Fire-starting is one of the core skills for any survivalist, especially those in cold or wet environments that sap body heat and speed the onset of hypothermia. Unfortunately, these environments also make getting a fire lit a major challenge. Water-soaked wood shavings won't take a spark easily, making what should be a simple task into a frustrating ordeal. This is why it's always a good idea to bring a small supply of prepared tinder material when you venture outdoors.
Your tinder may take the form of fatwood, char cloth, a magnesium bar, store-bought tinder cubes, dryer lint, or Vaseline-coated cotton balls — these are all valid choices. However, storing these items in a convenient and dry manner is essential. When you find yourself needing a fire, you don't want to learn that your stash of tinder is waterlogged or buried at the bottom of your pack.
Norseman, the survival instructor behind YouTube channel Survivology 101, recently published a video that shows a cool technique for making waterproof single-use fire straw containers for your tinder of choice. Better yet, these fire straws are combustible, and actually prolong the burn time of the tinder within.
The design bears a resemblance to “pixie stick” candy straws, but instead of containing a payload of colorful sugar, these fire straws can carry just about any tinder you can think of — or even other survival items. Norseman shows how to make fire straws, demonstrates their burn time, and discusses potential variations in the video below.