A fire starter kit is an essential for every bug out bag, but it’s also handy to have for camping or even firing up the grill. Sure, you can always do the flint and steel thing, but if you’re like me, you’d rather have a fool-proof fire survival kit. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to make your own.
DIY Fire Starter Kit
There are three main components to any fire . . . the starter, the tinder, and the fuel. You can get away with just having a fire starter, but if you take the tinder with you, it will make things that much easier.
Your fire starter can be anything that will start the burning process. Some people like good old flint and steel, which is fine and should certainly be a part of your survival kit, but I prefer stormproof matches.
Stormproof matches stay lit even in strong winds and if they are dunked in water, which means you can strike them in the rain! That’s good news if you are ever in a bad situation, you’ll always be able to light the match, at least. Which brings us to the next part of the firestarter kit.
You can always buy tinder, but why do that when you can make your own easily? Tinder can be just about anything that will easily catch fire. It should be loosely woven and burn hot enough to catch wood on fire. It also needs to burn for a period of time. While you can use anything from dryer lint and shredded tree bark as tinder, it’s best to make your own ahead of time and keep it in your fire starter kit.
Vaseline and cotton balls: A simple method of making your own tinder is to mix cotton balls with Vaseline. It will catch fire easily and if you want to make it waterproof, dip in paraffin wax until it’s totally coated and dry. To use this tinder, break or cut the pieces in half to expose the center and light.
Pinecones and wax: Pinecones make excellent tinder on their own, but they work even better when dipped in paraffin wax.
Sawdust Cubes: These are harder to light than most tinders, but they will burn hot and tend to go for about 10 minutes. Just fill cardboard egg carton cups with coarse sawdust and pour melted wax over top. Cut the egg carton sections apart and tuck into your fire kit.
Dryer Lint: The annoying lint from your dryer can actually be very useful. Pack into cardboard egg carton cups and fill with paraffin wax. Cut the egg cups apart to store.
Technically, your fire starter kit can contain only a method of lighting the fire and tinder, but here are a few things that will make it a little easier.
Glowsticks: It can be tough to light a fire in the dark and glowsticks are simple to use, light to carry, and good if you forget a flashlight. We like these tiny ones that will fit in a small firestarter pack.
Magnesium/Flint and Steel: These are the simplest way to carry fire with you and can actually be a fire starter kit all on their own. They contain the magnesium to create flakes and then a flint and steel to strike sparks. There is a learning curve, of course, but these are a great addition to your kit. Here’s one of the most popular options for survivalists.
Candles: If you don’t need a lot of fire, you might just want a candle for the moment. These can keep you warm in a pinch and provide ongoing light. Add a candle or two to your fire starter kit if you have room. This survival candle could be a great addition.
Build your survival fire kit as soon as possible and keep it in a safe place. It may be worth making a few and having one at your workplace, one in the car, one at home, etc. This way, you’ll never be without the ability to build a fire.