Preparedness blog

5 Simple DIY Fire Starters

By Nicole from Ready Store
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It's that time of year when people head up into the mountains and spend their time enjoying good conversations around the campfire, going on hikes and shooting cans. Being in the great outdoors also allows us to test what we know about being more self-sufficient. For instance, how to start a fire with a limited amount of resources. To help, we will be highlighting 5 simple do-it-yourself fire starters that are inexpensive and easy to make before your next trip.

cotton-straw-fire-starter1 - Straw Fire Starter Kit

What you'll need: straws, petroleum jelly, cotton & matches
With the waterproof straw fire starters, you can store these anywhere. We recommend that you keep them handy in a 72-hour kit, the car or with your camping gear. You never know when they might come in handy. Simply cut the straw to fit a cotton ball and a match comfortably. Next, douse the cotton ball in petroleum jelly and stuff into the straw. Seal shut by lightly melting both ends of the straw.

fire-starter-toilet-paper-roll2 - Lint & Toilet Paper Roll Fire Starter

What you'll need: lint, toilet paper roll & petroleum jelly
You can make this fire starter for less than $5. Simply gather the excess lint from the dryer, douse in petroleum jelly and stuff into a toilet paper roll. Some like to wrap the firestarter in newspaper to give it more fuel when placed on a fire. We recommend keeping the fire starter in a waterproof container. To store matches, we recommend putting them in a Ziploc baggie or sealed in wax.

waxed pinecone fire starters3 - Pinecone Fire Starter

What you'll need: pinecones, twine, candle wax
This technique can easily be done while camping! Gather a handful of pinecones and wrap twine around the entire body, making sure to weave through each level. Melt wax in a separate bowl, dip the entire pinecone and let it cool on parchment paper for at least an hour. This is also a great gift idea for friends and family during the holiday season.

4 - Egg Carton Fire Starter

What you'll need: empty egg carton, candle wax & saw dust 
If you're trying to figure out what to do with all of your excess egg cartons, we have a great solution! With the egg carton fire starters, all you need to do is fill each carton up with saw dust, drip hot wax over each section and cut into individual pieces! We recommend keeping the egg carton fire starters in a dry place where you can easily access them.

wine-647832_960_7205 - Wine Cork Fire Starter

What you'll need: wine corks & isopropyl alcohol
Don't throw away all of your wine corks just yet! A quick and easy way to start your next fire is if you soak wine corks in alcohol for a few hours. Place a few on top of some kindling or newspapers and watch everything catch fire. We recommend storing these in a plastic container that is easy to gain access to.

What suggestions do you have for making quick and easy fire starters?

8 years ago
4 years ago at 11:43 AM
Alternative to plastic straws method? I'm assuming the plastic straw method is only to store the fire starter inside? I remember in the "old days" ('70s/'80s) burning plastic in a campfire and inhaling the toxic goodness, LOL. Could a wide gauge waxed paper straw be used, sealing the ends with a little extra parafin wax? That way you could use the entire thing as the starter? Thoughts on that?
3 years ago at 12:53 PM
On one episode of Survivorman, Les Stroud used a Frito to light a fire. He also showed that by touching a 9-Volt battery to some steel wool the wool will ignite making a great fire starter. I miss that show.
Kirk Monnier
3 years ago at 8:25 AM
I just carry a 5 gallon can of diesel with me and a lighter