no fire. If one is lacking, so will your fire be. And if you want to grow your fire, you need to grow all three. They’re more dependent upon one another than that old man and lady at the end of The Notebook.

So the major flaw of other fire starters? They only address one of the 3 sides of the Fire Triangle: heat. And heat alone a fire does not make.

When paired with easy-to-ignite fuel sources like natural or man-made tinders (birch bark, fatwood, vaseline soaked cotton balls, WetFire™ Tinder, etc.), these spark or flame based fire starters are usually good enough at lighting most fires by creating sufficient heat that then mixes with the ambient air to progressively light more fuel (assuming you prepared and built your fire lay well). In this instance, you have control of 2 of the 3 factors necessary for fire (heat and fuel). So what happens when your initial heat and fuel sources aren’t enough to light larger fuel, or you need a bigger flame faster, or your fuel is wet and thus requires more heat to dry out and ignite? Also glad you asked.

Lighting fatwood with a ferro rod

Lighting fatwood with a ferro rod.

Fire loves oxygen…lots and lots of oxygen. Restrict the airflow to a fire and it’ll be gasping like a fish out of water. BUT if you can increase the flow of oxygen to a fire, you’ll directly increase its heat allowing it to burn larger fuel more quickly or even ignite wet or stubborn wood that require higher levels of heat to ignite. This is the same principle that metalworkers use to increase the heat of their fires to melt or soften metals. They know that ambient airflow isn’t enough to get metal molten. Their fires need plenty of forced air to get them to extremely high temperatures.

Maybe you know this already (collective high five to our fellow pyros!) and maybe you’re great at blowing minute sparks into gargantuan flames with nothing but your lung power and tightly pursed lips, but we’re telling you there’s a better way.

We’ve all been there before–hunched over in the cold on all fours, with hurting backs and burning faces, trying to blow as hard as one can without passing out just to get that flame to grow into fire as quickly as possible to warm our frozen, wretched souls.

Now, instead, imagine comfortably sitting or kneeling next to your would-be fire, at a safe distance to keep your whiskers from igniting, and gently blowing that flame into a full on forge with the efficiency of an air turbine engine. That’s what you can do with the Ultimate Fire Starter™!

Blowing coals into flames

Safely, comfortably, and efficiently blowing coals into forge level flames.

How to Use the Ultimate Fire Starter

How to Use the Ultimate Fire Starter

The Ultimate Fire Starter™ is an extendable bellows and integrated ferrocerium rod fire starter. It’s the only fire starter that allows you to start AND grow any fire by not only providing the heat necessary to start a fire, but the means to increase the flow of oxygen to the fire and, thus, increase its heat. No other fire starter is quite like it. And all in a sub-2 oz package.

To use, simply unscrew the ferrocerium rod from the bellows and use the attached striker to create 5,000°F sparks to light your tinder. Then, extend the bellows, aim it at the base of the fire, and blow smoothly to add more oxygen and exponentially increase the fire’s heat. Not only will your fire grow faster, it’ll even help to ignite wet or stubborn fuel. Or use it at anytime to get forge level heat from your fire. Now wet wood is no longer an excuse or obstacle to having a hot blaze at your campsite.

Or simply watch our video: )

Available now at or where fine Vargo products are sold!