(Bugout.news) No matter the weather, the ability to start a fire when you’re in a SHTF scenario will be important to your ability to cope and survive the emergency. In the winter and summer fires will be needed to sanitize water, cook food, stay warm and ward off potential wild animals, among other things.
But if you don’t have any plans to head for a bugout location, you will be surprised to find you’ve most likely got several fire starting materials right in your home, right now. Let’s examine some of them:
Paper products: Rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, stacks of paper wipes and tissues are among the most common paper items in your home. Consider magazines as well as newspapers, too, and of course facial tissue.
What’s more, crumpled paper balls stuffed into your clothing also make great insulation.
First aid gear: Cotton gauze, 4 x 4 and 2 x 2 bandages, as well as paper tape will all serve as fire starting materials. Obviously you don’t want to burn up too many of your medical supplies, but we’re talking about building a fire in a pinch, here.
Not quite “first aid,” but sort of – tampons, when separated, make great tinder.
Dryer lint/dryer sheets: If you’re not saving your dryer lint and used dryer sheets, do so. Leave a plastic or paper bag near your dryer and every time you empty it, stuff the dryer sheets and (where there is enough) dryer lint into it. Families, especially, will be able to collect bags of these fire starting materials in no time.
Cotton balls: These are especially useful if they are coated in petroleum jelly, making a much longer-lasting fire starter. Drying cotton balls burn up in about 20 seconds; those coated in jelly will burn for about five minutes.
Tip: Coat some of these now, stick them in a plastic bag and put them in with your prepper gear. It’s not like they’ll go bad or anything.
In fact, you should check out these DIY starters you can make with straws, cotton and a little heat.
9V battery and steel wool: You’ll need the soap-less steel wool, but once you rake it over the positive and negative contact points on the battery, your steel wool pad will begin to burn immediately (so pack them separately!).
Cigarette lighter: An obvious choice, to be sure, but even if you don’t smoke you likely have a lighter for a charcoal or gas grill, or for lighting candles in your home, right?
Bugout.news is part of the USA Features Media network.