12 All Naturel Tinder In the Wilderness

In Home, Wilderness by teamhacklifeLeave a Comment

Fire is essential for boiling the water you’ve collected. It’s also critical for cooking your food to make it edible. You will need fire as your primary source of warmth, light, and security from predators. Fire can also be used as a beacon if you become lost in the forest and need saving. We are going to teach you many ways to build a fire with these Natural tinder in the wilderness in case you happen to find yourself without any fire starters (fuel) in your survival kit.

Let’s assume the only thing you have with you to help start a fire is a Ferrocerium Rod.  That might be the only thing you need if you’re in the woods when surrounded by trees.  You might be surprised as to how many different types of tinder in the forest that is highly flammable.

Tinder is a readily combustible material used to start a fire.  It will begin to glow under a shower of sparks coupled with gently conveyed air over the glowing tinder until it bursts into flames.  It’s used to ignite kindling; you just need to know what to look for, where to find it and how to ignite it.  In this article, we will be teaching you ways to find 12 natural tinders in the wild.

 Red Cedar Bark

Red Cedar Bark as a Natural Tinder

First up is the red cedar tree. This tree is unique with its shaggy red bark that’s highly flammable. Take your knife or any sharp objects you can find and scrape off only the thin layer of reddish bark fibers. After you’ve collected a couple of handful of fibers, make a small bundle. Leave a small gap in the middle for your Ferrocerium Rod and let the sparks fly!

Birch Bark

Birch Bark as a Natural Tinder

The Birch tree is noticeable with its white bark and dark horizontal fishers. This tree is highly flammable and water resistant, which makes this tree bark useful even in wet weather conditions. Start by gliding your knife down the tree trunk and peel off sheets of barks. I would recommend doing this on fallen trees as it’s much easier to tear.

Tear the bark into thin strips and wrap it around your finger for a few moments to make it curly; doing this makes it easier to catch a spark. Now take your bundle of small curls and place them on your fire pit then create some sparks with your fire rod. It should only take a moment for the oils in the bark to catch on fire.

You can also turn the birch bark into a fine flammable powder. Take one of your pieces of bark and lightly scrape the inside, creating dust. When you have about a tablespoon full of this birch bark powder, light it on fire. Leave the powder on the bark, and as it starts to burn, the bark will go up in flames shortly after.

Pine Cones

Pine Cones as a Natural Tinder

Pine Cones are indeed very flammable.  You can quickly locate them just below pine trees. Pine cones contain the same flammable oils and resins as the interior of pine trees.

First, you need to break down the pine cones by crushing them in your hand. Remove the large chunks, so you’re only left with a small, fine fire starter. Now take your fire rod and immerse the little pieces of pine cones with a flood of sparks. Be patient as this will take a bit of time to catch on fire.

Another notable mention is pine resin.  Pine Resin is not considered tinder, so it’s not a very good fire starter, but it is great as a fuel to an already existing fire. You can find pine resin secreting from trees, it’s gold in color and very sticky, but it burns very well when thrown in a small fire.

Tinder Fungus

Tinder Fungus as a Natural Tinder

Tinder Fungus is a familiar name that was given to a wide variety of fungal species.  You can find this fungus growing on the surface of dead or alive Birch trees and on the bottom of oak trees, to name a few. They vary in color, but one thing they all have in common is their darker spongy core.  Most of these cores are rust in color.

Cut a big chunk of fungus from the tree and look on the inside. The darker colored part is what to use as your igniter fuel. To check if you indeed have it right, cut a piece of the darker interior region and feel it;  If its spongy, yet firm, you’ve got fuel!

Now take your Ferrocerium Rod and let the sparks fall.  It shouldn’t be long until a bright ember form. These embers will stay active for a significant amount of time, so it’s great to carry with you to your next location, be careful not to burn yourself or your belongings. If you immediately need a fire, gently blow on the ember and place it in a pile of dry kindle and dead grass. It shouldn’t take long until you have an intense fire going.

Fire Weed

Fireweed as a natural tinder

If you find yourself out in the forest and a large clearing, then you might see some fireweed. You can’t miss this plant since it can grow upwards of eight feet tall.  The purple flowers growing on them is also eye-catching.  In both late summer and early fall, this plant will generate a cotton-like seed that you can use as combustible fuel.

What is unique about this plant is that in the winter, when resources are scarce, you can still find this cotton like substance on the inside of the fireweeds. Just rub them in your hands to reveal it’s flammable seeds. Bring that back to your fire pit and throw a few sparks with your Ferrocerium Rod and watch it instantly burst into flames.

Another significant advantage to fireweed is that it will burn for a considerable amount of time. The denser you pack it, the longer your fire will last.

Thistle Seed

Thistle Seed as natural tinder.

Thistle Seed as natural tinder.

You can find unopened Thistle Seeds as early as late spring. They can easily be opened, exposing their flammable seeds.

You can also find them in the summer after they have fully bloomed, completely exposing its fluffy white cotton seeds. As with fireweed, this natural tinder should be gathered in a big enough bundle. Using your Ferrocerium Rod,  let the sparks fall onto them until they catch on fire. It won’t take long as this is highly combustible. After its sufficiently burning, it should then be placed at the bottom of your fire pit to let the slow-burning substance create a more significant fire. Way too easy!

Punk wood

Punk Wood as natural tinder.

Punk wood is commonly referred to as trees that are in the process of rotting to the point where they no longer contain any structural integrity.  You can find punk wood reasonably easy on the forest floor around half standing dead trees.

You’ll know if you’ve discovered punk wood as this fallen tree will be very brittle and quickly fall apart in your hands.  Because it is such fragile dust, it will be very susceptible to a flutter of sparks raining down upon it.

As you turn your newly found punk wood into a beautiful bright ember, place it into a pile of dead grass and voila, fire!


Wood Shavings

Wood shavings as tinder.

If you carry around a pencil sharpener in your survival kit, then you’re in luck! But let’s face it, who would carry such a thing?  Hmm, That’s a good idea!  The alternative is, of course,  a sharp knife.  You can use your knife to shave off thin slices of wood using ordinary twigs and branches.

This method is often used when dry tinders are hard to find.  After you’ve shaven off enough of this nature tinder wood shavings, you can start the process to ignite them.  It might take a while as they can be a bit stubborn so keep the sparks flowing until they catch on fire.


Cattails as natural tinder.

Cattails are wetland plants with a different flowering spike and flat, blade-like leaves that reach heights from 3 to 10 feet.  They are one of the most common plants in vast marshes and on the edge of ponds.

The highly flammable cotton-like seeds are hidden within their thin brown outer shell, located at the very top of the plant. You can’t miss it!  Be careful in trying to extract the seeds because they are under high pressure and will burst out and catch the wind when released.

Cattails as natural tinder.


The easiest way to retrieve them with minimal loss is to merely place the brown tip in a plastic bag and tear the outer skin.  Your bag will be full in no time, and you will have a great fire starter fuel to ignite your kindling.

Make sure you have a sufficient amount because they burn out very quickly. A significant advantage of finding this plant is that there is usually a considerable amount of them in proximity to one another. Therefore, it is possible to create a massive flame and give yourself a great head start on your fire building.

Fat Wood

Fatwood as natural tinder.

Fatwood as natural tinder.

Fat Wood comes from the wood of old pine stumps left for waste after logging; it is made from splitting the stumps of pine trees that contain a high concentration of natural resin. As the stump wood hardens over time, the resin or sap concentrates on creating an all-natural, chemical-free fire starter.

Fat Wood can also be found on the part of branches that is the closest to the stump.  The resin that was within the branch has seeped down and settled at the bottom.  Take your knife and cut off the piece of branch to reveal the fatwood. You can even buy Fatwood from Amazon by clicking here at great prices to bring with you on your trek.

Human Hair

Ok, You’ve run out of options, you’re in the desert with no natural tinder in the wilderness, and there are no trees or even dead grass around.  Or maybe you’re a tree hugger and feel ashamed of yourself and don’t want to harm a perfectly fine tree. If that’s the case, you have nowhere to turn but yourself to light on fire. The hair on the top of your head, if you’re fortunate to have any, is extremely flammable.  Chop off as much as you can since they tend to burn up very quickly.  Do with your hair as we did with the tree tinder and you should have a flame going in no time.

Bug Out Fire Starting Kit

If you’re not one to create your very own bug out bag, then you’re in luck.  You can purchase some from Amazon at a surprisingly low price.  These kits are very small and contain a ton of merchandise to help start a fire.  In conjunction with article and 2what you learn by reading these all natural tinder’s in the wild and one of these bug out bags, you will have no problem with your fire starting abilities.

Here is one we would recommend from B.O.S.S.

Fire BOSS Fire Starting Kit

The Fire B.O.S.S. Bug Out Bag Fire Starting

The Fire B.O.S.S. contains anything you might need to start a fire in any conditions in this pocket-sized, waterproof package.  Assembled in the USA. Kit Contents: •1 Lighter •Waterproof Matches •Ferro Rod and Striker •Pocket Fresnel Lens •6 Magnesium Fire Starters •Steel Wool •4 pieces Char Cloth •2 Tealight Candles •1 oz. Fatwood Sticks •Foil Paper •Pencil Sharpener •6 Tinder Tabs •10′ Jute Twine •Waterproof Tinder Ball •Wire Saw

ire Boss Fire Starting Kit.

•6′ Kevlar Thread (for fire bow/drill) •1 Flange Bearing (for fire bow/drill) •1 Folding Knife •1 waterproof survival instruction sheet.  The price for all of this is amazing. Follow the Amazon link above for more information.  You can easily store one of these in the trunk of your car and forget about it until you need it.  Remember, it’s better to have one and never needing it than to need it and not have one.


Survival SPARK Magnesium Survival Ferrocerium Rod with Compass and Whistle

The survival sparkle Ferrocerium Rod

The survival sparkle Ferrocerium Rod compact tool. The fire starter kit includes a magnesium fire starter rod, a large striker, a high-quality compass, and a 150 dB. Emergency whistle- all conveniently strung together on a lanyard for safe keeping. combines three pieces of essential survival gear into one

Built to last, the fire starter lights up to 15,000 times and is essential for outdoor activities including camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and as part of your emergency survival supplies. I can’t believe this product is only five bucks on Amazon! Check out the link to Amazon above!


Überleben Kräftig Bushcraft Ferrocerium Rod

Überleben Kräftig Bushcraft Ferrocerium Rod

My personal Favorite fire starter rod is the Überleben Kräftig Bushcraft Ferrocerium Rod from Amazon!

This Ferro rod can be used to an excess of 20 000 times and the sparks it throws are immense compared to the competition! Look at those SPARKS!


Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw 36 Inch Long Chain

Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw

Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw

There is a reason why this pocket chainsaw is the number 1 best selling small hand saw on Amazon; It’s Aweseom!  The reviews and price say it all!

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