One thing I find people do not mention as they ought to is the restrictive qualities you will run across when it comes to kindling. Here are some of the needs and/or weaknesses you will find in these types of kindling methods and when they work best:
1) Friction (bow drill): Your first need is to find dry wood and to determine if the inner bark is damp or not. The longevity and amount of rainfall will determine your ability to successfully acquire dry wood for your bow drill. So if the conditions are too wet in theory they are not the best to use unless in a dry environment. This also will require knife carving skills, paracord, bank line or some rope like material to use to construct the base, the spindle, the bow and the socket for the spindle to rotate freely upon. The good part, however, is most of what you need can be found in the woods and doesn't require you to carry it in your gear bag, except for bank line or paracord and your knife. Remember only use soft wood for your bow drill material!!!
2) Flint and Steel: Although this can be used in windy conditions, the complete downside to this method is that it is completely dependent upon char cloth. Your need to reproduce char cloth will require needing cotton fabric of some sort and a container to burn it in. Also, Rainy conditions will affect it and make it useless if the cloth becomes wet, therefore keeping it covered and protected is paramount. So this method is not very advantageous as it is a source that is very dependent in its needs.
3) 5x Magnifying Lens: This requires a clear day and sun for use which shows its complete dependability on awesome weather conditions. Although usable, repeatable and not needing to be replenished, its required environment makes it vulnerable indeed.
4) Matches: Wind is its enemy and it being easily blown out, cover is its only ally. Seeing that the match head also can rub off making it useless, this form of kindling is very weak. Also something to think about is the amount of matches you have may completely be less than the amount you will be able to actually use. As some may never light and wet conditions can render them useless as they will not strike but smear off.
5) Stormproof Matches: With these matches, wind and rain will not easily blow it out but wind will indeed blow it down faster and lessen the time you might need it to burn depending upon the wind conditions. So cover is also its ally against strong wind. As for wet conditions it will burn but there is a down side in as long as your striking surface is not wet as it will indeed smear and not strike properly. But, if you keep it dry and in the container with the waterproof case you should be fine. Just remember though your limited by the amount you have on you.
6) Bic Lighter: Wind and rain will not easily blow it out unless wind conditions are high. So cover is its ally against strong wind. As for wet conditions it’s great and will burn but the downside is if it gets in direct contact with water drops it will indeed put it out. As long as you keep it under cover or away from direct water contact you should be fine. Just remember though you’re limited by the amount of fuel you have in it.
7) Zippo Lighter: Wind and rain will not easily blow it out unless wind conditions are high. So cover is its ally against strong wind. As for wet conditions it’s great and will burn but the downside is if it gets in direct contact with water drops it will indeed put it out. As long as you keep it under cover or away from direct water contact you should be fine. Just remember though your fuel may dry up as it is completely vulnerable to evaporation and you are also limited by the amount of fuel you have in it. Also, it will require a fuel refueling source.
8) Firesteel: Wind and rain have no effect on this but keep it away from your fire as it will completely disintegrate if it gets in contact with fire. How long it takes to disintegrate will vary depending upon the size and thickness of the firesteel, so keep it safe with you. The amount of fires you can create are only dependent upon the width and size of your firesteel as larger ones will last longer. Literally thousands of fires could potentially be lit with a good firesteel. However, they require wood shavings and feather sticks to use for striking a spark on. Best results are using fat wood, for wood shavings as the oils will burn even when wet.
9) Magnesium Bar: Wind and rain have no effect on this but keep it away from long exposure to rain as it will rust. Since there is a standard size for these the amount of fires are only dependent upon the success of your shaving off enough magnesium and will require a firesteel for striking a spark to ignite it. Seeing they all come with a glued on firesteel it is best to get a firesteel separately to use with this as they tend to come unglued and the striking abilities on the firesteel is limited. But, on the good side it will lesson your firesteel usages as it takes little to nothing to get the magnesium to quickly ignite. Therefore, allowing you two major options in using both for starting a fire, and giving the firesteel and magnesium longer lifespans. Literally thousands of fires could potentially be lit with a good firesteel. However, they require wood shavings and feather sticks to use for striking a spark on. In wet weather the magnesium burns perfectly and wind and rain will not hinder its burn abilities.
Avi Ben Shalom: