You Should Bring a Ball of Dryer Lint on Your Next Camping Trip

You Should Bring a Ball of Dryer Lint on Your Next Camping Trip


Hands hold a match near a kindling in an outdoor fire pit

Photo: Lysenko Andrii (Shutterstock)

The best part of any camping trip is the campfire, but if you aren’t an expert at arranging your logs and kindling, building one can be an uphill battle. But with a ball of dryer lint and a few other tools, you can make a handy firestarter that will serve you well on those cool outdoor evenings.

What you need to make a firestarter

Dryer lint is known for being highly flammable, and can give your kindling a kick—but lint alone won’t produce a roaring campfire. Different fibers of lint are more flammable than others, and making it into a firestarter requires a few other household items. When packing for your next camping trip, bring along:

  • Dryer lint
  • Cardboard toilet paper or paper towel tube
  • Wax paper

Optional items:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Paraffin wax
  • Double boiler

Thankfully, toilet paper tubes and dryer lint are hardly in short supply, and are all you need to get started. Petroleum jelly and wax paper are easy enough to find at a pharmacy or grocery store. Optional items like paraffin wax can be found at a crafts store for around $10. Find a double boiler at any department store or online for $30.

How to make a DIY dryer lint firestarter

The process for making a DIY firestarter is relatively simple. First, loosely stuff the dryer lint into the cardboard tube. You want the lint to be fluffed up inside the tube; packing it too tight will starve it of oxygen and keep it from burning properly. Then, roll a sheet of wax paper around the toilet paper tube. Twist the ends so the tube looks like a piece of candy. Add to your kindling and light the ends to get a blaze going. In the video below, Easyprepper101 outlines the whole process and demonstrates how well your makeshift campfire starter will burn:

For a more efficient firestarter, add petroleum jelly and paraffin wax into the mix. Before you roll and twist off the wax paper, smear the petroleum jelly over each end of the tube and lint.

Next, on your stove at home, heat water to a boil in the bottom pot of your double boiler. Cover with the second boiler pot. Next, put the paraffin wax in the top pot to melt. Dip one end of the tube into the hot wax (protect your hands with work gloves or use tongs) and let dry. The wax and petroleum jelly are accelerants that help your campfire get going faster, and the wax and wax paper help keep the lint nice and dry so they will catch and burn more quickly.



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