How to Make Fire Starters - Lightweight and Reliable

Successful backpacking and camping trips require a lightweight and reliable fire starter. The best fire starters light right away, burn for a long time and produce a good flame. Here is an easy way to make fire starters that are perfect for any outdoor adventure.

How to Make Fire Starters


How to Make Fire Starters

What you'll need:

  • Cotton Balls

  • Petroleum Jelly

  • A bowl and spoon (to contain the mess)

  • A plastic bag


What to do:

As described above, pull the cotton ball apart with your fingers. Add petroleum jelly. Work the petroleum jelly into the fibers of the cotton ball to get it fully saturated. You can use a spoon and a bowl to help contain the mess.

Place the completed cotton ball fire starter in a plastic bag. Make multiple cotton ball fire starters for each trip into the backcountry.

At Camp:

Simply light the fire starter with a lighter or matches. It should light right away. Place the fire starter under leaves, pine needles, paper or other natural fire starting materials to get a full fire going.

Want to see how to make these fire starters? Watch this quick how-to video.



If you don't like using petroleum jelly, try this easy fire starter.
Andy Hawbaker
posted by
Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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