One item that we often mention should go into your emergency kit is some way to start a fire. Even if you're in the bush and kindling is plentiful, it always helps to have something that will give your fire a boost. This simple trick involves a couple of cotton balls and some plastic drinking straws -- in a few minutes, you'll have tiny fire-starting kits that fit into any emergency pack.
Making them is easy -- just cut a segment of drinking straw, pull off a little cotton from a cotton ball or pad, and stuff it into the straw. Seal both ends with a little heat so your cotton won't get wet if your emergency kit does, and you're all finished.
If the technique looks familiar, it should -- the same person built this pill bottle emergency kit we mentioned earlier this week, although this item wasn't included in that kit. Some of the commenters at Instructables note that you have to use the right kind of straw, or else the plastic may not melt and seal easily. Alternatively, you can dip the ends in wax to get the same effect. When you need it, just break or cut the straw to get at the dry cotton inside and light it.
You could even go a step further and add a dab of vaseline or chap-stick to your cotton to make it easier to burn. Aside from a lighter or some matches, how do you make sure your emergency kit can always start a fire? Share your survival tips in the comments below.
How to Make Mini Straw Fire Starters [Instructables]