Camp Fire Starters




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 wor...

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!



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16 Discussions

Like vemven I used old potpourri, lint & wax beads all hanging around the house in egg cartons. Wow! No more newspaper or blowing on the flame! These are so great! Now we can enjoy a fire fast and s'mores even faster!

Pinecone fire starters should just be used to start wood fires including wood burning fireplaces and campfires. Tray to consider a pine cone, Since it has creosote that will burn well, for added enhancement. Recently I bought this Waterproof Firestarter, The Ferro rod and which are both included in 1 fire starting kit and that fits conveniently in your pocket. I found this discount code. Use this code "PD10"and save 10%.

Yeah, I use pet bedding and it works great. I do have some pine in the yard, I will try this method the next time I make fire starters.

Oh and I also have some bark that I am drying out so I can "crumble" it up and make more!!

I did the same thing but with the larger egg cartons and of all things peanut shells!

About 20 years ago I made some out of wax popsicle sticks and match sticks, they will start a fire anywhere but under water! >:) I still have some left lol don't get out camping much. nice work you got my vote brings back memories.

1 reply

This is great!

Thats really cool! I love camping so this will really help! Thanks! U got my vote!

Great instructable. Now all I need is some pine cones..........

My boy scout troup will FLIP OUT when I bring this to the next campout. Thanks!

I made some of these last year for our camping trips....except I did mine without the pine cone. They work wonderfully with just the dryer lint..

I also used the remaining portions of those candles that come in a jar, which lets you use the jar they came in as your double boiler vessel.

thanks for sharing !!

3 replies

These work great.You can also use a old soup can to hold the wax and a pair of vise grips to pick up the can when it comes time to pour.

Good thinking! I bet even hot dog tongs could work to maneuver the can. Thanks for the great idea :)

LOL hot dog tongs are exactly what I used to pick up the jar when I made mine...

and btw, if you use the remnants of scented candles, the fire you start will smell nice for a while, hehe