You may not always have flint or other fire starters stocked in your camping gear. Knowing how to make some easy homemade fire starters is a great (and affordable) way to always be prepared.
Lighting a fire isn’t always as easy as you’d hope. Whether you’re starting a fire in your fireplace or enjoying nature around the campfire, sometimes we could all use a little help.
Have you tried rubbing sticks together? It may work, but it takes way too long. When you’re cold or have food to cook, you don’t have to time to spend 15+ minutes trying to create a few sparks by rubbing sticks together.
Or perhaps you’ve gone camping and forgotten your store-bought fire starters? Been there, done that…and it’s terrible. That’s why when I came across ways to easily make my own campfire starters I knew I wanted to learn more.
I learned a lot in a short period of time because there are so many DIY fire starter options available!
Now that I know how easy they are to make and have on hand all the time, I’m sharing some of my favorite homemade fire starters. They’ll help you get a fire blazing in no time (and for a lot less money)!
While many of these ideas can be used both indoors and outdoors, read the directions carefully just in case one is too dangerous for an indoor fire. We want you to stay safe and warm.
Related Post: Tend Camping Hacks You’ll be Thankful to Know
How to Make Fire Starters to Light Your Fire
Making DIY fire starters is easier than you may think! And this collection of homemade campfire starters provides enough variety that you will most likely have everything you need on hand for at least one of these ideas!
Egg Carton and Dryer Lint | Twine and Table
Who knew you could make a fire starter from an egg carton and dryer lint? Just add a little beeswax to slow the burn time, and you have a portable fire starter you can take anywhere.
Holiday Wax Fire Starters | Rooted in Thyme
These gorgeous holiday wax fire starters would make a wonderful Christmas gift for the outdoorsy person in your life. They are also great for adding a little festive decor to your tabletops.
Toilet Paper and Lint Homemade Fire Starter | Frugal Family Home
But, you don’t need to get too fancy with a fire starter. Sometimes simple works as well or better than complicated. You’ll do just fine with some dryer lint stuffed in a toilet paper tube.
Pine Cone Fire Starters | Something Turquoise
Pine cone fire starters are a cute option for winter wedding favors, but they’re practical, too. It smells great, so it’ll not only work as a campfire starter but also make any toasty fire even better!
Wine Cork Homemade Fire Starters | Bonnie Projects
Soak wine corks in rubbing alcohol for a fire starter that’s super easy to use. Store them in an airtight container like a mason jar to ensure the alcohol doesn’t evaporate (or smell).
Pencil Sharpener | One Good Thing
Keep a pencil sharpener in your camping gear for those times you forget to bring a fire starter. Create wood shavings and use them to start your campfire simply by sharpening a stick. Genius!
Vaseline Homemade Fire Starter | Backpacking Light
Backpackers use this tip all the time: coat some cotton balls in Vaseline, and store them in a plastic bag or a metal container. They light up really well, making them excellent campfire starters.
Orange Peel Fire Starter | Six Dollar Family
Save your orange peels! Not only will they make your home smell great as you dry them, but you’ll get a nice citrus aroma when you light them, too.
Fire Starters Hotcakes | Wood Magazine
If you’ve been working on a DIY project recently, the sawdust can come in handy. Pack it into a muffin tin, and fill each of them with wax. Those little sawdust cakes work magic in the fireplace.
DIY Fire Starter Wafers | Lifehacker
These cotton pad fire starters are based on the same principle as the cotton ball trick above except the pads are dipped in wax and then dried.
Herb Bundles | You Grow Girl
Herbal smudge sticks are really made to cleanse the air as they burn, but dried herbs – like most dried vegetation – make great fire starters, too. The fresh, clean air is an added bonus!
Herbal Campfire Starter | Iowa Girl Eats
Wrap cinnamon sticks and herbs in pieces of newspaper, and tie with twine to make these delicious-smelling herbal fire starters. They’re easy to make, great at starting a fire, and smell heavenly.
DIY Fire Starter Kits | Ever Mine
These diy fire starter kits would make nice gifts for the holidays, too. Put some matches, a striking surface, tinder (pine needles, dried leaves, etc.) and some sage (to keep the bugs away) in a mason jar, and decorate it nicely.
Aren’t they gorgeous?
Waterproof Fire Starters | DIY Projects
Make waterproof fire starters for your survival bag. These are simply sections of straw stuffed with cotton and sealed at both ends.
Easy peasy and you don’t have to worry about it drying out or moisture getting in!
Homemade Fire Starters in Under 10 Minutes | Someday I’ll Learn
These DIY fire starters can last for up to 10 minutes! The cotton is soaked in rubbing alcohol and placed inside cardboard tubes that are dipped in wax. That’s hardcore!
Aren’t these ideas amazing? I love that you don’t need expensive tools in order to start a fire when you go camping.
With these recipes and projects, you don’t need to spend tons of money on buying expensive fire starter supplies – or need to worry about running out of your supplies again.
Instead, you can simply use common, everyday materials that you already have to make your own campfire starters and always have reliable homemade fire starters on hand.
More Camping Resources From One Crazy House:
- 10 Brilliant Camping Hacks and Tips for an Awesome Camping Trip
- Epic Camping Gear for Kids (Parent-Approved)
- Essential Camping Gear to Pack for Rainy Weather
- 15 Absolutely Crucial Items to Pack for Tent Camping