How to Make Home Made Fire Starter

July 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss Outdoor Tips

A way to make fire in the field is important in any kit. You should have two or three ways to start a fire. I carry a butane lighter, a magnifying glass and spark based  Fire Starter.These items alone are not enough. Weather you procure it from the field or bring it with you, tinder is going to be needed to make a fie.

The best take with you solution that is also water proof is cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly. You can make 150-200 flaming cotton balls for about 2 bucks, you can also use dryer lint if you want dark colored material and it is free.

Buy a bag of  low-quality average-sized cotton balls for $0.99. and cheep petroleum jelly for a buck. You will need a plastic bag, and a 35mm film or similar container. The cotton balls are greasy, and you don’t want them to ruin your other gear.

Place one cotton ball in your fingers. Dip the cotton ball or a cotton ball sized piece of dryer lint in the jelly, or put enough on your fingers to cover the ball. Use your fingers to work the jelly around the entire exterior of the cotton ball coating all the fibers.

Repeat until you have coated all of the balls. I usually make them while watching TV and throw them into a zip lock type bag to store.  Then transfer to a smaller container to put in your kit for the trail at this point you can compress a lot of the cotton balls in a small container.

Lighting your homemade fire starter is easy. Pull apart the compressed cotton ball with your fingers, making a nest in the center. The nest makes it easy to catch sparks or take a flame and allows the fibers to burn more easily.

Even on a very windy or wet day, the fire starters work without a hitch.  You have an extremely lightweight and dependable way to make a fire in any situation.

If you have a fire place, wood stove or fire pit , take the dryer lint and place it it in the cups of a cardboard egg container.  Melt down old candles pieces, paraffin or bees wax, and pour over the dryer lint in the cups. When dry rip or cut off the individual cups and use as fire starters.  To me these are to bulky and take up to much space to put them in my pack.  I only use them at home .

Copyright © 2009 by Steven L. Doran All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.

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