Homemade Survival Equipment

10 Fire Starting Materials You Probably Have At Home



Feature | Man in blue crew-neck shirt and black leather jacket holding wooden stick | Fire Starting Materials You Probably Have At Home

Fire starting materials are abundant in your household. Check out our top picks for fire starting items in the list below!

RELATED: How To Make A DIY Dryer Lint Fire Starter

Fire Starting Materials Your Home Holds Right Now

1. Battery and Gum Wrappers

A battery can be used to start a fire with a gum wrapper as kindling. It’s quick and easy.

My advice is, if you pack these 2 items in your bug out bag (or any other pack), make sure the battery and the kindling are packed separately. They may ignite if placed together!

2. Paper Products


Newspaper, paper towels, toilet paper, and scrap paper are go-to items for starting wood stoves and fireplaces. A dry bit of paper can be a lifesaver in campfire building as well.

Bonus survival use: Crumpled balls of paper make good insulation if stuffed into your clothing.

3. Cotton Gauze


Raiding the first aid kit for tinder is a sure sign that you’re in an ugly situation. Paper-wrapped cotton gauze is there as a wound dressing but it’s also very flammable.

4. Dryer Lint

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This dusty fluff is extremely flammable because it consists entirely of cotton fibers. Just keep it dry and it will light with sparks or an open flame.

5. Cotton Balls

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This is one of my favorite things to use and one of the best tinder for fire starting! Either dry cotton balls or ones soaked in petroleum jelly makes the best homemade fire starter.

The dry ones will burn for 20 seconds or so. Greased-up cotton balls will burn up to 5 minutes, making them fantastic fire starting materials!

Check out these waterproof fire starters from our friends at DIY Projects. They are so simple to make and are very handy!

Also, check out this project, DIY pill bottle fire starter. A fun project and great to bring along to your family camping trips! Also, a great addition to your bug out bag.

RELATED: This “AA” Prison Hack Now A Fire Starter For Survivalists

6. Lighter

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A lighter is a must-have item with a fire tinder kit for any survivalist! As I always say, have one in the house, one in the bug out bag, one in the car, and one in your daypack or purse.

7. Magnifying Glass


You can start a fire without a spark by using a magnifying glass. Another item to have at home and a must-have item for your bug out bag.

8. Trick Birthday Candles

The benefit of using trick birthday candles as fire starting materials?

They will not blow out in the wind! Genius!

9. Tampons

Who would have thought, tampons can also be an effective fire starter? The cotton fibers, when separated, make great tinder.

Check out this video by Sensible Prepper for other great survival tampons uses when SHTF.

10. Char Cloth


Making char cloth is a simple process. I find that the material of a bandana works best—lights right up!

Having some pre-made to carry with you (or to have at home) is a sure way you’ll start a fire every time.

Watch the video by Alfie Aesthetics on how to make the perfect char cloth.

Learn how to make a fire using a mobile phone from this video by Robert Hodkinson:

Now you know just how many items you have at home you can use as fire starters. It’s also important to know which item is effective as survival fire starters so you can carry one or two of these fire starting materials wherever you go.

If you find yourself without matches or a fire starter, these fire starting materials you can find at home will save the day. Add these 10 items to your fire starter list from now on!

If you have any fire starting tips you would like to share, let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next: 

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Fire Starting Materials You Probably Have At Home | https://survivallife.com/fire-starting-materials-home/

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published 0n March 31, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  7. Randy Fuller

    December 23, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Burch bark is a great kindling wet or dry

  8. Timothy Toroian

    December 23, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    I have hand sanitizer that is 70% alcohol. Sticks to stuff. Most alcohol sanitizers are 62/63%, but Rite Aid sells one that is 70%. Have some in go bags, shooting bags and brief case.

  9. lha

    December 23, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    Old socks,soaked in diesel or kerosene and kept in pill bottles will burn long enough to start a fire with a bit of kindling and sticks. We used to heat our house with a large wood stove,and for times when the weather was warm enough not to require a fire,followed by a cold spell,they came in handy.

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  12. Anonymous

    November 26, 2017 at 12:43 PM

    No mention of Doritos?!

    • don

      September 30, 2018 at 8:03 PM

      or guitar pics

  13. Foc

    April 2, 2018 at 12:06 PM

    One caution, the “spot” of light generated by these lenses contains lots of UV as well as InfraRed, you should use welding goggles to protect your eyes! Don’t look at the “bright spot” without good, UV and IR eye protection, it’s like looking at a welder.

  14. Dick Heider

    July 15, 2018 at 7:48 PM

    Non-dairy coffee creamer works great as well. It is far better as a fire starter than as anything you’d voluntarily ingest.

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  22. Anonymous

    January 28, 2019 at 10:18 PM

    Dryer lint does not work well. My advise is to use ducktape, it burns quickly and for about 5 minutes. It is easy to catch things to it.

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