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Father's Day-CA

This Is The Best Fire Starter Money Can Buy Right Now

Disclaimer: Prepared4X sent this product to us for free for a review. That does not affect our opinion about the product. In this article, we list both what we like and dislike. Read more about this here.

Everybody Needs To Have A Fire Starter

There’s nothing more satisfying than starting a campfire using the good old-fashioned fire striker method.

If you’re super dedicated, the stick and friction method is the most natural way to start a fire, but for those of us who don’t have that kind of patience, a fire striker tool is also a fun way to light a campfire.

The Prepared4X fire starter uses a large Ferro rod. It’s the best for creating large sparks, which helps a lot when igniting the rope that’s both a way to start a campfire and a torch you can use for light.

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Combining a fire starter with a torch helps with two things you need in a survival situation: fire and light.

In this review I’ll outline the key features of the Prepared4X survival torch and give my experience using it.

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A Closer Look

Main Features

  • Two Size Options – Small (4 inches long) or Large (6 inches long)
  • Full Length Ferro Rod
  • 36 inch Wax Infused Hemp Rope
  • Aluminum Tube Housing
  • Steel Striker
  • Burlap Storage Bag
  • Waterproof
  • Directed Spark for Windy Conditions
  • 3 Hour Average Burn Time
  • Large Size Total Weight – 235 grams/8.3 ounces
  • Small Size Total Weight – 170 grams/6 ounces
prepared4x emergency torch fire starter on a camp table
Prepared4X fire starter with the rope fed through the aluminum housing.

Ferro Rod & Housing

The Ferro rod on the Prepared4X fire starter covers the entire length of the aluminum housing. The large size is both longer and slightly thicker than the small option.

For lighting and use as a torch, the included rope is fed through the aluminum housing. The hole is 3/8 of an inch in diameter.

Both the rod and the housing feel very durable and heavy.

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sparks from the farro rod on the prepared4x fire starter
The Prepared4X has a large steel striker that’s easy to grip.

Steel Striker

The design of the steel striker is an important part in creating enough sparks to light a fire. It needs to have some sharp edges to dig into the material but also be comfortable to hold.

On the Prepared4X survival torch, the striker is the same length as the housing. It’s curved, so it fits perfectly around the Ferro rod for storage.

Both edges are sharpened towards the end of the striker for creating sparks. The very end is serrated and used for fraying the end of the rope to help it ignite easier.

Hemp Rope

The hemp rope is used to feed the torch. It’s 36 inches long with a clip on one end that secures to the steel striker.

It’s infused with wax to help with burning and waterproofing.

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using the steel fray tool to prepare the rope on the prepared4x fire starter survival torch
Use the serrated edge on the Prepared4X sriker to fray the rope before lighting.

How to Use the Prepared4X Survival Torch

This is a fairly simple survival tool. The rope is fed through the aluminum housing and sticks out one end like a candlewick.

You light the rope with the Ferro rod by fraying the end and striking down towards it.

Once lit, you can control the size of the flame by adjusting the amount sicking out of the housing.

If the flame is a conservative size, you can get up to 3 hours of burn time with the 36 inch rope.

prepared4x fire starter torch with rope on fire
Prepared4X survival torch with a small flame for longer burn time.

The torch can be used for light and starting campfires. The long burn time is fantastic for lighting fires in tough conditions, like wind and rain.

It’s not always easy to find dry tinder that can be lit by sparks. By including the rope, Prepard4X has eliminated one of the hardest parts about starting a campfire.

When you’re done using the fire starter, simply drag the rope into the housing to extinguish it.

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prepared4x fire starter wrapped together for storage
Wrap the rope around the Prepared4X fire starter for easy storage.

Hemp Rope Replacement

Ferro rods wear out over time, but it takes a while, and it probably won’t need replacing any time soon. The main thing you will need to replace is the hemp rope.

You can get a replacement made by Prepared4X (click to view on Amazon) that’s identical to the original rope. There’s even a clip attached for the metal striker.

While I think it’s great that Prepared4X has a replacement available, you can make your own using the clip from the original rope and some 1/4 inch jute/hemp rope (click to view on Amazon).

It’s not wax infused, but you can do that yourself by melting some beeswax and soaking the rope in it.

The wax is mostly for waterproofing and slowing the burn. If you are mostly using this as a fire starter, a regular jute/hemp rope will work fine.

Take the new rope and thread it through the clip that was on the old rope. Use electrical tape or simply tie a knot to secure it.

using the prepared4x emergency fire starter as a torch to light a camp fire
Prepared4X fire starter with a large flame.

Prepared4X Fire Starter Review

Lighting Speed

I’ve used flint and steel to light a lot of campfires. Not because I have to, but because I think it’s fun.

One thing about using fire strikers like flint or Ferro rod is you have to create the perfect little pile of dry tinder for the sparks to get a hold of and ignite.

Ferro rod creates bigger sparks than flint and magnesium. So it’s a little easier to use, but it’s still not as easy as using a match or lighter.

I was skeptical about the Prepared4X fire starter. I knew it could start a fire like any other striker, but could it really light the rope, and could it light it in just a couple of strikes?

I followed the included instructions exactly. I frayed the rope with the serrated end of the steel striker, and I used both of the sharp edges when striking on the Ferro rod.

It only took two strikes to ignite the rope, and that was with no previous experience. It worked way better and faster than I expected.

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The Prepared4X is easy to use. In windy and moist conditions, it takes a few more strikes to light, but compared to flint and magnesium, it’s really fast.

Sometimes I can get the rope to light with just one strike.

The rope burns a little faster than I thought it would, but that just makes it better for starting campfires and lighting stoves.

If you pull the rope end closer to the aluminum housing, the flame gets smaller and weaker. When you give it more rope, the flame gets a lot bigger and stronger.

Usability

I have a BioLite Camp Stove (click to view on Amazon). It’s my favorite camping accessory and I use it all the time.

My main complaint with the stove is that it’s hard to light because it needs to be lit at the bottom of the metal cylinder.

Even long gas lighters are hard to use because the flame always goes out before the tinder or paper has ignited.

using a prepared4x fire starter survival torch to light a biolite camp stove
Using the Prepared4X fire starter to light my wood fueled camp stove.

The Prepared4X fire starter is perfect for lighting it because it’s long and you can adjust the rope length to get the flame even lower.

It lit the stove it right away, and the Prepared4X is now my new official camp stove lighter.

My camp stove is one of the most difficult fires to light, and the Prepared4X has no problem with that. So regular campfires are no problem for it.

Because of the design, this is one of the most usable and versatile fire starters I’ve ever used.

Survival Torch Testing

This is both a fire starter and a survival torch. It’s great for lighting fires, but can it be used as emergency lighting outdoors?

When you hold up the Prepared4X like a torch, it’s very similar to a candle. The rope is the wick, and the flame stays lit so long as there’s enough rope to sustain it.

Once it got dark, I took the survival torch outside and lit it. I wanted to test if I could light the Prepared4X in the dark, and I’m happy to say that it wasn’t an issue at all.

The sparks put out a ton of light, so much that it’s almost hard to look directly at them.

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prepared4x fire starter being used as a torch at night
Using the Prepared4X fire starter as a survival torch at night.

Because I was walking, the flame needed to be pretty big to stay lit. So I think if you’re walking while using the Prepared4X as a torch, you are going to burn up the rope pretty quickly.

If you place it somewhere like you would a candle, the flame doesn’t need to be nearly as big and it will use a lot less rope.

It put out plenty of light to see where I was walking. The only issue I had was having to use my other hand to feed more rope into the aluminum housing to keep the flame bright.

It’s definitely more work than a lantern or flashlight, but in an emergency, it works well as a temporary source of light.

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All-in-all, I think the Prepared4X fire starter survival torch will be a great addition to my camping gear.

It lights quickly and the design makes it so you don’t need to look for the perfect kindling to start a campfire.

No more spending all my time trying to get a ball of dry grass to light with just a few sparks.

The only real downside I see with this fire starter is the weight. Even the small size is a lot heavier than flint and steel, matches, or a lighter.

So it might not be the best tool for backpack camping, but for regular camping it’s fantastic.

Frequently Asked Questions

How easy is it to ignite the torch, especially in adverse weather conditions?

Compared to other Ferro rod lighting systems, the Prepared4X fire starter is really easy to light. Bringing your own kindling in the form of a hemp rope is such a good idea.

If you are using a hemp rope that’s treated with something waterproofing like beeswax, it’s actually pretty easy to light in adverse weather conditions as well.

It’s still hard to light in super high winds, but it can handle a decent amount of rain and a stiff breeze.

What is the burn time of the torch?

The large version comes with a 36 inch rope that can burn over 3 hours.

You can adjust the flame size by pushing out more rope to create a larger wick. If you keep the flame small you can get hours of light.

If you use a longer rope, the burn time will increase.

Can the torch be easily extinguished and reused?

Yes! One thing I don’t like about portable fire products is you have to wait for them to cool down before you can put them away.

The Prepared4X fire starter survival torch doesn’t really get that hot. The rope is the only thing burning.

It’s extinguished easily by pulling the rope into the tube to snuff it our, or by stepping on the burning part with your shoe or smashing it with a rock.

To reuse just pull the burnt end of the rope back out, use the striker tool to fray it, and use like you did the first time.

How durable is the construction of the torch? Is it capable of withstanding rough handling and outdoor elements?

The main parts of the Prepared4X survival torch are made of durable aluminum, Ferro rod, and a steel striker.

All these materials are extremely durable and can handle all types of weather and temperatures.

The only thing that could happen with rough use is the Ferro rod might separate from the aluminum tube that holds the rope.

It’s easy to glue the rod back on and it’s not something that usually happens.

Does the torch emit any smoke or odor during use?

Yes, the sparks smoke quite a bit and the lit rope does create some smoke. It smells just like burning rope and there aren’t any bad odors when it’s burning.

Never use this indoors because the flying sparks can be hard to control and the smoke a lot.

Are there any safety precautions or tips that users should be aware of when using the torch?

Yes, watch carefully where the sparks land. I use it close to the ground facing down so I can direct the sparks into the dirt.

If you’re in a dry area with lots of dry vegetation that could easily ignite be extra careful. We don’t want any forest fires being started from stray sparks.

How compact and lightweight is the torch for easy storage and transportation?

Both sizes of the Prepared4X fire starter are very portable and compact. You can place the striker against the rod and wrap the rope around everything to hold it in place.

It’s easy to throw in a pack and take anywhere.

Since the parts are metal and the Farro rod is large it weigh a lot more than matches or a small flint and steel.

If you’re backpack camping and trying to save weight, this might not be the best option for you.

Regular campers and day hikers shouldn’t have any issues bringing it along.

Have questions about the Prepared4X Ferro rod fire starter survival torch? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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