Improvised Fire Starter Materials
Dr. John Woods 02.21.17
As you continue to work on formulating prepping plans, think ahead about collecting materials that will help you start a fire easier and quicker. Of course, there are all kinds of Firestarter sticks, rods, matches and butane lighters to provide the spark or flame to ignite a fire, but what will you have to burn?
Collecting easy to burn starter materials can be useful for both bug in or bug out scenarios. You may have a fireplace at home or a brick or metal fire burning pit in the backyard or at your designated bug out site. What you need is easily available highly combustible papers and other materials to fire quickly.
Start by looking in your recycle bins. Light paper materials you choose to recycle can be gleaned for fire starters. This includes newspapers, paper towels, and items like cereal boxes and such. Collapse these materials and stack them up. Stay away from plastics as burning those could be toxic. Save paper towel or toilet paper tubes, food packaging, junk mail, and other easy to burn items.
I use empty dog food and charcoal bags to stuff with burning materials. These are then easy to scrunch into the pickup truck or SUV, carry to a bug out site to store ahead of need, or keep in the garage. The same goes for cardboard boxes from shipping items ordered. Keep those to pack with paper, fold the tops, and then empty out and burn the whole thing.
When you get home with fast foods, save the wrappers and waxed cups. Think of saving frozen food boxes like Hot Pockets, pizza, breakfast sandwiches, pot pie boxes, and such. If you really want to press the issue, collect the cotton balls out of medicines, OTC bottles, and dryer lint.
When you buy or get a magazine in the mail, rip out those thin paper renewal subscription cards and along with all kinds of junk mail, stuff it all in dog food bags. You could save the magazine paper, too, but slick color copy does not always burn thoroughly. All kinds of paper comes in the mail every day. Think about bank statements and the last few pages of non-essential information. The mailbox is full of fire starter every day.
If you start collecting fire starter materials now, when you need to light a quick burn, you will be well stocked with materials to begin a good fire.