DIY: Making Your Own Fire Starters

01_blazing_chimneyIn my camp kitchen, when I need coals for Dutch oven or foil cooking, I start them in one or two chimneys, depending on how many I need. To get them going, I simply toss a couple of fire starters into the bottom of the chimney, load in the coals and light the fire starters. In a matter of minutes, I have fire blazing up through the chimney and igniting my coals. Coals are ready in about 15-20 minutes.

If you’re having trouble getting a campfire going, you can also nest a fire starter under a pile of tinder and kindling and start it that way.

Fire starters can be purchased in most grocery or outdoor stores, but it’s cheaper to make them on your own. And it’s so simple to do.


Cardboard egg cartons.

Household wax, which is also used for canning, candle making, etc, and can be found in most grocery stores where you would find canning supplies. You could also use bits of crayon and candle stubs.

Sawdust, wood shavings or dryer lint. I have a woodworking buddy who keeps me supplied with sawdust, but not having someone like that, you could purchase a bag of wood shavings (for animal bedding) at your local pet store.


Double boiler for melting the wax. I have an old beat up set that I use strictly for this purpose.



Start by laying an old towel on your kitchen counter top to protect it.

Melt the wax in a double boiler.


Prep the egg cartons by tearing off the tops and the closing tab thingie (technical term) and fill each little compartment with your saw dust, wood shavings or dryer lint.


Carefully pour the melted wax into the egg carton, being careful not to overflow the cups. If you’re doing a lot and your wax starts to cool (your clue is if it starts to pool on top instead of sinking in) then just reheat your wax.06_adding_wax

After filling all the little egg cups, allow the wax to cool and harden and then break apart the egg carton. I toss them into a couple of plastic grocery store bags and stuff them into my chimneys in my equipment box.


And you’re done. It is really that simple. Depending on how much cooking and camping I’m doing, I usually end up making them a couple times a year.

Categories: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Fan Favorites | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “DIY: Making Your Own Fire Starters

  1. Great homemade idea. Thanks bunches. Will work lighting our wood stove.

    • Cookie

      These should work great lighting a wood stove! Let me know how these work out for you!

  2. The wood stove is what I have in mind. At this time we are buying fire starters.

  3. Awesome tip! On my list to make…

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