My friend Tackle Box brought homemade fire starters to our Algonquin Thunderbox Tour canoe trip last year, and since then I’ve been meaning to try making them myself.
I have to say that it was super easy! I picked up a small bag of dryer lint from a laundromat in town, and set aside an egg carton from last week’s local egg delivery.
What You’ll Need:
- egg carton
- dryer lint
- paraffin wax candle(s)/beeswax candle
I don’t normally have paraffin wax candles, because I know how toxic they are for us (I much prefer beeswax candles), but I’ve had these two candles from my 30th birthday follow me around for the past 3 years! I never did get to use them for my celebration and I’m not sure why I’ve moved them from the Yukon to Guelph and now to Muskoka. I guess they came in handy after all!
Use the egg carton to put your dryer lint into. Don’t press it down firmly, just set it in there so when the wax melts, it will seep into the lint.
I was lucky enough to light my candles and melt the wax over the lint, but if you have to melt a larger amount, you could probably use a tin can to melt it in. I’ve seen photos of a pot of water with the tin can sitting inside (sort of like a double boiler). Or, you could get the set of numbers that represent your age at the dollar store next time you’re there and burn them down too! 🙂
Melt the wax over all the lint and let dry.
Once mine dried, I took one outside to test it. She lit up!
Why should you make your own fire starters? Because…
- they are super light weight, and that counts when you’re portaging or carrying your gear
- if it’s raining or wet, they’re good to get your fire started and they burn continuously for a few minutes
- it gives those poor birch trees a rest from people tearing paper off their trunks all the time
- they are awesome and you’ll look like you really know what you’re doing around the ol’ fire ring