Homemade Flint Fire Starters

Homemade Flint Fire StartersWhen camping at a backwoods location or other site, it is essential that you know how to use a homemade flint fire starter. Using only flint, steel and tinder, you can start a fire at your camp site. Once flames appear, it's easy to fan the flames and grow the fire, which can warm you and your camping group during the night when low temperatures are common.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Grey or black flint
  • Steel camping knife or steel file
  • Cotton
  • Vaseline
Step 1
Smooth Vaseline all over the cotton ball, but do not bury it under a heavy layer. Pull the greased cotton ball apart to reveal the inside threads. Shape the cotton ball into a teepee on the ground, which will allow oxygen to pass through the fire more easily.
Step 2
Hold a piece of flint in one hand and a steel camping knife or old file in the other. Position both tools near the cotton, but not directly on top. Grey or black flint is ideal, preferably a piece with a sharp edge. If you cannot hold the flint comfortably in your hand, it is too small.
Step 3
Strike the flint at an angle of 20 to 30 degrees using the steel camping knife. Do this several times or until sparks fly. Because greased cotton is a highly flammable kindling, it should ignite fairly soon after you begin striking the flint.
Step 4
Gently blow on the tinder to add oxygen to the flames and grow the fire.

Tips & Warnings

Vaseline can be messy, but it is readily available.
Kindling is any material that is highly flammable.
Always smother a campfire with dirt.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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