combustible material used to ignite fire by rudimentary methods

Tinder is a material that is used to start fires easily when lit with a match. Some materials commonly used as tinder are:

  • Dry pine needles, leaves or grass
  • Birch bark
  • Dead, standing (usually one season old) goldenrod
  • Cloth, lint, or frayed rope (if made from plant fibers and not treated with fire retardant)
  • Char cloth
  • Cotton swabs, tampons
  • Paper, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.
  • Punk wood (in the process of rotting) or charred wood
  • Some types of fungus (best known is the amadou or horse's hoof fungus)
  • Bird down
  • Small twigs (poor tinder but commonly available)
  • Fine-grade soap-coated steel wool
  • Shaved magnesium or other alkaline earth metals
Sparks from a tinder fire