3 Simple Fire Starters that are Safe and Easy to Carry in Your Backpack
If you plan on building a fire on your next hiking trip, bringing some fire starters with can help you to save a lot of time, energy and hassle. While you still need to gather a good amount of suitable firewood, including kindling and tinder, you don't need as much to get a fire going if you also have something to help the process along. Let's take a look at a few types of fire starters that are perfect for backpackers as they take up minimal space and they can also be self-contained.
Lint and Petroleum Jelly
Take the lint from your dryer and roll it in a ball. Smear some petroleum jelly all around it before opening the ball and spreading some of it inside as well. Once the material has been evenly coated, all you need to do is place the balls inside of a plastic baggie and pack them away. When needed, simply pull apart some of the material, place it around the tinder and kindling, and ignite it with a lighter.
You can get a few minutes of solid burn time if you've packed enough material and used a generous amount of petroleum jelly. The best part of this option is that you don't need to use all of the material at once, which means that you can stretch resources and be able to start more fires later.
Cotton and Wax
If you have some extra cotton balls or padding laying around, along with some unscented candles, you can make a clean and safe fire starter in just a couple of minutes. Melt down the wax until it becomes a liquid and then add in a generous amount of cotton. Compress the cotton as much as possible and let everything cool. Once cooled, you can break the material into smaller pieces or store the whole piece in a plastic bag. When needed, simply tear off the desired amount and place it among the kindling and tinder. You can also smear some of the larger branches with the waxy residue in order to make them more flammable as well.
Take a roll of toilet paper, cut in half around the center, and stuff the inside of the rolls with some dryer lint. Make sure to pack the lint as tightly as possible. You can also soak the lint in some candle wax before inserting as well. Tightly wrap each half in sheets of waxed paper, and twist the ends closed. When ready to use, simply light one of the ends of waxed paper and place the roll in the middle of the firewood. This is a great method to use on larger fires or when conditions require a larger initial flame to get it started.
These are just a few examples of many homemade fire starters that you can create and pack away. Take some time to learn more about how fire starters can help you to get a fire going in less time and with less hassle the next time you're out on the trail.