Sometimes starting a fire while you are camping can be a huge struggle. The wood isn’t always great, the conditions are sometimes wet, and other times you just can’t get it going.
Buying fire starters is a great way to save some time and energy when starting a fire. However, instead of spending money on a fire starter, you can make your own with household items for free.
Check out our DIY fire starters to use on your next trip!
Dryer Lint and Toilet Paper Rolls
This one is pretty classic and well known amongst the outdoor community. Dryer lint is usually highly flammable and a great, cheap way to get your fire going. Using old cardboard toilet paper rolls you can make quite the fire starter.
Simply pack dryer lint from your dryer into the toilet paper roll. You can close the ends up with paper, or leave them open for easy lighting. Create a teepee structure around the toilet paper roll and light a small edge with your lighter. Depending on how much dryer lint you put in, these can burn for up to 10 minutes.
Dryer Lint and Vaseline Balls
If you are backpacking, carrying around toilet paper rolls full of dryer lint is probably going to be a pain. However, rolling the dryer lint up into tiny balls will not be! Using vaseline, you can make the dryer lint stick together into a ball form and let them dry.
I usually make them around the size of a small grape and pack them in an old pill bottle for transportation. Although these won’t burn as long as the toilet paper rolls, they are a perfect alternative for backpacking and will light a well prepared fire no problem.
Dried Orange Peels
Many people do not know that orange peels are actually very flammable when dried out. The peels contain a special oil that is perfect for starting fires.
Additionally, they smell great when you burn them which adds some fun to your fire. You can dry the peels out before you go on your trip in the oven and keep them a brown paper bag. If you are already on the trail and out of options, you can leave them in the sun and wait until they dry out enough to work.
Wax Cotton Pads
Wax covered cotton pads are also a great option for backpacking because they are small and light. All you need is some cotton pads and a candle.
Simply melt the wax down in a pan or can and then place the cotton pads in. Wait until the pads have soaked up a sufficient amount of the wax and then remove them to let them dry.
Once they have hardened, they are ready to hit the trails! Although I have never tried it myself, I have heard of people using cotton balls as well.
Alcohol Soaked Wine Corks
This one is pretty fun and one of my personal favorites. All you need a jar that closes, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and about 12-15 wine corks. Dump the wine corks and alcohol into the jar, seal it up, and wait! The corks will soak up the alcohol, turning them into perfect fire starters.
Grab a couple corks and position them inside your kidding for the best results. If you don’t have a surplus of corks sitting around your house, you better get drinking!
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