Three Survival Fire Starters You Can Make With Trash

You can never have enough fire starters, ammo, or bottled water.  This list contains just a few of the fire starters that can be made from items you probably have lying around the home, or potentially improvised even after disaster strikes from resources you could scavenge.

Tuna can and cardboard

Nearly everyone throws away cardboard and tin cans.  Short, fat tin cans work the best.  Cut the cardboard you have into a strip, or several strips that are about the height of the tin can you have, roll the cardboard into a tight roll and stick it in the tin when you have a roll that is a snug fit.  Cover this with some wax.  This can be used to start even moist wood, or larger pieces of wood without having to spend time looking for kindling and tinder.  If you needed to, you could even bring a small pot of water to a low boil using only these fire starters.

Soda can

Most people are familiar with the concept of starting a fire with a magnifying glass using sunlight.  But the sun’s light can also be harnessed to your advantage using one of the most common items people litter, a soda can.  Clean the bottom of the can as much as you can because you need it to reflect light.  Aim the bottom of the can towards the sun with one hand while you move your tinder back and forth from the can to find the spot where the heat is most intense.  This will probably be a few inches away.

Char cloth

Char cloth is quite possibly the best tinder you could have.  It is basically partially burnt cloth.  Instead of throwing away your old beat up socks, turn them into a lifesaving tool.  Take some cotton from anything you would otherwise throw away, cut into strips that will fit into an Altoids tin, close the tin, poke a hole in the tin, and put it over a fire for about 15 minutes.  An indicator that your char cloth is done is that there is no more flame coming from the hole in the tin.  After it cools, take the char cloth out and see if it pulls apart effortlessly.  This is what you are going for.  With this in your bag, you can start a fire with even a single spark, even from a lighter that is completely out of butane.

One man’s trash is another man’s lifesaving tool.

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