Using two household materials, you can create a firestarter that is incredibly lightweight and 100% effective.
This has become an essential part of my first aid/emergency kit and I've used it in all sorts of weather and conditions.
Step 1: Materials
For the firestarter, you'll need:
- Dryer lint
- Petroleum Jelly
To start a fire, you'll need:
- Small sticks or kindling
- Your firestarter
- Additional firestarter, if available (pictured here is some straw)
Step 2: Create Firestarter
After a particularly lint-y load (i.e. towels), harvest the lint from your dryer.
Mix this with scoops of petroleum jelly. Use at your discretion - you want it to be completely soaked through, but solid enough to be able to store the firestarter.
I stick the firestarter in a small ziplock bag and add it to all of my emergency kits (in my car, in my ski pack, and in my first aid kit).
Step 3: Start Your Fire
I find that it works best to wind your firestarter around a small stick or piece of kindling.
Put this at the base of your fire and add additional small firestarter that you have.
Pictured here is straw and other kindling, but I've used this in a wet forest with only small sticks and pinecones for starter and it has worked really well.
The firestarter wound around the small stick will immediately light and will keep burning for about 5 minutes on its own (depending on how much firestarter you've used and the size of your stick). As its at the base of your fire, your other materials will have a chance to dry out and catch.
Once your fire is going, you can add larger and larger pieces.
As I mentioned, this is an excellent addition to your emergency supplies so you'll never be left out in the cold!