I’m re-posting this tutorial I wrote previously on how to make homemade firestarters because camping season is HERE again!
This weekend I took my 4 boys out for our first ever family camping trip. It was all I could’ve hoped for – they were thrilled to cook hotdogs over the campfire on sticks, make S’mores, tell silly ghost stories, and listen to mom play old John Denver songs on the guitar. We swam in the lake until we were exhausted, and finally cuddled up in our tiny 4 person tent together while I lay awake hoping no critters would come looking for leftovers.
It was wonderful – memories they’ll have forever – just like I do from when I went camping as a kid with my parents. There was one thing, though, that I wished I had remembered to bring along – something to make the all-important campfire even easier to get going: My HomeMade Camp Fire Starters.
As some of you know, I was a girl scout for many years. But this particular trick I learned from my brother (an Eagle Scout) during his boy scout days. It’s a little recipe for homemade fire starters, useful for taking camping with you, or just for a little backyard bonfire when tinder and lighter fluid aren’t at hand.
Step 1: You’ll need a cardboard egg carton and some of your old candles.
Step 2: Break up the candles into smaller pieces and melt over low in your oldest, yuckiest skillet or pot.
Step 3: Get the dryer lint out of the lint trap, or if you’re like me, get the whole bag of dryer lint you’ve been saving for this specific purpose. It’s very flammable, and smells nice to boot.
Step 4: Pack the dryer lint very tightly into each egg receptacle.
Step 5: Spoon the wax carefully over top the dryer lint, about 3 spoons per wad.
Step 6: Let cool completely, if I’m in a hurry I stick mine in the freezer for a bit, and then cut out your fire-starters.
Just toss one or two of these under your pile of firewood and light the cardboard. It will stay burning long enough to get the wood to catch fire really well.
You can also make a “bunson burner” for heating up food/canned goods by cutting a 1″ wide strip of cardboard in a long length. Roll it into an old tuna can until it’s made a tightly packed spiral. Drip wax over the cardboard and you’re done!