"Green" Firestarters From Fatwood and Jute Twine

Introduction: "Green" Firestarters From Fatwood and Jute Twine

About: I grew up in downtown Phoenix, moved to California in my youth and was kicked out of the house (Permanently....seriously) for smoking an illegal substance that people smoked in the 60's. I started Backpacking …

Here are my absolute favorite fire starters.They take a bit of work to make but they can make lots of fires during your endurance trek through the woods. What we are going to do is basically just combine Fatwood with Jute twine. Jute twin can easily catch a spark and Fatwood burns for a long time. Those two components mean that you will most likely succeed in your effort to make a fire in a survival situation.

These are great for any bug out bag as they are light weight and effective, they are also natural which is a bonus for those who would like to reduce their carbon footprint.

Lets get started!

Tools needed:

a fine edge knife
serrated knife or hacksaw or dremel tool with a cutting wheel (Serrated knife takes forever)

Materials needed:

Jute twine (Grab a whole spool, you decide how many layers are in your wrap, I prefer 2)

Step 1:

1.) Remove excess wood with the fine blade

I try to go with the grain whenever possible, but it's not required.

Simply slide the fine blade along the piece of fatwood at about a 10 degree angle, any burrs will catch on your knife and be cut away easily, leaving a piece of fatwood that wont give you splinters every time you use it. (Warning: ALWAYS cut AWAY from your body, NEVER towards yourself as this can cause injury)

(You can also use sand paper or sanding wheel on a dremel but I prefer to hand shape them with a knife)

Step 2:

2.) Cut them to about hand width using the dremel and cutting wheel

Pretty self explanatory. You can also use a knife with serrated edge or a hacksaw.

Step 3:

3.) Time for some jute twine

Start by crating a loop, it needs to be a bit longer than the piece of fatwood.

There are many ways you can wrap them but I prefer the "Lashing" loop.

Step 4:

4.) Wrap your tool (The fatwood of course)

 Start at one end, wrap to the other end (Tightly), then wrap back again to the starting position.

You can add as many layers as you like, I prefer 2 layers as it uses less jute but is still effective in using many times over.

Every layer adds more Jute (Thus more kindling), which will still be available once your fatwood is all used up (If you do like 10 layers or something).

Step 5: Use and Enjoy a Nice Warm Fire!

To use:

1.) Unwrap the Jute twine and cut off approx 1 inch of Jute.
2.) "Fluff" the Jute to expose more fibers and create a larger surface area. These fibers will catch a spark pretty easily.
3.) Acquire shavings of fatwood by using your knife at about a 20-30 degree angle. (Shavings can be large since the jute will catch the spark.)
4.) Place the Jute twin fluff ball near the pile of fatwood shavings. (Works best if the fatwood is touching or overlapping onto the jute ball.)
5.) Hit the Jute with a spark and start building your fire!
6.) Enjoy your nice warm "Eco-friendly" fire!

This is my first 'ible so please be gentle, constructive criticism is enjoyed by all! Thanks guys!

Each starter is wrapped in roughly 12 feet of jute twine. That's roughly 144 fires per 2 layers or 72 fire per layer.

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    Jute, I know what that is. But not familiar with fatwood. Where do you get it? This is a very good thing to learn and I love that it is so compact, and can be used for many, many uses. Thanks! :)


    Reply 6 years ago

    You can find fatwood in pine woods or buy it, i found this on the Walmart website:


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Definitely a more compact way to carry it and now have to empty another tin of Altoids to carry your firemaking kit.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for commenting! I found that any waterproof case works well, these can also be dipped in wax to help waterproof them. Fatwood is naturally water resistant but jute twin is not :( Thanks again for the comment =)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry, meant " not have to empty another tin."


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Ahh gotcha. As soon as I find my Camera I'm going to post another 'ible on Survival food bars so stay tuned =)