Natural fire starting materials can easily be found in the home and around your property. Typically, these materials may be discarded or overlooked. Do not let these items go to waste, the time to collect these fire starting materials is now. Firewood kindling, such as citrus peels, are excellent to use as fire starting material. See what else made the list below.
A Farm Girl in the Making participates in multiple affiliate programs. She also participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program linked to Amazon.com and other affiliated sites. This allows us to make a small amount of money on goods you purchase at no extra charge. For that, we thank you!
Starting a fire quickly is important when the primary source of heat is a wood burning stove. Because of this reason firewood kindling is a necessity to always have on hand.
Many natural fire starting materials can be used to ignite a fire. But this list is compiled of items found in the home or around the homestead. Tinder, consisting of free or recycled material, is a rewarding task.
Before moving on to the list of natural fire starting materials, take a look at how our firewood is stored. Also, learn about what type of wood is ideal to use for heating the home.
- DIY Woodbox for Storing Fire Wood
- Building a Holz Hausen | A Stand Alone Firewood Storage
- Selecting the Best Firewood to Burn
- Maintaining Off Grid Systems in Winter
Natural Fire Starting Materials found Inside the Home
- Citrus peels – The oils found in the peels help to fuel the fire, making them an excellent option as natural fire starting material. Not to mention, the peels smell quite good as they burn. Citrus peels should be dried prior to using them. Dry the peels next to the wood burning stove or place into the oven and dry for 30 minutes at 200 degrees.
- Toilet paper rolls filled with dryer lint – Toilet paper rolls are saved throughout the year and filled as needed using lint from the dryer’s lint trap. This may not be a conventional method but it works, and it works quite well.
- Nutshells –Because the nuts have already gone through the drying process they make excellent firewood kindling. This method is ideal for individuals who have unlimited access to tree nuts, or for those of us who consume a lot of nuts.
Materials – Natural Items
- Pine cones – Simply because they can be found just about anywhere. Pine cones must be dried prior to utilizing them as a natural fire starting material. How to dry pine cones is quite easy, and either of the following methods will work. Bake pine cones for 30 minutes at 200 degrees allows them to dry very quickly. The heat from the wood stove will also dry them. Or dried pine cones can be harvested once they have dropped the seed.
- Pine needles – Simply rake up the pine needles and dry them next to the wood stove.
- Cattails – Take the time to forage for cattails. Once dried the brown head of the plant works wonderfully as a natural fire starter.
- Moss – This next item may be difficult for many to come across. Moss, after it has been dried, is quick to catch on fire. Begin by removing any excessive moisture by pressing it with a towel. Next, lay the moss in the sun to dry for about 1 week.
- Wood kindling – Ideally, wood kindling from Cedar or Cottonwood trees make great natural fire starting material.
A Few, Not So Natural, Fire Starting Materials
- Cardboard – Cardboard can also be used as tinder, though not on a regular basis. Prior to burning cardboard take the time to remove any tape or labels which have a glossy sheen to them. Also, use caution when burning cardboard, this material has been know to cause chimney fires. It’s not the cardboard, per se, that causes fires, it’s the flakes which are released as the cardboard burns. These flakes will cause a chimney, which is thick with creosote, to ignite and burn.
- Brown paper bags – Many supermarkets provide brown paper bags when a reusable bag is forgotten. And because the quality of brown paper bags is low they are often not reusable, making them ideal as natural fire starting material.
- Paper, Junk Mail, and Catalogs – Other materials to use as kindling include paper brought home from school, junk mail, or catalogs made from recycled material. However, do not burn any paper product with a glossy finish or envelopes with a plastic windows. These items release toxic chemicals as they burn.
- DIY Pine Cone Fire Starter – This DIY project contains pinecones, wax, and cupcake holders.
Hopefully, these tips on what to use as natural fire starting material will help you to start a fire quickly. Also keep in mind, collecting kindling year-round allows for you to be prepared for the winter months.