Introduction: Camping Firestarters
Firestarters -- making it easy to start campfires and bonfires
Step 1: Gather Supplies
To make 12 firestarters for starting campfires and bonfires, collect the following supplies:
2 cups sawdust
1 pillar candle
1 paring knife
1 cardboard egg carton (must use cardboard egg cartons)
1 wooden stirring stick
1 large empty can
2 oven mitts or pot holders
pliers or vice grips
gas or propane grill or stove
Step 2: Make Candle Shavings
Using a small paring knife or Swiss army knife, carefully cut about one cup of candle shavings into the empty can.
Step 3: Melt the Candle
Using a low to low-medium gas flame or stove setting, melt the candle shavings in the can. Add the remaining pillar candle to this melted wax, being very careful as the melted wax is extremely hot. Caution: It is very important that the heat source is low to low-medium because if the wax is melted too quickly, the hot melted wax could flash out of the can, creating a burn hazard for everyone nearby.
Step 4: Cut the Cardboard Egg Carton
With the paring knife or Swiss army knife, remove the top and edges of the cardboard egg carton.
Step 5: Add Sawdust to the Egg Carton
I like to work on a table covered with a large scrap piece of plywood, then I add 2-3 layers of aluminum foil to catch the extra sawdust. Add sawdust to fill each of the 12 sections in the cardboard egg carton. Press the sawdust down firmly in each section, add more sawdust if needed, and press it down firmly again. Remove excess sawdust from the edges of the carton.
Step 6: Stir the Melting Candle
Stir the melting candle wax until all of the candle is melted, being very careful because this melted wax is extremely hot.
Step 7: Add Melted Wax to the Egg Carton
I line the surface that I'm working on (usually a scrap piece of plywood) with a few layers of aluminum foil to catch the excess melted wax that flows out of the egg carton. The can containing the wax is hot, so be sure to use oven mitts (recommended) or pot holders to protect your hands and arms from any melted wax that may splash as you are pouring it. I like to use vice grips clamped onto the can and slowly pour the wax into each of the 12 sections of the cardboard egg carton. The melted wax bubbles for a few seconds when it contacts the sawdust. Let the wax cool for several hours.
Step 8: 12 Firestarters!
After the wax is cooled completely (6-8 hours or overnight), break apart the sections of the egg carton and you have 12 firestarters. After building the campfire or bonfire, add one or two of these fire starters near the ground, tucked in among the small kindling wood and light it with a match or flame stick, for a quick, hot start for the fire.