What is a Survival Torch 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.
Related Product: These Rain Ponchos by Prepared4X are fantastic for emergency preparedness and camping.
Fire strikers are most commonly made with flint, magnesium, or ferrocerium (Ferro Rod) and steel. Each type of fire starter has its pros and cons, but they can all be used to successfully start a fire so long as you know what you’re doing.
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.
The rope is fed through an aluminum tube the Ferro rod is connected to.
Combining a fire starter with a torch helps with two things you need in a survival situation: fire and light.
When I saw the survival torch fire starter online, I had to try it out. I’m a fan of innovative survival gear and I absolutely love starting my campfires with fire strikers.
In this post I’ll outline the key features of the Prepared4X survival torch and give my review based on my experience using it.
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prepared4X Fire Starter Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have questions about the Prepared4X Ferro rod fire starter survival torch? Leave a comment below.