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Fire is an essential element to survival, especially if you're outside during the winter months. A crackling fire allows you to stay warm, heat food, boil drinking water, ward off predators, and keep your spirits up. However, starting a fire is usually easier said than done, and can be extremely difficult if you're already panicked and hypothermic.

Make char cloth 02

That's why we always advise you to include several fire-starters in your survival kit—if one fails, you have others to fall back on. There are straightforward items like stormproof matches, lighters, and ferro rod strikers, and there are also more creative options like the gum wrapper method and super matches. There's yet another option that we haven't discussed here, and it's definitely worth considering: char cloth.

As you can see in the video above, char cloth is exactly what it sounds like, heavily charred and blackened cotton fibers. This can be literal 100% cotton cloth, or it can be household cotton balls. Just seal the fabric in a metal container with a small vent hole, and heat thoroughly with an open flame or other intense heat source.

The resulting material will ignite quickly and burn slowly, providing an easy way to start a larger fire.

Make char cloth

So, what kind of fire starters do you rely on? Let us know in the comments.


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