My favorite: Easy Improvised Fire Starter

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Funny thing is, I use this fire starter all the time yet never thought about bringing it up here. I suppose it’s so simple and obvious I thought everyone did it (or some variation) but apparently that’s not the case.

This is by far the most common fire starter I use. I have more commercial stuff for kits but for a BBQ or to start a fire around home, start the fireplace or during a picnic this is what I do. Whenever there’s a BBQ party this is very convenient because the materials needed are already handy. People often act completely surprised as if you’re McGyver or something.

I bet there’s several variations but what I do is press one paper napkin into a ball and wrap it with the other, making somewhat of a cup.

Then I simply pour some vegetable oil inside. The paper ball absorbs most of the oil and the paper napkin acting as a cup keeps it from pouring out.

Place it in the fireplace or grill with the wood piled around it and light it up.

That’s it. It burns for a good few minutes, the more oil it has the more it burns, and it burns very hot too.

Give it a try next time!


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”