Here is a handy little item that every 72 Hour Kit needs. A simple fire starter can save lives. When you are in the elements remember first to figure out shelter, then water, then food. Staying warm will keep you alive. What better way to stay warm than building a fire? Having the tools and skill to find proper fire material, and then being able to start the fire could be all that stand between you and hypothermia.
A flint striker, fire stick, or other reusable fire starter is better than matches because there is much less possibility to run out of flint or magnesium versus a small pack of matches. A waterproof container with material to catch fire is also a great addition to your 72 Hour Kit. Use some cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, or buy some solid fuel cubes.
Don’t forget about the fire triangle – Oxygen, Fuel, and Heat (recently this has been expanded to the fire pyramid and includes ‘chain or chemical reaction’, but that’s more science than practical). Having a fire starter is just the beginning. Practice starting fires (outdoors in a controlled environment please) and foraging for proper tinder and fuel. Learn how oxygen is drawn into fire and the best way to “feed” oxygen to your fuel and keep things hot.