Cold months provide the perfect excuse to spend a little time in the garage, prepping for next year’s camping season. Investing a few hours now will have you ready to go at a moment’s notice come spring.

Next season, forget packing in newspaper. Here are some homemade fire-starters, perfect for building a marshmallow-toaster or a survival fire:

Boy Scout’s Favourite

Soak cotton balls in petroleum jelly (Vaseline), and then stuff them into a film canister (you still have those, right?) or other container. These little fireballs light right up and provide a couple of minutes of flame.

Dryer Delight

Stop throwing away that valuable dryer lint! Spend the winter collecting it, stuff about four litres of the stuff into a garbage bag, and then mix in about two tablespoons of citronella lamp fuel. Compress then use to start a fire.

Sawdust & Egg Cartons

Collect sawdust from your home-reno projects over the winter, and then fill the slots in an egg carton with the stuff. Pour in a little melted paraffin wax, let dry. These egg-shaped waxy sawdust balls, once broken apart, work well as fire starters

Duct Tape

What isn’t this stuff good for? In a pinch, a loosely bundled-together ball of duct tape will burn like hellfire, enough to set kindling ablaze.

Rubber Tubing

Not recommended as a standby for obvious reasons, but if you find yourself stranded in the woods after getting an un-repairable flat bicycle tire, a six-inch chunk of rubber tubing will light right up and burn hot enough to ignite kindling.
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