How to Start a Fire without Kindling

Fire is essential for survival. Start a roaring fire with one of these simple fire starters.


Up next in Wilderness Survival Skills (40 videos)

Conquer the wilderness with the survival tips in these Howcast videos. You'll learn how to make fire, build a shelter, boil water with hot stones, make a bow and arrow, avoid poison ivy, purify water, track animals, make a solar still, tan a hide, sharpen a jackknife, avoid a snakebite, tell directions without a compass, and much more.

You Will Need

  • Potato chips
  • A lighter or match
  • Toilet paper
  • Dryer lint
  • Pine needles
  • Pine cones
  • Newspaper
  • Bark
  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Moss


  1. Step 1

    Use chips

    Use your favorite potato chips as a fire starter. Light the chip with a lighter or a match and it will burn for approximately 3 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Use lint

    Pack a toilet paper roll with dryer lint. When you are ready for a fire, pile wood around it and light the center of the cardboard roll.

  3. Step 3

    Use pine needles

    Use pine needles or pinecones to start a fire. Pine cones are quick to catch fire and give off a great aroma.

  4. Step 4

    Use newspaper

    Roll five newspapers into a tight tube, tie the tube into a knot, and light the knot on fire. The tight paper will burn slowly, allowing more time for your wood to catch fire.

  5. Tying the paper into a knot will prevent the layers from moving around when lit.

  6. Step 5

    Save dry bark

    Save and dry small pieces of tree bark. Bark catches fire quickly and will maintain embers for a long time.

  7. Step 6

    Use dry debris

    Use dry debris from your yard, such as twigs, leaves, and moss to start a fire.

  8. Step 7


    Enjoy a night under the stars next to the warmth of a fire.

  9. In 2008, fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined.