By Ashley York; Whimsy & While
“The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.” -Henry David Thoreau
How To Make Natural Fire Starters
This past winter, I created a blog post and video tutorial on making natural fire starters with leftover egg cartons, lint, cedar, and natural beeswax. Now that camping season is in full swing, I wanted to reshare the process with an updated twist.
We recently moved into a new home that is lined with white cedar. I first discovered exactly how flammable cedar was after I had made my first cedar smudge bundle and it wasn’t dry enough. The popping startled me! At that point, I knew I was going to incorporate the leftover cedar from my Christmas decoration into my natural fire starters.
The tutorial below is great to follow if you have a big camping trip coming up, live on the road, or just want to keep a few fire starters on hand for backyard fires. These fire starters are great to use in every season.
What You'll Need
- Egg Carton
- Dryer Lint
- Dried Lemon Peel (optional)
- Scissors and/or Pruners
- Double Boiler (makeshift is fine)
- Can or Jar
Fill the empty compartments of your egg carton with lint from a dryer.
Top with a small sprig of green cedar and lemon peel (lemon peel optional).
Add beeswax to a double boiler or makeshift double boiler. (Estimate the amount of beeswax based on how much is needed to cover your materials in the egg carton. You can always repeat the process in the double boiler.)
>> For a double boiler, you can place an aluminum can or a glass mason jar, on three lid rings, in a quart sized pot filled with enough water to cover the container. Bring water to a boil. Watch the wax melt. Give it a stir If the wax is clumping in the boiler. Be sure to use a can/jar and utensil you don’t mind sacrificing for good to this cause; trying to get beeswax off of everything is a major pain!
Once you’re done, pour wax evenly over each compartment, coating nicely. Set aside to cool and solidify. One hour at room temperature should suffice.
Take scissors and cut each one out. Bring them with you camping or keep on hand for outdoor fires. Store in a cool, dry place when not in use.
To use, light the fire starter and add some kindling. If you’re new to fire building, check out our tutorial on how to build a fire. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley is a seeker of all things beautiful with an emphasis on slow and sustainable living, along with building a deeply rooted connection to her family and work. She aspires to share useful information on living in a meaningful way and the ways in which she keeps home.