Starting a fire in the fireplace or an outdoor BBQ grill, we must remember to practice safety at all times and be aware of regional burn bans. That said, let's get started. Starting a fire with little or nothing seems to be a common problem for a lot of us.

I find myself helping those plagued with no fire-starting skills more often than not. But if you'll do a little gathering and prepping, you'll be a fire-starting ninja. You're going to need a few things, but you probably won't have to buy much. Most of what we will use is likely already lying around the house, bathroom, garage, and/or the great outdoors.

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Gather some lint (that stuff you clean out of your clothes dryer), hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, fingernail polish, Vaseline, some empty toilet paper or paper towel spools, tampons, a maxi-pad, long strike-anywhere matches, marshmallows, twist ties, dried up leaves, twigs, pinecones, acorns, pecans, any old wood shavings, paper from a shredder, and a couple of .22 caliber bullets. If you don't have bullets, another good flammable substance is powdered coffee-creamer.

As seen in the photos below, you can use these handy firestarters right away or, do like I do, store them in zip-lock baggies to keep handy. The .22 caliber bullet comes in very handy when I'm camping and in a hurry, I carefully extract the gunpowder (powered coffee creamer works well too).

Keep in mind that fire is like a child; you've got to keep an eye on it at all times. As I stated above, PLEASE use extreme caution. Never start a fire you can't stay and observe.


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