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How to Light a Fire

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Last year I talked all about camping and shared my favorite fire starter ever – laundry lint! Camping season is upon us and I have improved my little lint system. The biggest complaint I had about lint is that its messy. I usually keep it in a baggie. But then I saw on Pinterest how someone put lint in a toilet paper tube. I loved the idea so that you had paper too but the problem was it still was messy. So I decided to wrap it in the weekly ads that come in my mail when I’m done with them.


Just stuff the lint in the roll, and then roll it up in newspaper, and tuck the ends in. It makes a really tight roll that doesn’t let any of the messy lint out! If you want more paper to light fires just wrap more layers around the toilet paper roll.


Someone wrote us a note that said that laundry lint is not recommended for starting fires anymore. I did a little research and actually found that is not entirely accurate. It seems the fabrics that would be toxic tend to be synthetic and synthetic fabrics don’t tend to shed. Regardless, we are pretty much a cotton family around here so I am not too worried. If you wear a lot of synthetic fabrics this is the recommendation he gave:

Scouts now recommended to use saw dust from natural wood and mix it with wax and put in into a cardboard egg container. Break off a section and you have more natural fire starter without all of those toxins.

I think that is great but the only problem is those are not easily accessible materials for me. One of the things I like about the lint, toilet paper rolls, and newspaper is that I am recycling things I usually just throw away into something I actually use. Laundry lint is so flammable and works great for fire starting. With the newspaper and added paper from the toilet paper roll it gives you just the right amount of paper.

Happy camping!

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Previous author of Over the Big Moon. I shared my passion for home and family life! I love graphic design, DIY projects, cooking, and working in my garden! My favorite role is taking care of my husband and our 3 amazing and busy boys!

Comments (29)

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  • Worked great for me! My daughter is part of an American Heritage Girls scout group. We took a camping trip this weekend and she made these as part of her badge work.

    All this fuss over toxicity is silly. If there are fumes your outside! If you understand the principles of gas dispersion you would know that not only is it safe for you, but safe for the environment! Landfills burn stuff like this all the time (not lint stuffed tp rolls, but cardboard and clothing). Common sense goes a long way!

    As for using it in a home fireplaces, I don’t believe this stuff about fumes and would definitely use it in my home. If you are worried about it then don’t do it. No reason to go crazy posting comments against it on blogs of those trying to help out the rest of us.

  • I use cardboard egg carton with cotton dryer lint, but I use old citronella candle, or essential oil, like peppermint, on the ones that I take for camp outs. It helps repel mosquitoes and gnats.

  • Ever thought of vegetable oil impregnated cardboard!? We light our fires with this throughout the winter and it’s brilliant – and no toxins- come on, you’re a camper and you have a responsibility to the environment! . I would imagine that impregnated cardboard inside your tubes with the paper wrap would work superbly and all materials are readily available. I am talking old veg oil here- not new. Don’t wash it down the sink- use it.

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