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Fire Starters You Probably Have On Hand

A roaring, crackling fire is a staple of any great camping trip, but sometimes getting a successful fire going can be quite the struggle! Everyone seems to have their tried-and-true methods, but a variety of materials can help you to achieve the spark needed to get the flames going! Here is a list of ingenious fire starters you probably have on hand, along with some handy DIY fire starter ideas!


Chances are, you’ll have some wax sitting around your home that you can use to craft DIY fire starters! Paraffin wax works great for coating surfaces and filling containers, but old candles and even crayons can be used! If you use scented wax warmers in your home, these projects present the perfect opportunity to use the leftover used wax!


Whether it’s cotton balls, cotton pads, or even tampons, cotton makes a great fire starter! They burn easily on their own, but burn for a longer duration when coated with other materials!


As it is used for packaging with just about everything, cardboard is surely a fire starter material you’ll have laying around! Coat cardboard with some wax for an easy and inexpensive option!


Perhaps one of the most common fire starters you’ll find in your home is paper! Everyday paper makes great kindling, as well as newspaper and wax paper! It’s another material that won’t cost you any money, as you can usually find scrap paper everywhere!

Wine Corks And Isopropyl Alcohol

When combined these two materials make a great and easy fire starter! Soak wine corks made with actual cork (not the plastic stuff) in a jar of isopropyl alcohol, and take a few out when it’s time to light the fire! They burn spectacularly and you probably already have these laying around, or will have fun collecting them (responsibly, of course!)

DIY Fire Starter Ideas

Wax Soaked Cotton Pads

Dip cotton pads in liquefied wax and allow them to dry and harden thoroughly. Keep them in a bag or container and use a few to help get your fire going!

Cotton Swabs And Petroleum Jelly

Cotton swabs soaked in petroleum jelly also make easy, cheap fire starters that many swear by! Keep these in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container and use as needed!

Egg Carton Fire Starter

This inexpensive, yet highly effective fire starter can be made with multiple supplies from the above list! Use an empty egg carton and fill each cup with shredded paper or dryer lint (sawdust works well too if you have it), then top the filling with melted wax. When you need a fire starter, just rip off as many cups as you need!

Whether you’re in a pinch or are just looking for an inexpensive way to create effective fire starters, just look around! You probably already have most of these materials at home, or even in your RV! You’ll have those toasty, roaring flames in no time with these great ideas! Which fire starting method has worked best for you? Comment to share!

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