Introduction: Camp Fire Starters

About: Ahh, so many ideas, so little time. Some day I will learn metalsmithing, graphic design, guitar-playing, the Korean language, the fine art of barbequeing meats, sword fighting, target spitting, spelling words…

If you're camping - you want to make the venerable camp fire. Normally, you gather twigs, leaves, pine needles - anything flammable to use as tinder to start the fire. Maybe it’s been raining all week and everything is soaked to of depth of several miles into the earth's crust and you'd have a better chance of lighting up a snowball in Hudson Bay than staring you fire so you can toast your wiener right now.
Make a few no-fail fire starters out of household debris ahead of time, and have a safe and happy camp fire on your rain-soaked outing.
And remember: only set fire to objects that actually belong to you. Camp responsibly, or Smokey the Pants-Wearing Bear will come for you...

First: gather materials for your fire starters.

1 cardboard egg carton
12 pinecones
A large handful of lint from the dryer
Some used-up old candles or piles of candle wax.

You will need to melt the wax, and you will need a double boiler setup for this.
Any wax used in a saucepan or cooking pot will make the pot unusable for food. So, a good way to handle this is to find an old saucepan at the thrift store and use it, or you can also melt the wax in a clean glass pickle jar set into a pot of hot water.

Step 1: Melt the Wax

Melt the wax in a double boiler setup with the heat on the medium setting.
Use a glass jar or thrift-store pot - whatever is most convenient for you. Wax can scorch and burn if its melted directly on the heat source, which is why it must be melted on a pot of boiling water. This is why it makes a great fire starter.

Step 2: Deploy the Pine Cone Array

Cut off the lid of the egg carton and the little flap in the front too.
Put a pinecone in each of the cups in the egg carton.
Tear off chunks of the dryer lint and stuff some around each pinecone.

Step 3: Pouring the Wax

First, put down a bit of newspaper or phone book pages to protect your work surface.
Then pour the wax over the pinecone into each well in the egg carton.
Make sure to drizzle some of the wax over the dryer lint as this will keep it from breaking off later on.
Pour enough wax into each well so that the pinecone will be securely seated in the egg carton.

Step 4: Dividing the Egg Carton

When the wax has solidified - you can cut the egg carton into individual fire starters.
Of course, you can always leave it intact and just rip off what you need when the time comes.

Step 5: The Finished Product

To start your campfire, place the fire starter underneath your kindling and light the edges. The dryer lint, pinecone and wax will act as a candle, and make a continuous flame to get your kindling started.

Step 6: Packaging the Fire Starter

Because I like things tidy, I recommend wrapping each fire starter in a piece of newspaper to make sure that the pinecone doesn't break apart and make a mess during transport. Also, the newspaper will act as a bit of handy dry tinder when the fire is started.

Happy Camping!

Great Outdoors Contest

Participated in the
Great Outdoors Contest