Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thrifty Thursday - Light my Fire

I am not ashamed to use fire starters when camping. And anyone who has needed to build a fire with wet wood wouldn't be either. I would much rather use a fire starter than use chemicals or liquid fuel to get a flame. While you can purchase firestarters - I have made my own for quite some time. It takes only 3 items and a little bit of time.

cardboard egg cartons
drier lint - lots of it
wax (I use candle leftovers and broken, old or short crayons.)

Pack the compartments of the egg carton until they are stuffed tight with the drier lint. When I'm saving lint, I just keep the egg carton on the drier and shove it right in there until I have a full carton.

I also have an old metal teapot that I'm not even sure where it came from, but when I got it - it already had melted wax in it. whenever I have old candles, broken crayons or whatever - I drop them in the teapot. Here's The Chewy kid taking the papers off of some old crayons.

When I am ready to make the fire starters (either I need some and am out - or I have 3 or so egg cartons ready to go.) I melt the wax. Wax should always be melted in a "double boiler" so I use an old saucepan with water, and put the metal teapot in it - bring the water to a boil - and watch the wax melt pretty quickly.

Meanwhile - "just in case" I put the egg cartons on top of newspaper to catch any leaks or spills, and pour the melted wax into the "cups" of the egg carton - just enough to keep it together - and let them cool.

When you are ready to use - tear off one or two of the "cups" - place underneath your kindling light the edge of the cups. The wax will keep it from burning too quickly, and gives it a good chance to catch even damp wood on fire.

Last weekend we were camping and saw someone across the road struggling with their fire - Mr. Chewy ran over some kindling and a few of the starters and the guy waved back over to me and said "Genius, You're Genius" I'm not so sure about that - but I took a bunch of "garbage" and made something that was pretty useful.


  1. Hey Julie!

    Love these fire starters as well - we started making them eons ago when my girls were in Girl Scouts. They really do work - and it's a great way to use up the dryer lint - we produce a LOT of that. I'm careful on what loads I choose now though. Our black lab Jessie sheds - a lot! If the dryer lint has black in it - it goes in the garbage. Dog hair does NOT smell good when it burns!

  2. Those look great. I use some beewax things that I pick up every year at the Fair. It looks like paper towels that have been dipped in beewax. (I get them from the Iowa Honey association.) They work like a dream.