Why Fatwood is Better than Other Fire Starters

A wooden crate of fatwood sits open on a rugged barn floor.

Orvis Fatwood is a natural and sustainably-sourced firewood cut from the stumps of Central American longleaf pine trees; no living trees are harvested to produce our fatwood. It is naturally water-resistant, pine resin-saturated, and requires only a match or lighter to ignite.

Fatwood Vs. Conventional Kindling

The main drawback to conventional kindling as compared with Orvis fatwood is its vulnerability to moisture. While the natural sap content in fatwood prevents excess moisture from penetrating, standard firewood and kindling lacks this resin and is susceptible to dampness and rot. This means that while fatwood can be lit in almost any weather condition and stored in partial shelter, kindling is more fickle and prone to becoming too wet or rotten to light effectively.

Even when dry, conventional kindling can’t compete with Orvis fatwood. One of the great advantages of fatwood is that its internal resin acts as a natural firestarter, igniting easily at the touch of a match, while even the driest firewood requires toxic chemical firelighters or temperamental kindling to get started.

Firewood Vs. Chemical Fire Starters

Small, cost-effective, and easy to use, chemical fire starters can seem like an ideal solution for lighting a fire quickly. Unfortunately, their solid-fuel composition is extremely toxic and can prove a hazard to family pets and small children if left unsecured, while the fumes can bring on headaches and nausea. In contrast, Orvis Fatwood has a fragrant, completely natural aroma, and is made from pine stump wood that has not been chemically enhanced or treated in any way. 100% natural and non-toxic, it can be left safely in a wood basket without worry.

Fatwood Vs. Newspaper

Though a common practice, lighting fires with newspaper is neither clean nor practical. Newspaper is not designed for the purpose and crumbles easily when burnt, creating copious ash and dust that can damage furnishings and irritate lungs and eyes. It also doesn’t burn as hot as other materials, and often disintegrates before the firewood can catch, requiring more time and paper to effectively build a fire that’ll last.

Orvis fatwood on the other hand, lights easily and quickly. A fatwood fire burns without excess ash, and should take you only a few minutes to get going. Less temperamental than newspaper and infused with natural resin, fatwood works in lieu of multiple types of kindling or fire starters: simply strike a match and stand back to watch.

Fatwood Vs. Magnesium Blocks

Although rapidly gaining popularity, striking a magnesium block to start fires has some serious drawbacks you should consider before trying the technique. Chief among these, many magnesium blocks are cheaply made and function only as glorified flints, taking a long time to catch and requiring energy and excursion in the process. Secondly, sparking magnesium effectively is an art and improper usage can be dangerous. The metal burns very hot and can be almost impossible to put out with water, making it hazardous to anyone not taught correctly.

With Orvis fatwood, temperamental sparks are not an issue. 100% natural, fatwood can be lit gently and without excess physical effort, although proper caution and fire safety is always advised. Containing a large amount of naturally flammable resin, fatwood does not require any extra firelighters or kindling to get started, and is the perfect solution for anyone looking for a clean, efficient, and simple way to light fires at home.

Fatwood Vs. Birch Bark

While using birch bark to light fires can be an effective and easy solution, there’s a hidden dark side to the technique. As the popularity of cheap birch bark increases, so does the illegal harvesting of live trees. Stripping birch bark from the tree can leave it vulnerable to infections and pests, an issue in recent years around the United States that potentially threatens forests and even entire ecosystems.

By only using wood taken from responsibly managed forests in Honduras, Orvis fatwood provides a worthy alternative to birch bark both in its sustainability and the communities it supports. Because fatwood is harvested directly from the stumps of trees already cut for lumber, it is a positive byproduct of deforestation, rather than a cause, and the labor it provides continues to help thousands of Hondurans escape from poverty.

man with his dog starting a campfire with fatwood kindling

Start Your Next Fire with Orvis Fatwood