I stumbled across InstaFire a while back and they were kind enough to send me a few sample packets for review. I have to say, I’m mightily impressed by this product! InstaFire is relatively new to the fire starter market but they’ve really been making a name for themselves as the hottest thing to come along since tinder tabs.
InstaFire consists of a patented combination of paraffin, volcanic rock, and wood pellets. Each pouch contains about 1/2 cup of the mix.
The company says one pouch is enough to light 2-3 fires but based on my experience, you can get at least 4-5 fires out of a pouch, if you know what you’re doing when it comes to fire building.
Blindingly simple to use, you just pour a small pile of InstaFire where you are going to build your fire and light it. I found it lights extremely easily from a fire steel as well as a match. Because the material is covered with paraffin, it is essentially waterproof. I poured some InstaFire into a bucket of water, then scooped it out and it lit on the first round of sparks from my fire steel. When building a fire using InstaFire, it basically takes the place of your typical tinder.
Burn time is contingent upon how much InstaFire you use. I poured about 1/8 cup of InstaFire on a slab of bark and it burned for about 4-5 minutes. More InstaFire would mean a longer burn time. The company says 1/4 cup will burn about 10 minutes and that seems about right based on my tests.
When lighting the InstaFire product, you direct your spark or flame to the yellowish rocks. These catch almost immediately and then start the wood pellets burning. The flame is supposed to be in the neighborhood of 1000F. I have no way to measure temps that high but I’ll take their word for it. This is hot enough to dry out wet kindling and get it burning, that’s for sure.
In a pinch, you could even just use InstaFire and nothing else to cook over. A full packet will burn 20-30 minutes, though you may need to stir it up a bit from time to time.
One thing I really appreciate about InstaFire is that it is eco-friendly. Now, in a true survival situation, I’m not going to be overly concerned about my small impact on the ecosystem but being that InstaFire is great for use in fireplaces, wood stoves, and charcoal grills as well as campfires, being an eco-friendly product is a plus. The ash can be dumped right in the garden without any concerns. No toxic fumes as it burns either.
InstaFire is also extremely shelf-stable, lasting upwards of 30 years. It does not give off harmful vapors nor does it contain any harmful chemicals, thus it is completely safe to keep in the home, even in the pantry right next to your food storage.
This stuff will light and burn in just about any type of weather conditions, from a pouring rain to heavy snow. You can quite literally pour it over a pile of ice and it will burn just fine.
Depending on where and in what sizes you purchase InstaFire, it comes to roughly a buck a pouch. What I’ve done is divide the contents of a pouch between a couple of old 35mm film containers. While it is waterproof, the film containers allow me to carry it easily without spilling it in my pack.
InstaFire is highly recommended. You can find it here on Amazon as well as at your local Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and similar outlets.