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How to Start Fires With Chip Bags

The cooking oil and fat content used to make chips and the resulting oil and fat that line the interior of chip bags make chips and chip bags flammable.

A chip bag can act as a survival tool when necessary. Creating a fire from a chip bag promotes survival by providing warmth, light, a cooking source, protection from animals, and a smoke signal for rescuers to follow.

Things You’ll Need

  • Dry locatio
  • Rocks
  • Dry fuel (logs, large branches)
  • Dry kindling (small sticks)
  • Dry tinder (twigs, bark, wood shavings, pine needles)
  • Chip Bag
  • Pocket knife (optional)
  • Matches or a lighter


Creating a Chip Bag Campfire

Start Fires With Chip Bags


Locate a dry patch of land, preferably near your shelter for protection and warmth against inclement weather. Clear the area of garbage, dirt, and wet items that inhibit fires.

Collect at least 10 large rocks and more, if possible. Place the rocks in a circular shape, one next to the other, to create a fire ring. Layer more rocks on top of the bottom ring, if resources allow. Fire rings offer insulation for the fire and a buffer from the wind.

Gather dry logs or branches for fuel, dry sticks to provide kindling, and dry tinder composed of bark, wood shavings, pine needles, and leaves.

Kneel down close to the ground to lessen the potential for problems resulting from wind or movement. Place two to three handfuls of tinder in the center of your fire ring.

Divide your potato chip bag into four pieces with your hand or a pocket knife, without rubbing grease from the interior of the bag onto your hand. Place three of the chip bag pieces in a dry place to ignite future fires.

Light the interior part of one piece of your chip bag on fire with your lighter or match. Put the lit chip bag piece on your tinder within the fire ring so that the interior is exposed to the tinder. Add more tinder, a little at a time so as not to smother the flame.

Get low to the ground and blow toward the bottom of the fire to increase the flame. Place your dry kindling, one by one, onto the tinder once the tinder is burning.

Lay your fuel over the fire in a criss-cross pattern once the kindling is burning with a sizeable flame to prolong the life of the fire. Stoke your fire periodically, using a long tree branch. Place tinder, kindling, and fuel onto the fire to keep it lit.

Continue to collect and stash dry tinder, kindling, and fuel to ensure that you have a fire for the remainder of your time outdoors. Light the rest of your potato chip bag pieces, as needed.


Tips & Warnings

Keep water and dirt in close proximity to extinguish fires that get out of control.


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