Whether we’re sleeping outside on the ground or gathered around the fire pit for a BBQ, we love the outdoors and a fire! But, sometimes it can be a little frustrating to get that fire going. Before resorting to a flame thrower, why not try some DIY fire starters? You’ll love how simple and cheap these are to make and that it cuts down on what goes in the recycling bin and trash can.
Check them out!
For this DIY trick, you may have to do a little shopping unless you have a woodworking shop. You’ll need sawdust, candles and something flammable to put it in, such as paper muffin wraps, cardboard egg cartons or snack size cardboard boxes. Fill your container with sawdust, but don’t pack it in too tightly. Then, pour hot wax over it and allow it to harden. If you’re using an egg carton, you can cut it into individual fire starters once it’s completely cool.
The sawdust is very flammable and so is the wax, but the wax will slow the burn down long enough for the wood to catch fire. And, you don’t have to stick to just sawdust! Paper, cardboard, or any other flammable material will work.
This diy firestarter project is very similar to the one above, and you get to recycle! Instead of tossing your used dryer lint, save it in a grocery bag along with your paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Save your newspapers too, or useless print outs from the office, because when it comes time to pack up the camping gear and go into the great outdoors you can use it all!
Loosely stuff the toilet paper rolls with your dryer lint—you don’t want it to be so tightly packed in that it doesn’t burn—and then wrap the toilet paper roll in newspaper. The newspaper, or junk office paper, just keeps everything in place so that it’s easier to pack. You can even stuff the inside of the toilet paper roll with newspaper if you run out of lint.
Never sure what to do with your used cooking oil and paper towels? We have an idea! After dinner, put your used paper towels and the oil you cooked with together in a container. The paper towels soak up the oil, both of which are highly flammable, and make a great campsite fire starter. Many people choose to wait a few days so that the oil dries up and is less messy, but you can do this at the camp as a way to eliminate waste. You can use this fire starter for your fire pit as well, so at the camp or patio side, you’re good to go!
While you can use some of the methods above to reuse and recycle, you can do the same thing with foods. Many foods are actually flammable, which may be why kitchen fires are so common. But, you can use some of your leftovers to help get the fire going! Fill a paper bag with the leftovers that are flammable, twist the top into a tip and place the bag beneath your wood or other fire media. Light the makeshift tip of the paper bag and then step back!
Curious about what will work? Check out some common food fire starters:
- Potato chips
- Coffee creamer, dried
- Dried milk
- Orange peels (plus this smells great!)
- Peanut shells
It’ll cost more to go to the store and buy the ingredients for a leftover food fire starter, but when you’re at the awkward point that there’s not enough flour to cook with, but too much to throw away, hang onto it! It has a use around the campfire.
The outdoors smell great, but sometimes it’s nice to add a unique touch. Making a scented pinecone fire starter is a great way to do that and it’s an easy project. You’ll need pinecones, thread, wax and essential oils. For this, it’s best to get unscented candles or wax from a craft store so that the scent of the wax doesn’t conflict with the oil.
Melt your wax in a dedicated saucepan and then add the essential oil of your choice. For a stronger scent, add more oil! When the wax is completely melted, tie a length of thread around the pinecone and dip it in the wax. Once the pinecone is thoroughly coated hang it up so that the wax can harden. Some DIY crafters choose to coat it several times, but it’s up to you and how many fire starters you plan to make!
Once the wax is completely dry you’re ready to go! Just pack them up (carefully so that the wax stays in-tact) and head out.