The ability to light a fire in the woods or, if you lose power, in your home could be the difference between life and death. Stacking the odds in your favor can never hurt.

A simple and inexpensive way to make excellent fire starters - begins with some items you, most likely, already have in your home.

Supplies needed:
- Cotton Rounds
- 100% Petroleum Jelly
- an empty Mod Cabin Beard Balm tin

That’s it.

Start by covering the cotton rounds with petroleum jelly.  I chose to put the petroleum jelly in a sandwich bag and then used the coated bag to apply the petroleum jelly to the cotton rounds, but the sandwich bag is not necessary.  You can simply coat both sides of the cotton rounds thoroughly with petroleum jelly.
Once you have coated the cotton rounds, you are all set for the next time you need to make a fire - whether that is in the wind, rain, snow, or heat.  The empty beard balm tin works perfect to store the rounds.  If you put a little petroleum jelly on the threads of the tin you can make it almost completely waterproof.
These tins stuffed full of fire starters can be stored in your backpack, car, camper, tent, or next to your fireplace. When you want to make a fire just collect your small wood and other burning materials.  If you have access to dry materials…even better.  If not, try to find the driest pieces you can and prepare them near the area you will be starting your fire.  I have read about people putting small pieces of wood and bark in their pockets to dry them and better prepare them for fire starting.

Then, simply, light a petroleum jelly covered cotton round with a match, lighter, or flint and steel.  The cotton round will burn for a few minutes and help you light your kindling and small sticks to get your fire burning.

Preparing a few of these tins of fire starters could come in extremely handy one day.  They’re lightweight and easy to slide in a pocket, backpack, or glove box.  I hope this tip helps you the next time you need to get a fire going to stay warm, signal for help, or cook some S’mores.

Stay safe.