Tinder is the basis of starting a fire...it is what takes the spark or burns long enough to ignite kindling (bigger sticks) and finally your fuel (BIG sticks). Everyone has a favorite type of tinder, below are the five best I have personally tried and found to have worked very well.
1.) Cotton balls saturated with Vaseline - This is tried and true and works very well. The cotton balls burn almost like candles due to the vaseline and give you a decent amount of time to get your kindling ignited.
2.) Dryer lint - Lint from your dryer is cheap and plentiful and goes up in flames very well, which is why you should clean your dryer vent on a regular basis or your house will be kindling. I use this alot and it is one of my favorites because it is free.
3.) Birch bark - Birch bark burns well because of the oils in the bark. This is great tinder from nature and will even burn wet. You cannot go wrong with birch bark. Recommended by survivalists everywhere. The caveat is there must be birch trees in the area you are for this to be available.
4.) Fine steel wool - People are shocked by this one for some reason. Fine steel wool takes a spark great and burns even better.
5.) Dried out pine needles - In South Carolina we have a boat load of pine trees so this is a readily available and plentiful fuel. Dried pine needles work great, take a spark well, and burn well (although quickly).
...that is all.
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