What Household Items Can You Use To Start a Fire?

Almost anything can start a fire if you come to think of it. Regardless if you are in the wilderness or you are at home, it is pretty easy to start a fire without proper fire starters. If you are going to start a fire for some important reason such as cooking or heating, always practice precaution.

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What household items can you use to start a fire? There are several household items you can utilize as fire starters. Among those are chapsticks, dryer lint, duct tape, and a magnifying glass.

Whatever you need the fire for, I’ve listed below the common household things you can use to start a fire.


Greasier chips mean they are high in fat, which means that they equal a high fuel value.

This kind of chips will be a much better fire starter. Start by removing the chips from the bag, light them up with fire, and there you go! You now have a startup fire that can be used to start a medium fire.


Yes, chapsticks are not only good for your lips, but they are also a good fire starter. However, waxy chapsticks are highly flammable. Smear chapstick onto any flammable surface.

This will extend the amount of time the fire will burn for you. 

Duct Tape

And you thought duct tape was to only secure packages or items, but no. Crumple a few feet of duct tape and for a large ball, and light with an open flame.

You can also create a canister out of the duct tape and be able to bring it with you anywhere.

Cotton Balls And Petroleum

Waxy chapsticks get its waxiness from petroleum jelly. Wrap the cotton balls with petroleum jelly and have a fire that would last longer.


I’m sure you know that paper is flammable. Any kind of paper will do. You can use cardboard, newspaper, or any paper will do the trick. Roll the paper into small pieces of sticks and use them just like how you use any other logs on a fire.

Dryer Lint

It’s satisfying removing the lint out of the dryer, but it will be more satisfying if you reuse it. Rather than throwing it away, store it in a closed place and save it for when you need it.

Dryer lint is a fast and easy to light household item. The form from a dryer lint will last enough to get a larger fire going.

Guitar Pick

A guitar pick would seem a bit of an odd choice to start a fire, but it does work. Guitar picks are a lightweight option and a great compact in addition to your fire kit. This will surely get a good fire going.

Magnifying Glass

During my childhood, I’ve tried using a magnifying glass to create fire. This is among the best ways to create a fire from using household items. The trick is to catch the sunlight, and directly point the beam of concentrated natural light onto some dry paper.

This technique may take a while, so you must have patience while doing so. You have to be able to have a decent flame after a while. If you don’t have a magnifying glass, you can use just about any glass or mirror to have the same outcome.

Flint And Steel

You can also use flint and steel from your household to create a fire. However, not every household has this, but some do. You will use the steel to strike the flint and create friction.

You will also need dry tinders to catch the spark. But you can have a full flame if you blow on it.

This is difficult to do, especially in a windy area.

Battery And Light Bulb

The use of a battery and a light bulb must be one of the ingenious methods for generating fire. This requires a large D battery and a basic incandescent lightbulb.

You have to expose the filaments inside the lightbulb. To do that, you have to shutter the lightbulb. Next, take the plug end of the lightbulb and let the negative and positive terminals of the battery meet.

This will heat the tungsten filament you exposed from shattering the lightbulb.

Friction Fire

Are you a fan of watching survival shows? If yes, then I’m sure you are familiar with this technique.

This involves 2 pieces of dry wood with a small hole or indent drilled to create a fire.

Use the dry stick that fits in the hole you dug. Hold the stick in between your hands, and quickly turn it back and forth. You will create friction, which will then create your fire.

It is important to use a thin and dry tinder sitting at the top of the hole. You will need to catch this on fire from the heat and sparks that were generated through the fiction below.

Battery And Foil Wrapper

You can create fire by using a double-A and triple-A battery with a foil wrapper. You should cut the foil wrapper into little strips and then twist them in the middle.

It should look like a bow tie. Next, touch the foil wrapper to the battery terminal on each end.

Battery And Steel Wool

You can also use a D battery and a ball steel wool to make a fire. Loosen up the steel wool. Therefore it’s not packed too tightly. You have to touch the battery terminals to the steel wool.

This will create a short circuit with heat. It will be enough to set the steel wool on fire.

Since we’re talking about how to start a fire using household items, I’ll also discuss some flammable household items.

Take some precautions of lists below to avoid any unwanted fire to occur.

Cooking equipment

Cooking equipment is harmless when unused, but can be dangerous when in use. Pans and pots can overheat and cause a massive fire if left unattended by the cook.

Always keep a close eye on your cooking to avoid any accidents.

When you’re using oil while cooking, it gets even worse. Oils are flammable when they reach a flashing point.


Maintain a one-meter distance of heating appliances from things that can catch fire such as curtains, clothing, and furniture.

If you have a furnace, always have it maintained and inspected at least once a year to ensure safety standards.

Smoking indoors

It would be best if you don’t smoke from inside of your home, especially in the bedrooms. You may one day forget to properly put out the cigarette flame, which can cause a fire.

This could cause flame if it comes near flammable materials, such as curtains and furniture.

Electrical Equipment

Toaster, oven, refrigerator, and other electrical equipment can be faulty at times, which can cause a fire.

An overloaded power point with double adapter plugs is highly susceptible to fire. Appliances are always a fire hazard if used inappropriately.

Always double check your appliances and power points inside your home. Do not let any appliances plug unattended.


Candles are wax. They can smell and look pretty, but they are also a fire threat to the household if left lit and unattended. They can easily cause a room to burst into flames.

After using a candle, immediately blow the fire out before leaving the space.

Faulty wiring

Homes with wrong wiring can easily burst into flames because faulty wirings are an electrical hazard.

The very obvious indicator that you have faulty wiring is a power surge.

This means that there is insufficient energy supply, which causes the lights to dim when you plug in another appliance. Often you have to unplug an appliance to supply power to another appliance.

Another indicator is the short circuit. The good thing about today is fuses are automatic, which means they turn off when there is a short circuit.

Therefore when you notice that your fuse turns off by itself, seek professional help because your wires are short-circuiting.

If you are not a professional electrician, never touch the wirings. See to it that you seek help from a licensed electrician to have the wirings fixed and functioning properly.


Barbeque grills are designed for outdoor gatherings, which means they should not be stored inside your home.

Also, when cooking barbeque, get cloth or plants away from the grill to observe fire safety. 

Before using bbq grills, make sure that there are zero leaks.

Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids such as kerosene and petrol should be stored in places far from things that might cause ignition.

Store flammable liquids in a safe place where children won’t be able to reach or play with. When using these liquids, make sure not to spill


Light fittings and lampshades can build up the heat if placed close to light globes. Roam around your house and make sure none of both is sitting next to light globes.

When knocked over, lamp bases become hazardous. Therefore it is just right to remove them.

Side note; double-check that downlights are well-insulated from ceiling timbers or wood paneling.


Now that you have read the whole article, you are ready to create your own fire.

Be careful not to hurt yourself in doing so and not to burn your house down. Also, look out for fire hazards to avoid any unwanted fires.

What Is the Best Homemade Fire Starter?

There are times when a match or a lighter isn’t available, but you need to start a fire. You may want a homemade fire starter for a barbecue in the campground or wilderness survival.

You have to make do with whatever materials are on hand, or you may have prepared DIY fire starters beforehand.

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What then is the best homemade fire starter? We have to say that it’s made of dryer lint, egg cartons and wax! But if these aren’t present, you will also find viable alternatives from available materials.

Let’s take a look at the steps in preparing these DIY fire starters. You may only find that most, if not all, of these materials, are already in your home. 

Dryer Lint, Egg Carton And Wax

The combination of dryer lint, egg carton and wax is the best DIY fire starter because of these work in synergy.

Each one has a unique property that contributes to the whole being an excellent fire starter. Dryer lint and egg carton are dry, flammable materials while the wax seals in their dryness.

It’s easy to make, too!

  • Get an empty egg carton, preferably with the bottom of each cup still intact.

  • Fill each cup with dry lint so that it’s about ¾ full. Avoid packing the dry lint too tightly as fire needs oxygen to develop well.

  • Melt an old candle or crayon wax. You can melt either on an old coffee can or by using the double boiler method. Keep in mind that cleaning up the mess afterwards can be quite a chore.

  • Pour melted wax over the dry lint-filled cups until every piece of lint is completely covered. You may prod the dry lint a little with a fork or knife so the melted wax can saturate it.

  • Leave the wax-covered dry lint to harden for a few hours completely.

  • Cut the individual cups and voila! You have your DIY fire starters. 

You can store these cups near your barbecue area for easy access in the future.

Egg Carton And Charcoal

If you are not keen on getting dry lint from your laundry machine, you can use charcoal bits instead.

  • Place a small chunk of charcoal on each cup of the egg carton.
  • Spray bug repellant or hand sanitizer, whichever is available, just before lighting up the egg carton.

Charcoal makes sense, too, since there’s no need for melting anything and it’s usually present in a barbecue setup.

Cotton And Other Materials

The beauty of cotton balls, cotton pads and cotton wool is that these are widely available.

Every household likely has these products in stock while camping enthusiasts typically bring them on their trips.

These things also don’t pack in a lot of weight and don’t take up too much space, yet are useful.

  • There are several ways of using cotton as a fire starter. First, it can be combined with wax.
  • Take lengths of cotton thread, cotton pads, or cotton balls.
  • Dip them into melted wax made from either old candles or crayons.
  • Place them on a piece of newspaper or an old baking tray to dry. There’s no need to place them under sunlight.
  • Cut the strings into shorter lengths of about two inches.
  • Place them inside Ziploc bags for storage and to keep them dry for future use. 

Second, it can be combined with petroleum jelly. Vaseline is the most popular brand, but any brand of petroleum jelly will suffice.

Both of these materials are easy to pack into your backpack or survival pack, too.

Plus, these have several other uses, too, particularly for medical emergencies.

  • Take a few cotton pads or cotton balls. Flatten them a little.
  • Rub petroleum jelly into the cotton until it’s almost soaked to the middle.
  • Store in a Ziploc bag or use immediately.

You can also use other cotton materials, such as from old shirts or pants. Just be sure that these are completely dry before dipping them into melted wax or saturating it with petroleum jelly.

Pine Cones

If your about is has pines and pine cones around, then you are in luck! Pine cones are great natural fire starters, not to mention that these smell great.

But don’t use wet pine cones since you won’t be able to start fires with them.

You can dry out pine cones first and then combine them with other materials for DIY fire starters.

  • Soak dry pine cones in used cooking oil and let them dry for a while. Afterward, utilize them as fire starters for your barbecue or campfire.
  • Tie a string on the end of each pine cone. Dip each one into the melted wax and leave to dry before using.

Of course, you can use dry pine cones as is to start a fire! But dipping them in used cooking oil or melted wax will make them light up faster. 

Sawdust Cupcakes

Don’t throw the sawdust after you’ve finished your woodworking project! You can use it as a DIY fire starter instead of letting it go to waste. 

  • Place a spoonful of sawdust into each cup of an egg carton.
  • Pour melted wax over the sawdust.
  • Leave it to sit for a while, say, 30 minutes before using it. Store individual cups in a Ziploc, too, if you want.

Don’t have any sawdust or wood chips? You can use shredded paper or newspaper instead! Again, pour melted wax over the paper-filled individual cups and let it sit.

You may also use other types of household waste in place of sawdust, wood chips and shredded paper.

We suggest these materials for their flammable properties, either on their own or with egg cartons.

  • Dried orange peels ignite easily while also emitting a sweet-smelling fragrance. 
  • Wooden coffee stirrers can also be used as fire starters since these act like dry kindling.
  • Corn chips, such as Fritos Corn Chips, Doritos Spicy Nachos, and Pringles Hot and Spicy also ignite easily. It is because corn can explode under certain conditions, and we’re not joking!


Firestarters are easy to find if and when you know where to look! Just be careful about making and using them since you don’t want your house or campsite to burn down.

You have to remember that fire can be both friend and foe, and respecting its power is a must.

Can You Use Vaseline to Start a Fire?

Vaseline Jelly is undoubtedly the most popular brand of petroleum jelly! It’s a non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic product used for numerous applications, from healing minor scrapes and burns to moisturizing skin.

It is a product that nearly every American has heard of and used in their lives.

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But can you use Vaseline to start a fire? Yes, you can use it as a fire starter! But it’s only effective when used with other materials like cotton.

We will discuss how Vaseline works as a fire starter in the following sections. Read on, and it may just save your life in the wilderness or make life easier at home.

Is Vaseline Flammable?

Vaseline is safe for our skin because it is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. Therefore, the vaseline is not flammable. However, many people ought to think that vaseline is a flammable substance.

When you heat vaseline of temperature more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it may create flammable vapors. But, this won’t happen naturally, regardless if the weather is extremely hot.

Vaseline won’t be on fire under normal conditions.

Can You Use Vaseline To Start A Fire?

Although vaseline is not flammable, it can, however, catch fire. As you know, well fine cotton burns with just one good hit from firesteel. But cotton burns faster.

It is where petroleum jelly comes into action. From the name itself, petroleum jelly – it has petroleum, which means that this uses the same petroleum content in oil-based products but in the form of jelly.

However, it will not burst into flame, won’t evaporate, and it will not run.

Coat your cotton ball as much petroleum jelly as you can, but do not saturate the cotton ball. It is essential to use dry fibers in the middle. It will take the flame to a whole new level.

Starting A Fire With Petroleum Jelly

The cotton ball is likely compared to the tinder of fire. It will only take flame or spark to have you kindling burning.

Below are some tips and tricks to start a fire with petroleum jelly:

  1. Get a very dry toothpick. Preferably the pencil-sized kindling, if available.
  2. Pull your cotton ball to open and expose the dry fibers inside.
  3. Using a firesteel, light the cotton fibers.
  4. Lean a few toothpick-sized sticks against the burning cotton ball. Be careful not to suffocate it.
  5. Build a teepee above it with the other toothpicks.

After doing the steps above, you will be able to let your kindling burn.

Petroleum Jelly Cotton Balls In The Yard

Using petroleum jelly as a fire pit in the backyard is an excellent way to spend the evenings.

The steps are very easy. Plus how cool would it be if you get the chase to show-off your fire-making skills?

An excellent way to start is to get a flame from shredded cedar bark and an ember. Soon you will have a great knack for this.

You can also use a one-match fire. Combine petroleum jelly cotton ball and any ultralight bellow to have a no-fail fire pit.


Petroleum jelly is not only great for the skin, but they are also great in helping you start a fire.

They are not easily burnt. The packaging of the petroleum jelly will most likely burn first before the jelly does.

Can You Use Olive Oil To Start A Fire?

Olive oil is a staple in most American households because of its health benefits, including reduced risks of heart diseases and stroke.

It is because of its high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, you can also use it in different ways.

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Can you use olive oil to start a fire? Yes, of course, you can, and it’s easy, too! You will need a few flammable things to start a fire using this oft-used cooking oil. 

Read on and find out how you can start a fire using olive oil. You might wish to have it ready in your survival backpack or your camping gear. 

Olive Oil Isn’t Flammable

Since it can start a fire, it is indeed flammable. However, it will not ignite fire easily. Olive oil is not a volatile ingredient to cook with.

It could only ignite when heated to its flashpoint. Olive oil will show signs of heat before it gets to flammable levels.

The flashpoint of olive oil is 410 degrees Fahrenheit. It means that when it reaches this temperature, only then could it create flammable vapors.

But you don’t have to worry so much because it gives early indicators before it bursts into flame.

The first indicator is that it will start to pop or boil – when it does, lower the temperature.

Kitchen fires usually start when the cook has no idea of the igniting point of the oil they are using.

Fires when cooking especially happens when the oil is left to heat up unattended.

Although olive oil may not burst into flame by itself, when left heated towards flashpoint, then expect for an ignition.

Olive Oil Smoke Point

Smoke points and ignition points are two different things. You don’t need to know the precise ignition point of olive oil to prevent a grease of fire. What you need to do is to keep a close eye on your cooking.

Many people assume that the smoke point and ignition point of oils are the same.

After all, that is when an oil begins to smoke. But then again, they are not the same thing.

More refined oils have a higher smoking point, but it is still lower than its ignition point. When the oil reaches the smoking point, it is necessary to remove it to turn the heat down immediately.

If left unattended, it will become too hot and will eventually burn and could start an ignition.

140 degrees Fahrenheit if the smoking point of olive oil. And because olive oil is not refined, it is much lower than other oils.

The smoking point of olive oil is lower than its ignition point. However, more refined oils have a higher smoking point.

How To Use Olive Oil To Start Fire

Starting a fire with olive oil is not that difficult. Below are the steps.

  1. Use seasoned wood and make a tipi with kindling.
  2. Twist paper towels or napkins tightly until they form a long, thin, rope-shape. Soak the rolled paper towels in any oil.
  3. Crumple or roll newspaper into tiny balls.
  4. Spray the crumpled newspaper with oil.
  5. Time to build your fire. Put the vegetable oil balls at the bottom of the fire and lay the wood over the top.
  6. The last step is to light your fire.


In conclusion, olive oil can start a fire, but it will not burst into flame easily.

However, you must keep a close eye to it when you’re cooking or using it. Do not let it reach its flashpoint to avoid ignition.

Can You Start A Fire By Rubbing Sticks Together?

Aside from making a shelter and finding the perfect source of drinking, making fire on your own is probably one of the top skills you need to know. But this poses a problem because not all people have the luxury to have their fire-starting equipment.

Good thing that you can still find a piece of dry wood and try the primitive fire-making technique.

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Can you start a fire by rubbing sticks together? Yes. While you are twirling your hands together to twirl the stick, you need to push it down to create pressure. The downward pressure generates enough friction to turn the point of contact into a hot ember.

In this short read, you will have a better understanding of how to start a fire with sticks rubbing together and what is the science behind it.

Start A Fire With Sticks

When starting a fire using some sticks, it boils down to understanding the physics of friction.

Preparation is crucial when using friction as your source of fire ignition.

If you get the preparation done correctly, you will be able to increase the odds of producing fire. Preparation includes the following:

Procurement Of The Materials

Finding the right materials is crucial to get the fire you need. Try to find a dry and straight stick, and it is also worth noting to find a dry flat wood as well to make your fireboard or fire hearth.

Next, create a bunch of kindling and a dry and fine tinder bundle.

The most important thing here is to find the dry woods because if you find one that has moisture in it, you will most likely fail. The key is to find the right sturdy dry wood that has a low moisture level.

More moisture in the wood means more friction needed to build you an ember.

Staging The Materials

Staging your materials are vital because you need to place your tinder bundle and kindling in a way that the materials are nearby and ready to be employed.

The phase wherein ember transitions to fire is somehow called working fire up the ladder.

You start with a heat source or flame, and for this ember to work and grow, you need a dry and fine tinder.

After that, this tinder bundle will provide fire and energy to catch more materials such as kindlings.

Then finally, when the fire is strong enough, you can add some small and sticks and logs.


To conclude, understanding the fire ignition it is time to put them to some use.

The best way to learn this as much as you can is to practice and get yourself some good wood or sticks to get the right friction.

There are some excellent bow drill kits available online for you to practice.

Once you get the hang of it, you can start making your own from natural resources. It is crucial when it comes to survival to prepare, adapt, and overcome.

What Is The Best Wood For Starting A Friction Fire?

It seems that with the future ahead of us, modern tools are emerging to help us ignite fires.

But let’s be real for a second here, no one is adequately prepared unless they know how to start a fire with no help from all of these tools.

When such mishaps occur, it is very important to know how to start a fire using only friction.

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What is the best wood for starting a friction fire? Using softwood for both parts is the perfect wood for this scenario. Once specific woods that has been in every survivalist checklists for a fire are white pine. If there are no pine trees around, you can find any softwood in the area.

In this article, you will find all the best woods you need to have in case you are planning for camping or amid a survival incident. Let’s get into it.

Starting Fire By Friction Method

The friction method is most commonly known as rubbing two sticks together. It is by far the literal description of this ignition because you rub your woods together.

In a survival setup, you can see a lot of rubbing wooden sticks to a wooden base.

No matter how you do it, the principle will be the same. The rubbing will produce enough friction to heat the wood until it is enough to ignite materials surrounding it.

You might find it very simple because you only need to rub it together, but many people attempted to make fire this way and ended up doing nothing.

The end result will always depend on the type of wood you choose.

If you are using hardwood with a slick and shiny surface, it won’t cause friction, and it won’t heat up.

While it is everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to picking their wood types, all can agree to one wood.

They agreed that softwood is the perfect choice for it, and some even prefer the bow drill fire starting method, which is a stick that is quickly rubbed against the base.

This way, a hardwood stick can work, but the base must have to be softwood.

Choosing Your Wood

Many people have questions on the perfect wood for bringing out the fire during camping or emergencies.

It is probably one of the most asked questions in many survival courses around the globe.

Truth to be told, experts do have some thoughts when it comes to friction fire and the best woods to use.

Based on an old saying that if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and this is pretty much the only knowledge you need to know when it comes to fire ignition.

When it comes to wood, it is important to know different combinations to use to get better results.

However, the state of the woods is just as important as the right combination to it.

It means that you should consider how old or seasoned the wood is, and there are two main considerations when choosing seasoned wood for your fire set.

Check The Color Of The Wood

Color is vital when it comes to choosing the right wood.

If you happen to be in a place where the wood is green, then you are hiding to nowhere. It is because any piece of wood that is green in color means that this is still alive.

Like all organisms, if you happen to find a green and alive wood, it needs moisture to survive. Wood, with a lot of moisture, will put a fire out.

If you find wood and cut it into the inner parts and see any green hues, it means that this is not the right one for you.

You should discard it as it won’t give you the fire you are looking for. Just a few exceptions because woods like hazel and ivy can provide you with ember when it is slightly green.

Although, this kind of circumstance is unusual for other woods. Also, if you see any streaks of dark grey or blue, then it is no good.

Also, take note that if you are unsure of the wood’s age or condition, you can place it in your lips.

Your lips will be able to feel all the moisture compared to your fingers that are not as sensitive as your lips.

Spin The Spindle

 A spindle is a straight wood that is preferably from the center of your log. You need to have at least 12 to 15 inches of it. And have a diameter of ¾ of an inch to get the most out of it.

And another way to find out that you have a good quality wood is by spinning the spindle against your board.

You will notice once you look into it closely that the shards of a punk wood being deposited are “sausaging.”

As a result, there are long thin strips of wood coming off from the spindle or the board.

It is a pretty good indication that the wood you picked is not seasoned or too wet to begin with.

You won’t be able to produce an amber from this set of wood, and it will take a ridiculous amount of work before you even see a smoke. If you spot a rot or your wood is turning into punk wood, this is not good.

A Seasoned Wood

It is also possible to be able to use some of your greenwoods.

All you need to do is cut them properly and then keep it to your storage area or shed ready for future use.

Just be mindful that it takes about 1 to 1 and a half years to season your wood properly for friction fire.

However, in a survival scenario, you won’t be able to wait that long, so it is important to have the skill in identifying the right woods.

A good practice is to look for some branches during spring or summer that doesn’t have leaves as they are probably dead.

A well-seasoned wood has a pale, smooth, and somehow creamy texture to it. Another good sign is that it feels bone dry in your lips and no grey fletchings anywhere.

When a spindle is spun against the board, the dust coming off is a fine brown or black dust. It is a good indicator that both the spindle and the board are well seasoned and in great condition.

Best Wood For Starting Friction Fire

There are plenty of survival skills that can get pretty frustrating, like the bow and drill fire starting.

Many beginners find it very hard to produce fire using this method, and they considered it unattainable.

Many people think that starting friction fire is easy because of what they see on the television, but it is not that easy, and neither is it unattainable.

The most typical reason for failure is that people choose the wrong material. It is probably the main reason why they failed in achieving this task.

Below is the list of materials that are perfectly aligned with each other to help you better understand wood types.

White Pine

White pine is probably the type of wood that has been mentioned by many to be the best wood for fire ignition.

Pines have been known to be one of the best wood compatible with the fire friction method.


A combination of a birch spindle and a birch board will give you an average success when it comes to fire ignition.

Just make sure that the birch wood is appropriately dry and seasoned.

Another good combination is a birch spindle and a pine board. You just need to check the wood age as it plays a significant role in the end results.


As mentioned above, hazel is actually a good spindle and board wood choice. It can give you enough amber to be able to produce fire. Another good combination is a hazel spindle and a willow board.

However, you might need to consider this one as sausaging is common in this kind of combination.


Sycamore wood is one of the best wood that is perfect for beginners who are just learning how to start a fire using the friction method.

It emits a moderate amount of heat rather than oak or maple.

You need to look at their center if it has a green color. It means that it won’t be able to produce enough heat for friction to work.


As a conclusion, there are a lot of wood varieties to choose from when it comes to the best wood for starting a friction fire.

Aside from those that are mentioned above, you can also use red elm, cedar, basswood, walnut, or cottonwood.

On the other hand, you should remember that it is more important to take all the considerations above when it comes to wood.

You might have the perfect wood but does not meet the considerations, it will still be a failure.

What To Do If You Are Lost In The Wilderness?

Wandering off trails when hiking is common, and hikers getting lost not unusual.

You do not wish to be one of the hikers who gets lost off-trail. But if ever you do get lost, my best advice is to stay safe and get found.

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What to do if you are lost in the wilderness? When you’re lost, you might want to adopt the STOP approach – stay calm, and stay put. Do not panic as this will serve no benefit. Panic is your biggest enemy.

This article is a full guide on what to do if you get lost in the wilderness.

The STOP Approach

Maybe you got preoccupied with the beauty of nature or followed something, and then you realize you’re lost!

You should pull yourself together. Do not get scared, do not wander more, and do not panic. Panicking won’t help you get found easily.

The first thing you have to do is to stop and think. Think about how you get where you are.

Do you see any landmarks? Instead of wandering off more, you should stay put. Do not take another step without having a specific reason.

The next thing you should do is quietly observe your location. It is where a compass gets handy.

When you’re hiking, there are always possibilities that you won’t have any signal. It will restrict you from using your GPS.

Do not take any meaningless steps. If you are still on a trail, stay on it, and wait for rescuers.

Trails are usually marked with signs and blazers or markers, but these signs are sometimes vandalized or stolen.

The last thing you can do is at least follow the stream downhill or drainage.

Drainage usually leads to highways. But take extra precautions and be safe because this is dangerous.

And lastly, you should create a concrete plan. After your thinking and observations, you can hopefully come up with a plan.

Remember to think closely with your next move before acting on them.

If you don’t feel secure with the plan you have, then follow your instincts and don’t do it.

Pick Your Route

Do not impulsively go on a trail without having a general idea of where a particular trail is headed to.

Check back in your map when hiking and try to use nearby landmarks to know your location.

As much as possible, you should stay focused on the trail when hiking.

Getting lost alone is no party. By keeping track and paying close attention to the trail, you’re reducing your chances of getting lost.

It is not unusual to lose signal when you’re on a hike. Your best friend in this activity is the compass.

It is a must-have tool to bring when you are in the wilderness. It helps you locate your location when you get turned around.

Also, a good map will help you pinpoint your exact location.

The compass and the map are 2 of the 10 essential things that you should always carry with you.

These items should be readily available when you are outdoors.

Follow The Trail

Standing on the trail is an essential factor that will help you avoid getting separated and lost from the group.

If you are not good at backcountry navigation, then never break from the trail.

Assuming you have to go on a bathroom break; still do not go off-trail. Always give 100% of attention to the trail.

It is essential to identify your exact location along with your destination when venturing out into the woods.

Utilizing GPS

A handheld GPS is very useful to help you find your way out of the woods.

GPS allows you to know your exact location. Pre-downloading topo maps and drawing out the path you’re going to take and marking any important waypoints is a must.

You can check your GPS and make sure you are on track once you are on the trail.

For extra precautions, you can carry a device such as a Garmin Inreach.

The Garmin Inreach is also a form of GPS, but it will double as a satellite communicator.

If you do get lost, you can use your Garmin Inreach to text your friends and ask for help.

Retrace your steps and immediately start backtracking if you have wandered off the trail. As much as possible, do not break off the trail or explore the wilderness by yourself.

Marking the areas as you hike will also help you get back on track when you’re lost.

You can leave traces along the way, hang items on trees, or leave heavy footprints.

By doing this, heading back to where you came will be much easier.

Planning To The Rule Of Threes

Many people are aware that to survive the wilderness, you need to have various things.

We are all different from our ways. However, we all have the same basic needs – food, water, and shelter.

The Rule of Threes in survival is an extremely important rule that often gets ignored.

Some people do know, but they are not fully aware of it.

The Rule of Threes refers to the normal length of time a person can be without having something before problems arise.

It states that a person or human can only survive up to 3 weeks of food, 3 days of no water, 3 hours without shelter, and 3 minutes without oxygen.

If you go beyond the length of these three, then you are asking for severe issues.

Shelter And Warmth


If you watch videos of surviving wildlife, you will notice how survival experts build an astonishing shelter.

What you have to know is that these people have been doing and practicing these sort of things for years.

They are skilled people that do the work in a short amount of time without difficulties.

I’m not saying that you should build shelters like how they build theirs’. You should build and do what you think is easiest for you.

You can find a big rock formation and sleep underneath it. You can also search for unused caves – no wildlife animal is living inside.

These two are enough to keep you out of the elements.

But remember to stay alert with your surroundings, especially when you are in the wild.

If you can, do not hike anywhere between 10 am and pm on hot days.

But if you do hike on these times and weather, search for a shady spot and stay. Once the temperature cools down, you can continue with your hike.


As weather changes and you’re out in the wild, especially during night time, you’ll probably be cold.

It is true if you do not have a fire going. You can insulate to stop this problem.

Most hiking areas have trees and leaves that fall throughout the year. But, if they do not, you can pick them off.

These will be a wonderful insulator. What you need to do is to stuff your jacket with them.

The leaves will absorb the cold before it gets too serious. They will also keep the body heat from escaping.

When it’s cold or wet outside, starting a fire is a big help with survival situations.

It might be unlikely that you have a fire-starting kit with you during hikes, but you can learn how to use a “feather stick”.

Below are the steps on how to make one:

  1. Find a tree and remove as much bark as you can.
  2. Cut down some of the wood from the inner tree.
  3. Peel open the layers of the wood until you get what appears like a feather.

You can also adjust the pace of you hiking to the one you are comfortable maintaining with.

Take a rest whenever you feel the need to. Do not overwork yourself because the woods have no hospitals and doctors on standby.


Water is essential to the body. Drink enough water to avoid dehydration.

Dehydration symptoms include thirst, dry mouth, dark yellow urine, dry and cool skin, muscle cramps, and headache.

One of the oddest ways to survive when you are lost in the wilderness is not to carry as much water.

Sure, you have to avoid dehydration, however, carrying too much comes with a price.

You will need water for sure, but water has a weight to it.

The more gallons of water you carry, the more weight you have to lug around. Remember that if you carry more water, you are slowing yourself down and using more energy.

Therefore, you should only carry what makes sense.

Consider the available hydration resources around when you have a handle on your situation.

There are three types of water in the wild; the surface water, such as lakes, rivers, rainwater, and groundwater from springs.

If the water is beautiful and looks sterile, but no living animal is living in it, then there’s something wrong.

All forms of life need water. If the worst kind of algae doesn’t grow in that water, then perhaps it’s not safe. So do not drink from it.

You can search for animal tracks, green ventilation, and swarms of bugs. Animals are the master of surviving wildlife.

They’d know if the water is safe or not. If they drink from it, you probably can, too.

Water Filter

The best way to get clean water is to create your own filtration system.

You have to do this as even boiling water does not entirely eliminate bad stuff in the water. So, it would be better if you filter the water, too.

The process is pretty easy. You need an empty bottle. If you don’t have one, you can make it with things such as birch bark.

The next thing you should do is poke small holes in the bottom. You have to find fine sand, coarse gravel, coarse sand, and crushed up charcoal.

Once you’re done looking for the filters, add them all in the container.

Then add water on top of the layer of fine sand. It should completely filter the water. Although I strongly recommend boiling the water first to increase safety.

Food To Survive

You have to take a break when you feel tired, do not wait until you are exhausted.

Your body will have a difficult time hiking and digesting at the same time. Find shade and rest for at least an hour or two, or until you feel renewed.

The wild, as you know, is full of indulging plants. However, some of these are not safe to consume. You must know what foods to avoid.

  • Do not eat plants with thorns.
  • Stay away from clear or shiny leaves.
  • Do not eat plants with white or yellow berries.
  • Some mushrooms are safe. Some are deadly. If you are not an expert, do not eat any of the kind.
  • Do not get close with plants that have leaves in groups of three.
  • Do not get close to plants that have umbrella-shaped flowers.
  • Refrain from eating beans or plants with seeds inside a pod.
  • Do not eat anything with an almond smell.
  • If it tastes soapy or bitter, immediately spit it out.
  • Any discolored sap is a warning sign.

You can utilize the universal edibility test check to see whether a plant is edible or not.

Steps include; rubbing the plant on your skin and lips, holding it in your mouth to see if any adverse reaction occurs.

In the jungle, fruits are everywhere. But depending on where you are, you can find almost everything from bananas to mangoes to sugarcanes.

In tropical jungles, coconut is the best food source, including papaya, and figs.

Before hiking, it is best to familiarize yourself with the local fruits you can eat.

Commercially farmed green goods contain lesser amounts of nutrients than wild greens.

Plus a wild green’s flavor is more intense than store-bought ones. Wild greens are seasonal – spring and fall in most countries.

You can start off eating the dandelion leaf’s peppery kick and mixing it with chickweed.

The chickweed has a delicate flavor that will create a tasty meal. You can also top it off with lemon-flavored wood sorrel.

However, always take extra caution as several intoxicating wild plants looks almost the same as the edible ones.

The best thing to do is never to touch any plant in which you are unsure of its identity.

Rescuing Yourself Or Attracting Rescuers

  1. Before going somewhere, it is vital that you tell someone where you’re going and your activities. Inform someone of the expected return time and date of your trip.

    Especially when you’re going hiking, give a reliable person your trail route, destination, and other essential details. If it’s not too much, also tell them your tent color, the jacket you’re wearing, and list supplies.

  2. There is an increase in cell coverage in the wilderness. Emergency cell phones are one of the ways in initiating rescues. If not needed, turn off your cell phones to conserve batteries. 

  3. Before starting the trail, enable your location setting. It enables E911 to calculate your exact location.

  4. Turn on your phones only when necessary. If you are lost, turn your phone at least every 10 minutes, or when you’re resting.

    Cell signals may not be enough to make a call. It would be enough to leave an electronic trail. Radios and electronic communicating devices work off a line of sight.

    It means that land features, such as mountains and heavy tree covers, can block signals. If you have a satellite phone, remember that it needs an obstructed view of the sky.

  5. Convey only what is essential. Also, dial emergency personnel first before ringing your emergency contact.

    It is extremely important to stay calm. Panicking will only make things worse. Name, location details (Lat/Long or even UTM coordinates, elevation, and landmarks).

    If you don’t know your exact location details, you can give them your last known points.

  6. If you do not have enough cell signal to make a call, you can leave a text. However, most emergency hotlines are not set up to receive cell text messages.

    It is also a good idea to describe materials that can be used to locate and identify you. You can tell them the clothes you’re wearing, the tent you’re sleeping in, and other materials.

  7. A flare gun is one of the best ways to signal for help. However, some people use fire as signals for rescue. But two problems can arise if you use a fire signal. First, it can cause forest fires.

    It can also affect the time window of getting the fire to produce sufficient smoke to attract attention. Second, people who will see the smoke may not interpret this as a cry for help. Often they would perceive this as a natural fire.

  8. Noise can also be used to signal for help. You can use your whistling tool loud enough to be heard for several miles. The universal distress signal is 3 consecutive blows. That would be about 4 to 5-second blows.

If you do not have any whistle, 3 shots or 3 bangs with a stick on a tree may do the trick.

If you can shout loud enough, shouting “Help!” would be better. If it’s sunny, you can use anything that can reflect the sun to signal rescue.


The best thing to do before hiking is to prepare basic tool kits, just in case you get lost.

If you do get lost, you should be calm and collected. Stop, think, plan, and act. These are the 4 ways you should do when you are lost in the wilderness.

Where Should I Store My Go Bag?

For starters, a “Go Bag” is an emergency-preparedness bag that should always be easy-to-get and use if an individual has to leave their home in an emergency. It is also known as a bug out bag or 72-hour bag, and these are useful in situations that require a hasty evacuation.

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Where should I keep my go bag? Your go bags should be kept in a secured place. You can dig a hole and stow it there or hide in a place inside your home where it can be able to reach immediately in case of rushed evacuation.

In this article, you will have an idea what are the survival supplies that you should keep inside your go bag.

As you read along, you will know where should you keep your go-bag or where should you get it in case of an emergency that requires hasty evacuation.

What’s Inside My Go Bag?

There are a few essential items you must have to survive in a disaster or emergency.

Examples are, enough water for three days, non-perishable foods, medications or first aid kit, flashlight, radio, waterproof matches, candles, whistle, zip lock bags, hand sanitizers, extra cash, and valuable papers such as identification.

If you have a baby, include items such as diapers, baby food, bottles, formula, or whatever specific item is required. You can also include some supplies for evacuation as shoes, clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.

Where Should I Store My Go Bag?

What if when the time comes for you to reach for your go bag, your home is inaccessible for whatever reason?

What if someone takes things through your home, even worse- it burnt down or was otherwise destroyed in some way?

That’s a lot of “what ifs” that we should consider as possible scenarios to know what should we do enable to survive.

Go bags should be kept in a secured place. You can dig a hole and stow it there or hide it in a place inside your home where it can be able to reach immediately in case of rushed evacuation.

Members of the family should know where you put the go bag, so if you’re not able to get it at least there are many of you can be able to get it.

Related Questions

How many days should you prepare to survive with your emergency kit?

While there’s no way to know how long you’ll need to survive on your own after a natural disaster or other emergencies, planning for a minimum of three days of survival is a good starting point. Once you have a three days’ supply, try to build up to a full week.

How much should a go bag weigh?

The ideal weight of a go bag is 10% of your body weight. The maximum you should attempt to carry is %20.


The purpose of a go bag is to allow one to evacuate quickly if a disaster happens. Having emergency supplies for disaster is essential to be able to survive in living.

Keeping a Go Bag in an accessible place ensures that you and your family are prepared for whatever situation arises. Now you don’t have to panic because you are ready.

How Do People Live In The Woods Without Getting Caught?

Living in the woods is one of the most exciting experiences for people who want to live off-grid. But without proper knowledge about the environment and the lack of survival skills, it can be quite difficult. If you plan to live or have a stealth camping in the woods, you might get familiar with all the skills needed.

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How do people live in the woods without getting caught? When you want to live off-grid and not be seen, the most important thing is to be as quiet when setting up your camp. Avoid opening lights if it is not necessary as it can attract attention from other people around.

If you wish to learn some tips and advice that you can follow to live in the woods without getting caught, this article is worth your time.

It is also vital that you know all the things you need to consider if you plan to live off-grid. In the latter part of the article, I will be discussing how to find the best stealth camping spots.

Stealth Camping

If you want to pursue living in the woods and not get caught, it is essential to learn about stealth camping. Stealth camping is secretly camping in a private or public area without being detected.

It is an ideal way not only to find places free to camp but also to discover some campground and breathtaking locations in the wilderness.

Stealth Camping Tips and Tactics

When you plan to do a stealth camping, the plan is not to get caught or seen by authorities or other people.

One of the reasons people are inclined to this kind of activity is because they want to explore the most epic natural places. As some areas can be off-limits, you might want to practice stealth camping tactics to reduce your chances of getting caught.

Here are some stealth camping tips and tactics you can follow to make sure you get the best out of it and not get caught:

  1. In terms of setting up your camp, it is essential to have your camp set up at the perfect timing. You do not want to set up very late at night as the light will be absent. At the same time, you do not wish to set up the camp early as it can get the attention of other people.

  2. You should avoid using lights or other means as it can get a lot of attention and it is advisable to cover it with reflective tape.

  3. If you are looking for some new tents, it is recommended to have the darker ones that can blend into your environment. Colors like green, dark green, brown, or any other earthy colors will be the best ones to pick.

  4. Another is if you want to live off-grid and avoid being caught, you should always move from one location to another. Changing your positions during stealth camping will diminish the chances of getting caught.

  5. Among the important thing is to make sure your camp spot feels safe. You need to be careful when choosing your spot in the wilderness. You don’t wish to be sleeping in an area where there are imminent dangers in your surroundings. It is not all wildlife you should be worrying about. There are plenty of cases where a few people committed a robbery of your tools and equipment.

  6. A great strategy is to camp uphill off roads as people tend to look down then looking up. A lot of stealth campers camped up high off the road multiple times on their tour.

  7. Do not start a campfire as it can attract attention from other people and try not to disturb too much of the natural environment. Cover all the apparent tracks that may be caused by you stepping on some grass or bike prints.

  8. When deciding a spot in the wild, find a camping spot that no other vehicle can reach you. It means that you need to find a spot where you have to push through thick forest and make it impossible to be reached by car.

  9. It is essential to know if a private company or individual does not own the land you are trying to camp. It can save you from trespassing and all the legality of the land.

  10. Try not to overstay in a spot you are comfortable to live in. The longer time you spend in one area, the more likely you will be seen. It is not ideal to camp in the same place twice.

  11. Last but not least, you must know where you are. It is for safety reasons that you must rely on yourself to get out of sticky situations. For instance, if you need immediate medical attention, you can still get out of there safely.

Finding Great Stealth Camping Spots

Many national parks and trails have their designated campsites for many people who visit and traverse their trails.

But as a stealth camper, you plan to avoid those sites as much as possible and try something new.

It means that you are going out there that no other people have gone through. Finding great stealth camping spots is not difficult at all, and it is relatively simple.

You only need to search for a place that is perfect in terms of size and safety.

One way to do that is to go on Google Maps with the satellite options selected and search around for bushes, trees, forests, rivers, lakes, and deserts.

Once you can find a spot that looks okay on the map, you can try to scout the area first to find out what it looks like in real life. Check for some flat ground, tree coverage from rain, and mostly soft ground.

Things Worth Considering When Stealth Camping

The basic rule in stealth camping is to limit the visibility as much as possible and then leave no trace or signs that you were there.

It means that you should use minimal lights, removing all reflective things in your gear, and definitely, you should stay out of the fire.

Here are some things to consider if you are planning to do a stealth camping or wild camping:

Water Supply

Once you are out there, you do not have the luxury to have all the easy access to water compared to normal campsites.

It is why it is essential to find a spot that has a running water source. But if it’s not on the choices, you make sure to bring enough water to get you through the night and the next day.

Stay Organized With Your Gear

If you are stealth camping, you just want to be in and out without getting noticed. So this means the less complicated and the fewer tasks or more things you unpack that night when settling into a camp.

The easier and quicker you can move your way out in the morning. You should know where all your gear is and have enough practice to pack your gear back on your bike or bad as quickly as possible.

Check The Weather

Make sure to check the weather every night when camping to help you make educated decisions on where you want to camp. It also applies to how you are going to camp. It might be a good evening where you do not even need to pitch your tent and only lay under the stars.

Understand Local Laws

If you drop by from one location to another, especially in different states, make sure to do some reading on local laws. It can give you an idea regarding wild camping and make your side with the laws.

You do not want to overstep in private land and get caught for breaking some laws about trespassing. There are certain states or countries which have very strict laws on wild camping.

Always stick in your mind to respect the environment and practice some stealth camping tactics to minimize any damages. Some countries have different laws about it and are very welcoming to this kind of camping style. Some are not.

Be Respectful

The best campsites are stealth campsites. You just need to be more respectful of the entity that owns the land.

You will be more surprised by how understanding some people are when you act respectful, pleasant, and non-threatening. Also, you should pay respect to other wildlife that is living there.


Living off-grid is an exciting and unique way of living that opens a whole new world of different possibilities. It is true that it comes with its own share of risks and concerns, but with the right amount of preparation and foresight, it will be fine.

In order not to get caught, minimize light and noise, and you will be able to live in a place where there is sanity and peace. By sticking with these principles, you will enjoy all these amazing views and peaceful surroundings.

Can You Store Water In Your Car?

Your car is among the most important places where you can store all your emergency preparedness supplies. An emergency situation might force you to travel great distances and endure all extreme weather conditions as you work your way to a safer location. Keeping supplies in your car can be a life-saver when you get stranded in a remote location.

Can you store water in your car? Yes, it is possible to store water in your car in a limited time. Storing bottled water as emergency water in your car has limitations. Due to extreme temperatures in your vehicle, bottled water can only be stored safely for less than six months.

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In this short read, you will have a better understanding of the precautions of storing water inside your vehicle.

Storing Emergency Water In A Hot Car

For some people, a particular climate and weather is a significant factor in storing water inside your car. It is because car windows act as a magnifying glass for the sunlight coming through. If you are planning to store all the water bottles in your hot car, the water might become contaminated.

Sunlight and heat can weaken the plastic of most water bottles and can leach the BPA’s from them and then let it contaminate the water. BPA are chemicals that can cause cancer, high blood pressure, and brain issues.

Luckily, you can apply plenty of solutions to make sure that the water you install in your car will stay fresh. To avoid getting BPA, you can always opt for a glass container.

Fill in your glass, bottle some water, and store it in your car. It might be warm to taste, but it can do the job of preventing harmful chemicals. Another thing to consider is to have a cooler in your trunk with the water bottles inside.

Storing Emergency Water In A Cold Car

Not everyone lives in a desert, and some people live in a colder climate like Alaska, Canada, and other cold places. Regardless of the weather, it is essential to keep emergency water inside of your vehicle.

Those people who are stuck in freezing temperatures faces a different challenge to keep the water unfrozen. Being stuck in a dangerous situation like a blizzard with nothing to drink but a bottle of ice is a disaster scenario.

To avoid freezing your water, you can warm it up in the car. The sun’s rays and BPA are not a significant concern because of the climate. Most likely, you will be using your car’s heater, and it will be helpful for the water to freeze.


To conclude, storing water in your car can save you in difficult times, and it is a smart way for survival situations. While it may require some time and investment, it is worth it. Staying hydrated all the time is essential to skimp on, especially if you are stuck in a situation where water is scarce.