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Note, the following is a commentary on store-bought fatwood options, like the Light My Fire Tinder-on-a-Rope. There are other better options.


  • Shop bought
  • Convenient
  • A cost when other things are available and cheaper


  • Still requires work to prepare
  • Bulky

I work in survival training. Light My Fire's Tinder-on-a-Rope is another fine idea, but it still requires prep work and is bulky and you have to pay for it.

I've used BBQ firelighters for years. I cut a few to an appropriate small size and wrap them in gladwrap and alfoil to carry in my EDC and other kits.

The best ones are compressed fibre blocks that are impregnated with a flammable liquid or petroleum wax. They are waterproof, ready to use, can be cut to any size you like, don't crumble or degrade and can be fluffed up at one corner with a fingernail for easier lighting with a Ferrocerium rod  and light instantly, and certainly no need for magnesium (for which one needs to be very careful about brand selection, as some simply won't light).

Vaseline-impregnated cottonballs work well too but don't burn as long.

And you can make your own fatwood from any softwood and soak it in turps or kero or diesel and wrap it up as above. Use that as the initial kindling, not as tinder. There is a distinction. 

Hope this helps.


Hi Doug, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Have you used the Tinder on a Rope?

5 years ago

Doug, I agree about using other methods (although I have this unit to test on my next trip). But have you tested this item for comparison. Three of the pros I see above other methods is 1) it's scentless (vs. my wax cotten balls), 2) I'm not worries about fuels like diesel damaging materials in my back, and 3) If it gets wet, it's not ruined like a BBQ firelighter. I'm not endorsing this product, just thinking out loud.

5 years ago
Doug Bright

Thx G00SE, I agree. There are certainly differences between firelighters. Some of the ones available locally (Australia) are wax impregnated and smell only very mildly of kerosene, but are all fully wrapped at factory, and I double wrap them further as explained (enabling me to have some alfoil for other purposes too, such as an ELT base. I have also drowned them pretty well and the wax impregnation means they seem immune to a good soaking. They take a spark instantly. I think the good thing about "fatwood" is that it is available in many places in the US in the often deciduous and conifer forests. As you know, in Australia, 90% of the time, almost everything burns as soon as you look at it, de mainly to the high content of Eucalyptus oil.!

5 years ago
Doug Bright

Hi Alicia, No I haven't used the product as presented, but I am familiar with the US fatwood and it's great popularity there, for obvious reasons. Given the number of Youtube videos on "how to find fatwood", I guess such a product as this will save the more casual users, or those simply wanting something in their emergency kit or "in extremis" situations from worrying if they will ever be able to find it when the need arises. Then the trick is to get them to understand how to use it effectively and without wasting the chance it gives them.

5 years ago

Thanks for clarifying, Doug. Since you haven't actually used the TOAR, I moved your review to its own "Fatwood" product page. You are welcome to expand on or update it as you like, of course. I hope that made sense.

5 years ago

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