There are a lot of different types of fire starters: ones you take on the trail and ones you use in the home. Trail fire starters are the easiest to make. They can involve covering cotton balls with Vaseline or packing a bag of Fritos, both of which burn well.
The fire starters that I made today are for home use. They are large and work well in wood stoves, fireplaces or fire pits.
What you will need:
- Small waxed paper cups
- Dryer lint
- Small sticks or wood scraps
- Candle wax from a craft store
- Double boiler (I’ll explain below)
- A work surface that can handle heat
Step 1: Fill your cups
Put a little lint in the bottom, then a few broken sticks, and a little more lint on top of that. Those three layers should fill the cup. Put your cups on a surface that can handle getting hot when you pour the wax into the cups.
Step 2: Melt the wax in a double boiler
Take a saucepan and fill it about a third of the way up with water. You can put something metal in the bottom of the sauce pan to set the bowl on, or you can choose a bowl bigger than the top of the saucepan that will sit on the edge nicely (Click on either “metal” or “bowl” to see a more detailed description of that type of double boiler). I used a Pyrex measuring bowl because of the convenient pouring spout, but anything metal would work too. The wax I chose came in a large block, so I cut it up into smaller pieces and put one in the Pyrex measuring bowl. Then put your burner on high and boil the water in the saucepan. This will melt the wax without the wax touching the heat source and burning.
Step 3: Pour wax into the cups
When it is melted, you should pour a little in each cup. Just enough to hold the materials together. It won’t take too much wax to make it quite flammable.
Step 4: Wait for the wax to harden
Let everything cool off and then you can store the fire starters for when you are ready to make fire. To make a fire you need to tear the side of the cup just enough to have something to light and it is ready to go!