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Funky Fire Starters

10/3/2008 5:05:57 PM

Tags: fire starters

campfireIt’s fall and the smell of dried leaves and wood smoke fill the air. Whether you have a woodstove to heat your home or just occasionally use a fireplace, this is the time of year when we think about splitting kindling and laying in a supply of firewood. To get a fire going well, you also need some kind of a fire starter – usually shredded or wadded up paper. But if you are starting a fire outdoors or are concerned that the kindling is not as dry as it could be then paper might not be the best starting material.

For decades, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have been making fire starters as a part of their camping readiness kits. Here are a few ways to make your own.

  • Cut a strip of cardboard two inches by six inches. Roll the strip as tightly as you can and tie it with a piece of cotton string with a string tail about six inches long. Dip the cardboard into melted candle wax. After it has cooled, you can cut the tail to an inch. When using, light the wax coated string.
  • Fill cardboard egg cartons with sawdust, or cotton or wool dryer lint (do not use synthetic lint as it will melt but not burn). Gently pour melted candle wax onto the sawdust or lint. After these have cooled, cut the individual egg cups apart. To make these easier to light, you can put a birthday candle in the middle of each egg holder.
  • Let a few of your corn cobs from corn-on-the-cob dry completely. Cut or break the cob into two-inch chunks. Tie a string around the cob piece and dip the cob into melted candle wax. 

Store the cooled fire starters in a plastic closable bag to keep moisture out. When building your fire, nestle a fire starter under your kindling and light it. The fire starter will burn long enough to get the most stubborn pile to start and is fairly immune to gentle breezes.

If you like the idea of these sturdy fire starters, but would prefer to buy rather than make them, these might be just what you are looking for. Cob Lites and Cowboy Cob Brand All Natural Fire Starters are made with paraffin and dried corn cobs. And Nerman-Lockhart uses recycled wood and the ends of church candles for their Holy Smokes Firestarters.



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Post a comment below.

 

kate
12/6/2013 9:41:10 AM
I have a huge sycamore with lots of leaves. I pack them in bread bags tightly mixed with little twigs. put some dryer lint under it and it lights great. I also make use of fabric scraps, scrap paper pieces and leftover candle wax.

kate
12/6/2013 9:41:03 AM
I have a huge sycamore with lots of leaves. I pack them in bread bags tightly mixed with little twigs. put some dryer lint under it and it lights great. I also make use of fabric scraps, scrap paper pieces and leftover candle wax.

kate
12/6/2013 9:40:54 AM
I have a huge sycamore with lots of leaves. I pack them in breadbags tightly mixed with little twigs. put some dryer lint under it and it lights great. I also make use of fabric scraps, scrap paper pieces and leftover candle wax.

kate
12/6/2013 9:40:47 AM
I have a huge sycamore with lots of leaves. I pack them in breadbags tightly mixed with little twigs. put some dryer lint under it and it lights great. I also make use of fabric scraps, scrap paper pieces and leftover candle wax.

kate
12/6/2013 9:40:21 AM
I have a huge sycamore with lots of leaves. I pack them in breadbags tightly mixed with little twigs. put some dryer lint under it and it lights great. I also make use of fabric scraps, scrap paper pieces and leftover candle wax.

Michael C LeBlanc
2/5/2010 8:34:03 AM
To be as enviromentally friendly as I can I have a friend who runs a carpentry shop and once every couple of years I get a grocery size bag of red cedar sawdust from him when he is doing a project with that kind of wood.Another friend supplies me with left over beeswax candle ends or unsold beeswax candles from her health food store that have faded and aren't pretty enough to sell. I melt the wax mix add in as many handfulls of sawdust as the liquid wax will absorb then I spoon this mixture into the bottom half of cardboard type (not styrofoam) egg cartons, let it set up and then whenever I need a fire starter I tear off one of these half egg sections, light the edge and set it in the wood stove then add the kindling on top. They work great and can easily be taken on a camping trip.

Michael C LeBlanc
2/5/2010 8:31:40 AM
To be as enviromentally friendly as I can I have a friend who runs a carpentry shop and once every couple of years I get a grocery size bag of red cedar sawdust from him when he is doing a project with that kind of wood.Another friend supplies me with left over beeswax candle ends or unsold beeswax candles from her health food store that have faded and aren't pretty enough to sell. I melt the wax mix add in as many handfulls of sawdust as the liquid wax will absorb then I spoon this mixture into the bottom half of cardboard type (not styrofoam) egg cartons, let it set up and then whenever I need a fire starter I tear off one of these half egg sections, light the edge and set it in the wood stove then add the kindling on top. They work great and can easily be taken on a camping trip.

Michael C LeBlanc
2/5/2010 8:31:01 AM
To be as enviromentally friendly as I can I have a friend who runs a carpentry shop and once every couple of years I get a grocery size bag of red cedar sawdust from him when he is doing a project with that kind of wood.Another friend supplies me with left over beeswax candle ends or unsold beeswax candles from her health food store that have faded and aren't pretty enough to sell. I melt the wax mix add in as many handfulls of sawdust as the liquid wax will absorb then I spoon this mixture into the bottom half of cardboard type (not styrofoam) egg cartons, let it set up and then whenever I need a fire starter I tear off one of these half egg sections, light the edge and set it in the wood stove then add the kindling on top. They work great and can easily be taken on a camping trip.

Lee Teuber
6/22/2009 10:06:20 PM
My wife and I have found that a tampon dipped in white gas burns like a little stove with a blue flame. The flame lasts longer than most kindling, and it starts fires easily. Since our backpacking stove burns white gas, it's easy dip into the extra fuel bottle.

eric_3
10/6/2008 4:51:12 PM
2 other quick and easy fire starters are: 1. add 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol to a small aspirin bottle stuffed with cotton balls. Pull one out at a time and stretch it out before laying it down below the kindling. 2. place a SOS pad at the base of a fire. Remember fire safety before using either of these...










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