Well, I broke down this year and bought some of the prefabed "Pinelogg" fire starters. I bought them at a local Ace Hardware. 24 to a box for like $12. I bought them due to the fact that I have come home two tiems now to blackened splits in the fireplace and my wife saying "the kindling is too wet"..which, its definatly ideal that is for sure. I ahd a bunch of 3" dia cherry that I had bucked up from a tree. They sat in the round on pallets for a year and this fall I split them up...I couldnt beleive that they still hiss and I should ahve split them down into smaller sizes..Anyways, back to my purchased Pinelogg firestarters. I will tell you, I am impressed. They come 4 to a pack and you simply break them off one at a time. I tried my first one the other night. Tristed up three pieces of newspaper, set one in N/S direction. Put two med kindling on either side, two more kindling perpendicular and one med split on top..I lit the newspaper and watched..the newspaper started the firestarter and one that lit, it really lit and stayed intense well past the point of catching the med split on fire..I would say light up was 1/2 the time as it normally takes with standard kindling. So of course, I thought, well, I will break one in half..this would give me 48 startups ratehr than 24 right..it worked well. Needless to say I will always have some on hand.