New Zippo Fire-Starting Kits — SHOT Show 2017

Never in the dog’s experience had it known a man to sit like that in the snow and make no fire.

— “To Build a Fire” by Jack London


I’m still haunted by Jack London’s “To Build A Fire.  I first read it in the seventh grade and 20 years later it’s still fresh in my mind.  That closing paragraph when the dog realizes the man… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t read the short story, but needless to say, it is quite breathtaking.

While one can argue that there are multiple morals to the story, the main takeaway is do not venture out into the wild without a tried and true method to build a fire.

When it comes to fire starting, Zippo’s got one covered.  New for 2017 is an array of products that will get the job done, even in the most extreme conditions.

The Typhoon Matches. Apparently, these will light even when wet.

The water-resistant container or Match Kit for the matches.


  • Emergency Fire Kit ($11.95 MSRP): Featuring compact and high-caliber construction, this water-resistant fire starting kit is designed to work in the bleakest of conditions to help fire up a campsite at a moment’s notice.
  • Easy Spark Tinder ($5.95 MSRP): Small, powerful and easy to pack, these paraffin wax-coated cottontindersfeature a unique hole-thru design for added flexibility, helping ensure that they are easy to burn even in the harshest conditions.
  • Typhoon Matches and Typhoon Match Kit ($9.95 MSRP; $11.95 MSRP): A pack of 30 water- resistant and windproof matches that are designed to perform in wind, water or rain. The matches are easy to strike and can be lit in the most treacherous of conditions. The Typhoon Match Kit houses 15 matches inside a water-resistant case, keeping them protected from the elements until they need to perform.
  • Mag Strike ($14.95 MSRP): Powered by a ferrocerium rod and striker, the Zippo Mag Strike features a textured grip, solid triangularbodyand ultra-sharp blade, helping deliver a precise shower of sparks to seamlessly light a fire.
  • Tinder Shreds ($4.95 MSRP): Composed of natural pine and paraffin, Zippo Tinder Shreds are water-resistant, easy to carry, light quickly and burn strong – all essential elements for creating a hassle-free fire.

This is the Emergency Fire Kit.

These Easy Spark Tinders fit right into the base of the Emergency Fire Kit.


Nice, solid construction.

Perfect for every day carry.

Of the new products, the one that jumped out at me was the Mag Strike.  I currently don’t own a ferrocerium rod and have been shopping around for one.  While the $15 price tag is a bit higher than some of the other brands I’ve seen online, the Zippo Mag Strike appears to be more solidly constructed.  Plus it’s super easy to use and the sparks it produces are nice and big.

Whether you carry it in a jacket pocket, your bugout bag or the glove compartment in your truck, the Mag Stike should probably go wherever you go, especially if you don’t want to end up like the character in Mr. London’s story.

Don’t forget about the Tinder Shreds!

What are your thougths?

Price and Availability

You can see the prices listed next to the product listings.  These should go live starting in April of 2017.  They will be available on as well as sold at “select retailers.”

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • David Telliho January 19, 2017, 10:06 pm

    Call me what you will. I wanted a fire in a steady rain. I pealed some bark from a dead downfall&kept wt side up till I had wood gathered. I propped one bark up about 10″ or so above the other. One on bottom dry side up. I placed a homemade starter on it,then shaved dry slivers around it.The starter was one of quite a few I`d made. It consisted of an old bottle cap filled w/wax,&short wick. I`d seen the idea in an old Outdoor life back in the early 60`s. I soon had a nice fire going&cooked my polish sausage&heated water for cocoa. Life is good. Let it rain.

  • Thomas Gaffey January 19, 2017, 8:26 pm

    Try the Boy Scouts we taught fire making,and when the kids passed the test I gave them a little ferro Rod and striker on a lanyard, totally cool.

  • Oldefarte January 19, 2017, 11:48 am

    Because I used to do historical reenactments, I have had to learn how to make a fire (and carry one, once made – oak bolls, aka “oak apples” or “oak galls” make a good transport system whereby you can actually carry a fire safely in your pocket) the old timey ways. One of the things the Vikings (who traveled light) always carried on them was small pouch containing a firestarting kit, consisting of an iron “fire starter” (in a variety of shapes, usually with a handle or two attached to the striking plate) and a small pouch of tinder and fine kindling. Tinder is the hard part – you need something that will catch easily, protect the ember until it can light the tinder, and still burn hot enough to ignite the kindling. There are lots of historically accurate materials you can use for tinder, but I’ve developed a “cheat” (when one is doing demos at schools or museums, it helps if it looks like you’re good at it and the simple fact is that, in real life, even if you’re competent, it doesn’t always work as well as one might like). What I use is… dryer lint. Yup, that’s right, the stuff you scrape off that little screen by the dryer door, after you’ve dried a load of towels or whatever. It’s highly compactable, very light, and as cheap as, well, as cheap as dryer lint. Pull a tuft out, spread it open to the desired degree, and hit the striker with your seax (or regular knife if you’re not packin’ like a Viking) and coax it into a flame with a light blow. The kids will ooh and ahh at how well you can build a fire. If you’re really into cheating, you can also impregnate the dryer lint with any number of flammable substances from lighter fluid to hairspray to Vaseline, etc. (just make sure the lint is kept appropriately sealed), tho’, generally, the lint alone works just fine.

  • Billybob January 19, 2017, 10:59 am

    Purell hand sanitizes & fire starter
    vaseline and cotton ball fire starter
    pine tree resin fire starter ( pitch sap )

    • jrkmt1 January 19, 2017, 1:06 pm

      In the last 30 years I have yet to see someone be able to start a fire using cotton balls and Vaseline. After they go through their entire supply and wonder why none of it lit, I pull out a trioxane bar and a wood match (usually of the Coast Guard variety). In no time we have a nice fire going. (I usually have to restack the wood that’s to be used for the fire as it has been packed too tightly, too.)
      Though pine sap should work well, I’ve never heard of using hand sanitizer.

      • Joe January 19, 2017, 2:01 pm

        Not sure of a cotton ball, but I have started a number of fires using dryer lint and vaseline. Works great!

  • Bert Jocks January 19, 2017, 10:10 am

    Good article. Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” should be required reading for any outdoorsman/woman. I’ve have to disagree with Blannelberry’s main take away from the story though. The true point of the story is that young, “bullet-proof” adventurers should listen very carefully to the advice given by older, more experienced “Sourdoughs”. The hero was told not to go because it was too cold. That said, having the ability to build a fire is one, if not THE, most important skills anyone who ventures into Mother Nature’s un-pitying realm. I’ll be buying all 5 items above and including them in my various TEOTWAWKI Go Bags.

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