Working smarter rather than harder is solid advice for just about any endeavor, including anything you do in the outdoors. While some might consider store-bought fire starters corrosive to good woodsmanship, the fact is they are part of the repertoire of anyone with enough sense to know you can’t always rely on rubbing two sticks together or banging sparks onto dry char cloth to get a blaze going. Commercial fire starters work every time, almost without fail, and should be a part of any sportsman’s bag of tricks. Here’s how and why they get the job done fast.

Jumbo Pack

These are great for lighting a flame in windy or wet situations. Lightning Nuggets

Check Price

Damp kindling, cold wind, rain turning to snow. If you’ve ever faced those conditions without a fire, you know the value of a simple block of store-bought fuel. Usually consisting of little more than sawdust and paraffin wax, they’ll burn long enough to ignite just about anything you can gather up and arrange into a soggy pile.

Lights Quickly

This can continue to do its job for up to five hours. Duraflame

Check Price

A lighter log makes starting a blaze in the home hearth about as simple as fire-making can be. Whether you are facing power outages from an unexpected spring ice storm or just being forced to watch Netflix and chill with Friends reruns and a glass of wine, if you can strike a match, you can survive.

Sustainable Ingredients

These are made of recycled wood chips and wax. Rutland Products

Check Price

When good grilling is more important than fire-starting prowess, drop a chunk of fire starter under the charcoal bed, hit it with a lighter, and you are in business. Fire starters made from wood chips and wax have the added advantage of not flavoring your food with the odor of chemical accelerants.