This mad idea came to me when I was making sure that I would 'be prepared' for a late autumn evening helping a group of 6-8 year old beaver scouts cook damper bread over an open fire.
I was splitting some kiln dried ash offcuts into tinder the weekend before (therapy in itself) when I was pondering how to transport the tiny slivers to the ruined manor house at Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire for the event the following Wednesday evening. Knowing that I needed to take newspaper to start the fire as well, I came up with the idea of making tinder 'parcels' wrapped in newspaper as all in one, petro-chemical free fire lighters.
Inside the parcels I mixed the tinder with tiny pieces of tightly screwed up newspaper. And as a good pyro should, I couldn't help but throw in a few unused matches to help them along a little. It's important to wrap them loosely so there is plenty of air inside.
And they worked. A simple and quick way to start a fire without the need to carefully place lots of small pieces on a cold, damp, winter evening.