How to Get Prepared for Wet Tinder While Camping.




Introduction: How to Get Prepared for Wet Tinder While Camping.

Have you ever gotten to a camp site and all the ground is wet from rain, or have you ever awoken to your fire gone out and it rained that night before leaveing all the tender wet? In this instructable I will show you two methods to get you and your family warm and cooking. 

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Getting Wooly

For this method you only need two things:

1 pad of steel wool ( you can use S.O.S. pads but they don't smell nice when they burn and if they get wet the soap doesnt let the steel wool burn well. Also steel wool when wet rusts very quikly, so it's a good idea to keep it in a plastic baggy when not in use.)

1 Lighter or

1 Box or pack of matches or

1 9v battery ( you can use AA, C, or D batteries but you will need two of said types of batteries to be able to light the steel wool. You can also use a cell phone battery or camera battery if in a survival situation.)

* saftey disclamer*

Never leave matches or lighters where children can reach them.
If children are going to be doing the lighting of any fires they should be supervised and assisted by responsible and knowledgable adults.
Steel wool when ignited produces noxious fumes. Try not to inhale said fumes for they can be harmful to your health.

Step 2: Hot Metal, Oh Yeah! M/

Step 1: Start by takeing your pad of steel wool and unrolling it, but not all the way. You don't need a whole lot to make a decent fire starter.

Step 2: Then take a bit of the steel wool and tear it away from the unrolled portion.

Step 3: You will then want to fluff the steel wool so as to separate the fibers and make sort of a nest out of it.

Step 4: Now make your fire base how you want it ( Teepee, Log Cabin, etc., etc.)

Step 5:  Being close to where you want to start your fire you can directly light your steel wool with a lighter or matches.
The other method of lighting your steel wool is to take both terminals of the 9v battery and touch them to the steel wool wich will ignite it.

Step 6: now place the burning steel wool in your fire base with kindleing and voila one simple and expediant fire starter.

Step 3: Sap Is Your Friend!

This next method is realy good in a pinch and all natural. Believe me it help my family out more that once when our gear got soaked. It was taught to me by an actualy mountain man while I was camping in New Mexico.

You will need:

1 Knife

1 Lighter or

1 Box or book of matches

1 Small stick

Pine Needles or the fine strips of wood on the backsides of bark from deadfell trees. You can also make these by shaveing down bark or sticks. for the Pine Needles you want about two hand fulls, for the wood you will want about two hands cupped worth. It's a little tedious for the shaved stuff, but well worth it in the end.

Pine Sap. You can either go and score 5 inch long cuts into a pine tree and wait or you can find where limbs have been broken or sawed off and collect it from there. The sap that is hard and looks crystalized is the best and easiest to work with. It normaly is amber and/or white in colour as you will see in the picture. If the sap is still wet you can use a small stick to collect the sap to eliminate it getting stuck on your hands. If you do get it on your hands just put a little dirt on the residue and rub your hands together. Keep adding small amounts of dirt until the residue is removed from your hands

And if possible to find, Pine Cones. They will act as fuel and give the sap something to stick to when it melts

Step 4: That Sticky-icky Pine Fire!

Step 1. First you want to go about finding all your materials. It'll be all the more easier if you can collect this stuff before you go camping so that you are prepared for inclement weather. It's also enviroment friendly! :)

Step 2. Make your fire base how you want it ( Teepee, Log Cabin, etc., etc.)

Step 3. Place your Pine Needles in the base of your Fire Base.

Step 4. If you have Pine Cones, take your knive and remove the leaves away from the cone and put them in the fire base as well.

Step 5. Now you want to take about a hand full worth of the pine sap and try to squish it together into two to three small sticks or balls, not one large ball.

Step 6. Now place those balls or sticks of pine sap in with the Pine Needles and Pine Cone leaves with the exception of one.

Step 7. Take that last remaining bit of sap and wrap it around the end of a stick and light the sap. Then use the sap to ignight the other pieces of sap.

As the sap melts it will spread over the neddles and pine cone leaves and burn for quit a bit of time. enough tme to dry and light damp tinder and fuel wood.

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Rope & String Speed Challenge

      Rope & String Speed Challenge
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest

    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    When camping in the middle of nowhere i take along a pup tent just for my wood, fire starter....ex ....birch bark and dry cedar kindling


    8 years ago on Introduction

    well, the wet steel wool is easily prevented by keeping it in a plastic baggy. The hardened pine sap isn't sticky exept for the part where it came off of the tree, but you could use a stick to get the still wet pine sap though. I used to do the same thing when i lived on the streets when i was younger with the wax and card board to make candles form the wax runoff of used candles.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Also you can rub dirt into to sap residue on your hands until it is gone.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Steel wool is fine, but brings the stuff camping? Once wet, it rusts quickly. If you take corrugated cardboard, cut it in long strips, roll up to fit inside a tuna or cat food can snugly, and soak it well with hot wax. It's waterproof, burns a longtime, and easy to start with a match or lighter, sort of like lighting a candle. You can make blocks, bricks, or pretty much any size or shape you want...

    Pine sap is messy stuff, and incredibly difficult to clean off your hands, which usually involves a flammable liquid or solvent. We use to collect it by just rubbing a small stick on the trees to pop the little bubbles on the pine trees.