INSIDE: How to make a DIY firestarter for camping or a woodstove. 

After a long day of hiking and playing in the woods, the last thing you need is a campfire that won’t start.

Here’s a simple, free way to create firestarters you can easily pack on your next camping adventure … so nothing’s keeping your tired family from a hot dinner (and s’mores).

Supplies for DIY Firestarter

  • Empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel tubes
  • Paper grocery bag
  • Dryer lint
  • Twigs
  • Paper

supplies for DIY firestarter for camping

You can easily find all these things in your house or yard, and by upcyling them into firestarters for your camping trip, you’re giving them new life.

I like to pick up little twigs and sticks in my yard after a windy day.

Step 1: Make Firestarter Tube Caps From Paper Grocery Bags

Rip up a paper grocery bag and crumple the pieces into balls that will fit inside the toilet paper roll. Stuff one or two into the bottom of the tube.

use crumpled paper grocery bag for camping firestarter

Step 2: Fill the Empty Tube With Twigs or Crumpled Paper

Next, add dry twigs or more crumpled paper (junk mail, newspaper) to fill the tube.

stuff twigs into tube for DIY firestarter

Step 3: Stuff Dryer Lint on Top of Twigs to Fill the Firestarter

Put a ball of lint from your dryer on top of the twigs/paper.

add dryer lint to toilet paper tube for DIY firestarter for camping

Step 4: Seal Firestarter With Another Paper Cap

Smoosh another ball or two of paper grocery bag pieces onto the top of the tube to seal it up.

seal toilet paper tube to finish DIY firestarter

Step 5: Build and Light Your Campfire

Place your firestarter upright in your fire pit (you can wiggle it down into the ashes for stability) and prop up small, dry sticks around it. When you’re ready, use a match to light the tube, and you’re on your way!

use DIY firestarter as tinder for campfire

More Tips on Starting a Camp Fire

Keep your firewood dry by storing it under your car. Wet wood might smoke, but it’s not going to catch fire the way you want it to.

Matches don’t like to be wet, either. Be sure to store them in a dry place. I like to put them in an old-school plastic film container.

Remember that you have to build a fire, and it’s a process: Be patient and don’t smother your first small flames with logs that are too big. Start with your firestarter and surrounding tinder, then build up a structure for your kindling, and finally add (and continue to add) fuel. (Here’s a refresher on how to build a fire if you haven’t been to scouts in a while!)

— By Nelle Bligan



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