This all may be very common knowledge, but I thought I would share anyway. I've seen lots of camp fire starting products online and in stores. Some look promising, some don't. So in true Instructables fashion I figured I would just make my own. This idea works off of the old trick of starting a fire with fine steel wool and an 9 volt battery. Read on.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Three simple and common items are needed:
9 Volt battery
Steel wool comes in several grades. You will need a fine (thin) grade for this to work. I have chosen grade 000. Other grades may work as well. I found my steel wool in the painting section of my local Miejer store for three dollars. I'm sure you could also find this at places like Wal-Mart, K-Mart or any hardware store.
The cotton balls can be found almost every where, I paid one dollar for a giant bag at my local dollar store.
The 9 volt battery can be found most anywhere as well. I paid three dollars for mine.
Step 2: Getting Ready
Simply pull off a length of steel wool and wrap it around a single cotton ball. To keep this dry in your camping bag you could store it in an old film canister or any zip lock bag.
Step 3: Light It Up
When you are ready to use your fire starter unroll it. I also fluff up the cotton ball to increase the surface area. Take your 9 volt battery and rub the two leads gently across the steel wool. The steel wool will become hot and ignite the cotton. At this point start pilling on dry leaves or small twigs and build from there.