Homemade Fire Starters

There are officially 9 more days until we leave on our massive family camping trip. Unfortunately, building a good campfire is not one of my strong suits, so it is usually left to my oldest to do. He does a great job, but building a good campfire requires good fire starters. In a lot of the state and national parks we will stay at, collecting downed wood is a big no no, and fire starting sticks don’t always work well on their own, so I came up with some homemade fire starters that are not only inexpensive to make, but help you upcycle some common items in your home.

Homemade Fire Starters


Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
Lint collected from the dryer
Poster board
Fire starter sticks (optional)

Step 1: Stuff a toilet paper roll or a paper towel roll cut to the size of a toilet paper roll with lint. You can choose at this point to roll a commercial fire starter stick into the lint and stuff your roll with a combination, but that is completely optional.

Step 2: Trace both ends of the toilet paper roll onto a piece of poster board. Cut along the outside of the traced circle.

Step 3: Tape the poster board circles to each end of the stuffed toilet paper roll to completely seal in the materials and create a mess free fire starter.

You don’t have to write on yours obviously, but the boys wanted to and I figured it would keep anyone from accidentally tossing them. It is a lot easier to toss one or two of these at the bottom of your campfire when you’re building it then carry around a mound of paper, and they stay lit long enough for the fire to catch the wood in most cases.

Want more camping ideas? Check out 20 camping recipes, 10 camping games and 12 foil packet recipes.


  1. All I can think of is Beavis and Butthead… Fire… Fire… yeah, yeah… heheehhe

  2. We've been saving up for a few months Tammy, but with four boys, it piles up fast.

    LOL Robin. All I could keep thinking about was the "Fire Power" phrase from the statue in Night at the Museum 2, so that's what we went with.

  3. I never knew you could use dryer lint! This is such a fun way to make a boring camping chore fun 🙂

  4. I can't believe your camping trip is so soon! What a great and innovative way to make fire starters, I bet these will be great for your trip!

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