A while ago I asked readers Do You Have 5 Ways to Make Fire? The article concentrated on fire starters; steel and flight, lighters, and a few less common systems. However, most of those will be useless for building a fire if you don’t have some tinder to put the flame to. Here are 5 great ideas for fire tinder, both natural and homemade.
1. Dryer Lint
Everybody can collect it for free, and even get it from the bottom of your pockets in a pinch. It’s light, compressible, and burns like crazy. Drawbacks are that it really must be dry and lint from some clothes (synthetics) does not burn well.
Collect the stringy shavings from the bark of a cedar tree for the best (in my opinion) natural fire tinder. Rub it between your hands quickly to create a small fluff ball of shavings that will light quickly.
3. Cotton Ball and Vaseline
This might be the oldest survivalist trick in the book. Coat some cotton balls in Vaseline and store them in a container in your Bug Out Bag. Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is flammable and this set up will burn great for longer than you would expect.
Obviously these won’t be available in all areas, but when you can find them the light feathery material inside cattails is like burning paper or cotton. Quick and easy.
Like cedar, just shave some bark off of a birch tree. The cedar shavings are like stringy wood, whereas birch shavings are basically nature’s paper. Thin, light, and easy to burn. Also very easy to peel off the tree.
What do you use?
I know these are just the tip of the iceberg for survival fire tender. What other natural or homemade fire tinders do you like to use?