Fire starter
*Updated for accuracy 2019

Fire starters get the logs in the fireplace going.

I love the smell of pine, so all-natural fatwood sticks, harvested from pine trees with a concentration of resin, are my favorite fire starter. It takes 2-3 sticks of fatwood to start a fire in our fireplace, then the larger logs take over. We do not use paper.   All natural and non-toxic, there are no additives or chemicals. Want to feel even better about using Fatwood? It is environmentally friendly. Fatwood is salvaged when trees are cut down for another purpose. No trees are cut down to start your fire. The fatwood would have been scrapped. Fatwood is said to have an indefinite shelf life. The sticks burn for 10-15 minutes to get other logs started. They are all safe for cooking – so remember the graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate for s’mores.

First – a better match? I will give you my fatwood firestarter picks in a minute, but first, this is my favorite new gadget. It is a flameless coil candle and firelighter – no butane – just a periodic recharge through a USB connection. You press a button to get the little electric arc at the tip of this firelighter. That’s it. You can light candles, kindling or fatwood. This is truly an improvement on the old, butane lighters. 7.9 x 1 x 0.6 inches. SUPRUS USB Lighter Arc Lighter Rechargeable Flameless Coil Lighter for $18.99. Hint: Excellent Stocking Stuffer

This pine fatwood is certified SCS (Salvaged Wood and Fiber) meaning that it is salvaged from trees which were cut down for another use. The five-pound box contains about 36, 6-7” x 1” sticks of fatwood – or about a dozen fires.  5 Pounds for $12.99

Orvis offers this appealing wooden box filled with 14 pounds of pine fatwood.  It’s earth friendly (no living trees are harvested in making it). 9¾”H x 14½”L x 9½”W. $69.

This 35-pound box of Plow and Hearth all-natural Pine Fatwood is harvested from naturally felled trees (storms, lightning, old age). This Fatwood is not the by-product of commercial logging or clear-cutting. Not a single live tree is used. Sticks measure about 1” x 8”. 35 Lbs. for $94.95



I like to keep fatwood packed up in a box or a zipper bag. This is especially practical if you have pets and small children in your home. This waxed canvas tote bag from LL Bean has a reinforced handles and a zipper. It is a general-purpose tote, but it is a good size for fatwood. It can be personalized with three initials or an embroidery design.  Waxed Canvas Zip Top Tote 15”H x 17”W x 7.5”D. $49.95


I like this reusable Orvis canvas and leather Battenkill Fatwood bucket . With six pounds of fatwood. $69.


These 4” x 1” disks are made from cedar sawdust and wax and are all natural. They leave no toxins or chemicals. I cannot find information about whether trees are harvested to produce these disks. They burn for 20-30 minutes. Each disk can be broken into four pieces. A pack of eight will start up to 32 fires. 8 Pack of Midwest Hearth Cedar Firestarters for $14.95.

Weber FireStarters Lighter Cubes for use in indoor fireplaces are also safe for barbecues. Weber says that they are odorless and non-toxic, it does not share the materials. You may use more than one cube to start a fire. 24 Cubes for $3.29.

Outside fireplace or fire pit? Instafire will start a fire outside in any weather. Made of rock, wood and wax, it contains no harmful chemicals and is all natural and eco-friendly. InstaFire Granulated Fire Starter, All Natural Lights Fires in Any Weather – 4 Fires Per Pouch. Named the 2017 Fire Starter Of The Year. Each packet will start four fires. Eight Pack for $8.99.

Do you have a favorites that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

See this related ASE article on storing inside firewood.

Indoor Firewood Storage