Making Fire Starters

Cotton ball and petroleum jelly

Use a cotton ball covered in petroleum jelly to make a great fire starter. Simply roll each cotton ball in the jelly until completely covered. The wrap it in aluminum foil to make a packet. To use, slit the packed with an X, pull out some cotton ball as a wick, and light. Should burn for 10-20 minutes.

Paraffin wax and wood chips

Things You'll Need

Paraffin wax
Old cooking pot (one large and another small)
Saw dust/wood chips
Paper egg carton
Camp stove or grill
Scissors or knife


  1. Assemble a double boiler by placing the larger pot on the stove or grill. Fill the pot about half full with water. Suspend the smaller pot over the water.
  2. Place the paraffin in the small pot. Bring the water to a boil. Gently stir the paraffin to aid in melting.
  3. Fill each cup of the egg tray half full of the saw dust. When melted, pour the melted paraffin into the cups. Fill each egg compartment to the top.
  4. Let the paraffin cool in the egg tray thoroughly. Let the tray stand for at least an hour or so to ensure the paraffin has cooled and set thoroughly.
  5. Cut the egg carton apart between each egg compartment. There is no need to be exact or too concerned with neatness. Place the fire starters in resealable storage bags. Keep the starters in a cool place away from heat sources and out of direct sunlight.

Pinecone Fire Starters

By Aaron Kopf, eHow Contributor
Pine cones used for fire starters need time in the oven to dry out sap. Starting a fire from scratch can be a daunting task. While some campers or fireplace enthusiasts use dryer lint, another option is a pine cone fire starter. These durable forms of kindling are simple and relatively cheap to make. You make them with scented wax to add a special smell to the air around your campfire or fireplace, and they make excellent gifts during the holidays. You can collect your pine cones from nearby pine trees or from a variety of online retailers.

Things You'll Need

Pine cones
Aluminum foil
Baking sheet
Two shallow cardboard trays
Fine sawdust
Wax melting pot
Unscented wax


  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Place your pine cones on the sheet and leave them in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Turn off the oven and leave the pine cones inside for another two hours. These first few steps will completely dry out any sap within the cones, which is not characteristically very flammable.
  3. Remove the pine cones from the oven and cover your workspace with several layers of old newspaper.
  4. Fill a shallow cardboard tray with fine sawdust. Open a few windows or turn on a nearby fan to keep any of the fine dust from entering your nose or mouth.
  5. Plug in your wax melting pot and heat several cups of unscented wax until melted.
  6. Dip a pine cone into the melted wax several times to ensure a complete coat. Quickly roll the pine cone in the fine sawdust, and then place it upright in another shallow cardboard tray.
  7. Repeat Step 6 for the remaining pine cones. Add more wax to the melting pot, if necessary.
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