5 DIY Firestarters from Common Ingredients

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

If you had to cook outdoors over an open flame, using a firestarter would make the process so much easier. Sure, you can just buy firestarter, such as Instafire, which works very well.  But knowing how to make your own is a valuable skill. You’ll save money next time you need firestarter for camping, and you’ll know how to make them yourself in case you’re in an emergency.

Here are a few easy ones that use materials that you can find in your home.

Cotton ball firestarter

You will need:

  • Cotton balls
  • Petroleum Jelly – any generic brand will do
  • Container for storage such as old prescription bottles

Roll each cotton ball in the petroleum jelly until completely coated. Store in a covered container such as old prescription bottles and seal. Take one or two and set on kindling such as paper, dried leaves twigs or branches and light.

Wine cork

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay


You will need:

  • Wine corks
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Jar

Place the wine corks in a jar. Pour rubbing alcohol over them and let them soak. When you need to light a fire, just take a couple of the soaked corks and place them on kindling and light.  A lot of people accumulate wine corks but don’t know what to do with them. Now you’ll have a great use for them!


Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

You will need:

  • Pinecones
  • Wax
  • String
  • Double boiler heat the wax, Or you can set a large can on top of boiling water.

Tie a string securely around a pinecone.  Melt the wax in a double boiler or can sitting in boiling water. Once the wax is melted, lower the pinecone into the wax and coat. Let it dry on sheets of newspaper. Once it’s dry, dip in the wax a second time. Let the pinecones dry and store.

I have been finding so many pinecones all over the place and now I can use them for something.

Cardboard egg cartons

You will need:

  • Cardboard egg carton
  • Shredded paper or dryer lint
  • Leftover wax or old crayons

Melt the wax or old crayons.  You can use paper from your paper shredder or dryer lint. Place shredded paper or lint in the egg carton slots.  Drip the wax over the shredded paper.  Let the wax dry. Cut the egg carton slots into individual pieces and store in a cool, dry place.

Orange peel

I always have a surplus of orange peel and have found several ways to use them up. This is another one.  Orange peels contain oils that make it easy to start a fire. Simply peel the skin of the orange and allow to dry in a food dehydrator or just leave them out for several days on a paper towel until they are completely dry. Store in a covered container (such as an old prescription bottle) with silica gel. When you are ready to start a fire, toss a few orange peels with the kindling and light.



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