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John Roman

7 Household Items to Start a Fire

household items to start a fire

Most things can be utilized as fire starters if you really think about it. Whether you’re out in the wild without a proper fire starter, you’re at home and need to start a fire quickly without tinder, or you’re just curious and want to play around with fire - whatever you may need it for, here are 7 common household items to start a fire with that could potentially save your life.

  1. Duct tape. Grab a few feet of duct tape, crumple it up into a large ball, and light it with an open flame. An even better way to use duct tape as a fire starter is by creating canisters out of it that can be transported anywhere. This article shows you exactly how to create duct tape canisters for a fire that burns slowly, giving you plenty of fire.
  2. Chips. If you can part with your snack, then you’ll have a decent fire in your hands. As for all things in life, when using chips as fire starters, the greasier the better. That’s because more fat means higher fuel value. Simply remove them from the bag, light them on fire, and voila! You have a nice fire that can be used to start a larger fire or that will last just long enough to provide you with a little bit of light. Most people recommend Doritos, but I usually prefer to eat my Doritos instead of burning them.  
  3. Chapstick. Waxy chapstick is extremely flammable. Simply smear chapstick onto any burnable surface to extend the amount of time it’ll burn for. Or, you can get real fancy and make a candle by putting a wick inside your chapstick.
  4. Any kind of paper. Newspaper, cardboard, any kind of paper will do the trick. Roll your pieces of paper into small paper sticks and treat them just like any other logs on a fire.
  5. Cotton balls and petroleum. Remember when I said waxy chapstick is flammable? Well, it gets its waxiness from petroleum jelly. Cover cotton balls in petroleum jelly in order to have a much longer-burning fire.
  6. Dryer lint. You know you love the satisfying feeling of getting lint out of your dryer, so why not use that stuff for good? Instead of tossing dryer lint, store it and save it for when you really need it. It’s easy to light, and will last long enough to get a larger fire going.
  7. A guitar pick. Yeah, that’s right. Guitar picks are a great compact and lightweight option to add to your kit and surprisingly will get a good fire going. Check it out:


Now you’re ready to start a fire with almost anything in your home. Make sure that you are prepared to handle any fire you start by having a fire extinguisher on hand. Get to practicing and let us know how each of these goes. If you are looking for the perfect pairing to an evening around the fire, consider checking out the best subscription box for cured meats!

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