Make Your Own DIY Fire Starter Kit

Making your own DIY Fire Starter Kit will allow you to start a fire in both everyday and survival situations. Added bonus, these kits are easy to make, and fit into a 72 Hour Kit!  Let’s get to work!

What you need in a DIY Fire Starter Kit

You know the rule about having one is like having none, and having two is like having one?  Well, this rule applies to your DIY Fire Start Kit too.  You’ll want at LEAST TWO ways of starting a fire.  And if you choose to add a couple more options, well, good for you!

Ignition Tools For A DIY Fire Starter Kit

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One beauty of creating your own kit, is that you can do it very inexpensively.

1.  Bic Lighters   Yup.  Go with a brand that you can trust to get the job done.  Often the cheaper no-name brands have a habit of leaking and not working when you need them the most.

2. (This post contains affiliate linksFerrocerium Rod and Striker      Hold the rod in one hand and the striker in the other, bringing the striker down the rod in  a firm manner.  This will result in sparks you can then direct towards your tender.  You’ll get a thousand fires out of just one kit.

While these are easy to use, and can be use in any weather, there is a learning curve.  Practice before the emergency, k?

3.  Stormproof Matches and Strikers   Now, you  could save a couple of bucks by purchasing strike anywhere matches and storing them in your own waterproof containers.  For me it was just easier to do it this way.

What To Use For Tinder?

1. There’s the old reliable, putting a few cotton balls in a bag with a dollop of petroleum jelly, squishing everything around and the storing everything in an old medicine bottle.

2. Did you know that jute twine makes great, although very fast burning, tinder? True story.

3. With a Magnesium Flint Fire Starter, the tinder is actually the the mag bar itself.  You scrape about a Tablespoon of magnesium off the bar, and then light that with sparks from the ferro rod.  These will also work in any weather or at any altitude.

PRO TIP:  Scrape some magnesium shavings and then store them in a empty bill bottle or plastic bag to make the process even easier!

4.  Char Cloth A quick internet search will show you how to make your own, or you can purchase a few pieces ready made.

5. Waterproof Paracord Emergency Shoelaces. Yup, you read that right. Shoelaces you can use as tinder for a life saving fire.  The beauty of this option being that you never have to worry about not having waterproof tinder handy!

The Best Way To Start A Fire Is With A Fire Starter Kit!

What To Store Your DIY Fire Starter Kit In

As I get older, organization is becoming more important to me. I do not want to have to dig all through my Bug Out Bag to find what I need. I want to be able to reach in and grab exactly what I need when I need it.

To solve this problem, I’ve been assembling a few kits in clear make up bags. This way I can see what is in each bag. The size of bag you choose will depend on how big your kit is.

Hey!  Before you go, have you joined out Simply Preparing Deals Facebook Group yet?  We share GREAT deals on the supplies you need to get your family ready for any emergency!  What are you waiting for?

Natural Antibiotics and Medicinal Herbs

In a long emergency, getting to a doctor could take a few days…or weeks.  Natural antibiotics may be your first defense against infection until you can see a health care professional.   Here are some ideas on  natural antibiotics and medicinal herbs to store  for emergencies and every day use.

Natural Antibiotics and Medicinal Herbs

What Is An Antibiotic?

An antibiotic is a medicine that inhibits the growth of or destroys harmful microoganisms.  Antibiotics can be taken internally or applied topically.   Unfortunately, many don’t know that there are natural versions of antibiotics that don’t require a prescription.

Did you know, almost every pharmaceutical medication originally came from plants?  After they were proven effective in treating various ailments, the pharmaceutical industry then created synthetic variants which they could patent….and charge a fortune for.

Herbal Antibiotics

Golden Seal

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Golden Seal is a natural antibiotic that has the ability to prevent bacteria from adhering to cell walls.  Because of this,  Golden Seal is used as a treatment for irritations and inflammation of the mucus membranes.  Also, Golden Seal has a long history of being used during the winter and it’s associated respiratory ailments.


Used in combination with Golden Seal,  echinacea also works to boost the immune system.


Mullein is useful for respiratory infections, bronchial infections, and asthma.

DIY Homemade Cold Syrup

1 part dried echinacea root.
1 part fresh ginger root, grated.

Add 2 ounces of the this herb mixture to 1 quart of cold water. Simmer over low heat until the liquid has reduced to 1 pint, creating a very thick tea.

Using cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer, strain herbs from syrup. Return syrup to pot.

Next,  to each pint of liquid, add 1 cup honey, maple syrup, vegetable glycerin, or organic brown sugar.

Warm the sweetener and liquid together just enough to mix it well.  Finally, remove the syrup from heat and bottle for use and store in the refrigerator.

If the syrup is too strong, add it to a cup of warm lemon water to drink as a tea.

Mullein Flower –  Garlic DIY Herbal Ear Infection Oil

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
2-3 Tablespoons Mullein Flowers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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1. Place the garlic and mullein flowers in a double boiler with just enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the herbs. Warm for 20 to 30 minutes over very low heat.

2. Strain well, using a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth. Finally, store oil in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator.

When it is time to use the oil, warm a teaspoon of it over  a stovetop burner. Only warm it to body temperature. Suction the oil into a dropper, and add 3 drops into each ear, massaging the outer ear around the base. Apply as needed.

More Botanicals For The First Aid Kit

Olive Leaves are said to contain powerful antioxidants, thus promoting  general health in the event of colds, flu or infection.   Olive Leaves act as a natural antibiotic, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi.


As you may already know, the minute flu season nears, I crank out the Elderberry Syrup !  Check out our post on how to make your own Elderberry Syrup. 


Well known in  Chinese medicine, Andrographis supports healthy immunity including lungs, heart and kidneys.

Natural Antibiotics

Medicinal Herbs You Can Grow In Your Garden


Struggling with seasonal allergies?  Drinking Nettle tea regularly is a great way to reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies.  Believe it or not,  Nettle’s histamine content reduces inflammation caused by seasonal allergies.

Nettle can also be taken in capsule form.

Holy Basil

Incredibly easy to grow in most gardens, Holy Basil helps to strengthen and modulate the immune system.  Herbalists use this natural antibiotic  for lung issues such as bronchitis and pulmonary weakness.  Use Holy Basil to treat and prevent respiratory viruses.

Finally, Holy Basil has expectorant qualities that help move stuck mucus out of the lungs.

The easiest way to prepare basil is as a tea. First,  add 1 teaspoon dried Holy Basil leaves to 2 cups of hot water.  Steep for 5 minutes.  Adding Ginger and Honey will help soothe a sore throat.

FYI:  It is believed that Holy Basil may have an anti-fertility effect on both men and women.  Do not use if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.


Why Lemon Balm Should Be In Your Emergency Kit

A must have to treat insect bites and stings, Lemon Balm is also very calming and relaxing.  Relieve painful cold sores and other herpes outbreaks with this simple plant you can grow in your garden.

To treat insect bites and stings crush fresh Lemon Balm between your fingers, and apply to affected area.

Infuse Lemon Balm into jojoba oil and used as a salve, lip balm, or other treatment.

To infuse oil with Lemon Balm,  fill an 8 ounce mason jar with dried and crumbled Lemon Balm Leaves.  Cover with jojoba oil and stir well.  Keep in a cool dark place stirring daily for 2 weeks.  Finally, strain and use the oil as desired.

FYI: In it’s essential oil form, Lemon Balm is known as Melissa.  While expensive, I always have this essential oil on hand.   Here’s how to order Melissa Essential Oil.  

Topical Natural Antibiotics

Manuka Honey  Unfortunately, many believe that any kind of honey can be used as a natural antibiotic, but really it’s only Manuka Honey that has this.  And we have a DIY Manuka Honey Recipe for you to try!

Essential Oils With Antibacterial Properties

What, you haven’t heard that there are essential oils that have antibacterial properties?

Well, according to this  study on oregano essential oil done by the Journal of Medical Microbiology, they sure do!

Next,  there is the study from the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice showing how cinnamon essential oil eliminated bacterial growth after a procedure.

I’d love to not only share with you where I get my family’s essential oils, but give you a $25.00 Discount as well:  How To Order Young Living Essential Oils.

Want To Learn More?

If you’d like to learn more about natural antibiotics and medicinal herbs,  I recommend the following books:

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal

PS:   Check with your doctor before starting any of the natural antibiotics mentioned above to be sure nothing will interact with any medications you are currently taking.  This is important!


Survival Uses For Castor Oil Nobody Told You About

I am old enough to remember when a heaping tablespoon of castor oil was the cure all for  everything.  Constipated?   A week overdue with that baby?  Well, slurp down a tablespoon of castor oil and  everything will slide right on out.  Ugh.  Luckily, there are ways to use castor oil that won’t offend your taste buds, or keep you running to the john for hours.  Here are  Survival Uses for Castor Oil Nobody Told You About.

Survival Uses For Castor Oil

What IS Castor Oil?

Castor Oil is made from the seeds of the castor plant. You  find castor oil in immunosuppressive drugs, chemotherapy drugs,  ointments and skin treatments.  As a matter of fact, add a bit of castor oil to a batch of cold process soap and increase it’s lather!

What Is The Shelf Life Of Castor Oil?

Because of it’s long shelf life and low price tag, castor oil should be a staple in your survival prepping. It will stay fresh for  five years. Pretty impressive, eh?  BTW, this is *this post contains affiliate links the best price on Castor Oil I’ve found!

Uses For Castor Oil

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*Treat external hemorrhoids. Soak a cotton pad in castor oil, then leave on the affected area for 15 minutes.

*Remove skin tags with castor oil and baking soda. Simply make a paste of castor oil and baking soda and completely cover the skin tag. Place a bandaid on top so the mixture doesn’t get wiped off.  Repeat three times a day, for one to three weeks. The castor oil and baking soda absorb the moisture from the skin tag, drying it up. Results will vary.

*Castor Oil For Sun Burn Relief: Mix castor oil with an equal amount of coconut oil and apply to affected area.

*Castor Oil for Lip Balms :Replace the oils in your lip balm recipe with half castor oil and half coconut oil, for dry chapped lips.

PRO TIP: All Natural Lip Balms are sort of our thing!  You may enjoy these homemade lip balm recipes:

DIY Raspberry Lemonade Lip Balm

Homemade Beeswax and Honey Lip Balm

*Using a cotton swab, dab castor oil on to pimples at night. As it penetrates into the skin, it fights bacteria overgrowth that cause acne.

*Castor Oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties make it the PERFECT massage carrier oil for aching joints or muscles.  Add a little Turmeric to your castor oil, for greater benefits.

*To help clear up dandruff, massage one Tablespoon of castor oil with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil with the juice of half a lemon and apply to the scalp. Wait 30 minutes then wash hair. The antifungal and antibacterial properties of castor oil help clear up dandruff and scalp infections.

Uses For Castor Oil In The Kitchen and Home

*Lubricate kitchen tools. Since castor oil can be ingested, it’s an ideal lubricant for anything that comes into contact with food, like kitchen shears.

*Actually, uses for castor oil in the home are many, as you can use it to lubricate with no worries about kid or pets as it is non-toxic!

Uses For Castor Oil The Garden

Send voles, moles and armadillos on the run with castor oil. Now, castor oil won’t kill these pests, but it’s horrible smell and taste will encourage them to find new homes!

Mix 2 parts castor oil and 1 part *this post contains affiliate links all natural liquid soap. This will be your MASTER BASE.

Next, take 2 Tablespoons of your MASTER BASE and mix it with a gallon of water.  Finally, spray directly on the SOIL in the affected areas. You’ll need to do this weekly to see the best results. Safe for pets and kids!

Pro Tip:  Looking for more non-toxic applications for the garden?   Check out our Homemade Garden Bug Spray With Essential Oils

Hopefully, you know understand the benefits of always having a bottle or two of castor oil on hand! What are YOUR uses for castor oil?

SABRE Emergency Eye Wash Adapter

The SABRE Emergency Eye Wash Adapter turns any  water bottle into an eye wash station.  The unique design was created to help Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders flush contaminants from their eyes.  Perfect for emergency kits, car glove compartments, EDC bags, first aid kits and more.

Emergency Eye Wash Adapter

How Does The SABRE Emergency Eye Wash Adapter Work

Three simple steps is all it takes to remove contaminants from the eye, including pepper spray.

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Insert SABRE Eye Wash Adapter into water bottle

Twist SABRE Eye Wash Adapter onto bottle to create a tight seal

Gently squeeze the bottle to create a water fountain helping flush contaminants from the eye

Because this device flushes your contaminants out of your eye with a double stream of water, you most likely are going to get a little wet.  Don’t worry.  You’ll dry.

Pro Tip: Our  Simple 72 Hour Kit and Checklists post will give you more valuable ideas on how to compile your own emergency kits.

Real Life Applications

I can remember my kids being little and getting ‘grit’ in their eyes. They simply couldn’t hold their eyes open for eye drops to relieve the discomfort, and blinking into a small cup was no better. Because the SABRE Emergency Eye Wash Adapter puts out two streams of water, it’s able to clean out the eyes faster and easier.

Every summer we face wild fires on the mountains surrounding our home. The smoke in the air makes our eyes tired and sore. Being able to flush our eyes out with a water bottle and Sabre Emergency Eye Wash Adapter provides relief from the debris filled air.

In Conclusion

The SABRE Emergency Eye Wash Adapter works best on water bottles made from harder plastic, NOT the thin plastic like many store brands of water bottles. It also works great on empty, well cleaned 16 ounce soda bottles.

Pro Tip: Store your adapter taped to a water bottle you know it will fit with.


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