Ready Fuel is a lightweight gel that burns clean and hot enough to act as fire, as well a fire starter. Tested and approved by the U.S. military, it is a versatile solution that can serve as an emergency survival tool, primary fire starter or a cooking fuel.

Ready Fuel comes in a small, 1.25-ounce (35 g) packet. Because it lights immediately when you apply a flame, it can be used to start an emergency fire or standard campfire. Unlike other fire-starting materials that burn away quickly, a packet of Ready Fuel gel burns for 15 to 20 minutes at temperatures up to 1,200°F (649°C).

So, similar to the InstaFire we covered last year, it not only starts a larger fire, it can act as its own fire, boiling a cup (237 ml) of water in about 5 minutes. One packet used judiciously provides enough burn to boil 4 cups (0.95 ltr) of water. It can also cook food and dry wet clothing.

Unlike some other fire starters you might have used – gasoline and lighter fluid come to mind – Ready Fuel is non-toxic, smokeless and odorless. It burns down to a gritty, sand-like residue that is easy to brush into the garbage. Its other by-products are simply carbon dioxide and water.

In addition to its duel tinder-fuel use, Ready Fuel has several other qualities that make it ideal for outdoor use. It burns at temperatures as cold as - 23°F (-30.5°C), altitudes up to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), and doesn't freeze, evaporate or melt. It has a 30-year shelf life, so it is ready to go for your next adventure.

According to its distributor, The Ready Project, it is non-explosive and not subject to EPA restrictions, unlike other camping stove fuels. Each packet is lightweight and nearly flat, making it ideal as an ultralight primary fuel or emergency fire starter.

Ready Fuel has previously been used by the military but is new to the consumer market. A pouch of four packets costs US$14.95, and a 120-count case costs $239.95. The Ready Project also sells the $25 folding Ready Stove, which can be used with the fuel.

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