Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fire Starters

Fall is coming and with it comes camping, bonfires and smores!  For that, we need fire starters.

Fire starters are easy to make and work very well.  You need:

Something flammable (newspaper, sawdust, dryer lint, cotton balls, shredded paper, etc)
Cardboard egg carton

Start by grabbing your flammable item.  I usually use a combination of sawdust and shredded paper but my husband had just cleaned the garage and, crazy man, swept the sawdust up!  I grabbed dryer lint this time.

Appetizing, right?  Lay your cardboard milk carton on something to protect your workspace.  The wax will leak.

Stuff the egg holes with your flammable material.  Pack it in tight.

Pour melted wax over the entire thing.  Make sure to fill the egg cups really well.  (NOTE:  Wax is flammable so be careful how you melt it!  I used to take a metal can (something that once held fruit or veggies) and fill it with the wax.  That can would then go into a pot of water and the pot of water heated on the stove.  It's a cheap way to make a double boiler. )  Since I have the candle warmer (see Fixing a Fugly), I'm periodically left with a scentless candle.  I take it straight from the warmer and dump it into the fire starters.

It will leak through. . . this is why you cover your workspace!
It's not pretty. . . .

. . . but it works.  Let it cool completely and then cut apart.  When it's almost dry but still a little soft, I like to fold in the stray papers and tuck them into the wax.

Package them up.  I put three into a zip lock bag with a couple packs of matches for the car, just in case.  It's always good to keep survival gear in your vehicle.  You never know what will happen!  The rest of these go into a jar and is kept in our cupboard for nights that we do smores.  I'll put a few in a zip lock to take camping when we go.

To use:  Light one!  They will burn for about ten minutes.  They burn well and they burn hot.  This is enough time for your wood to catch fire and for you to get a good flame going without having to babysit it with kindling!  I usually put a fire starter on a larger piece of wood and "tent" a few more pieces above it.  (Imagine a wood triangle with the fire starter in the middle.)  Light the fire starter and your fire is on it's way!

If I do it again:

I will use sawdust instead of dryer lint.  I happen to like the way the sawdust smells when it burns!

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