I’m an avid lover of camping. All my family vacations growing up were camping and exploring different places in the Maritimes and I have many fond memories of those trips. Luckily my kids are also avid campers and when I introduced camping to the twins last summer, we kicked off the ‘rebirth’ of camping in our family (after a short siesta between when the twins were born and still quite little). We got out quite a bit last season and even snuck in one final night in mid September.
So when this season kicked off I started looking at the calendar to plan in as much camping as possible between my part time work schedule and other regular commitments. I’m pretty impressed with myself as so far in about 2 weeks we have done 3 different camping trips and places. Some old some new, but loving it all the same.
I think everyone in our household (and probably most campers) would agree that one of the best things about camping is having a fire. Whether you are cooking on it to make dinner or just sitting around and enjoying it, it really is essential. It’s so lovely to sit around the fire on a summer evening and relax, chat or just hang out.
Even when its raining, if you can get a fire going it just makes that camping experience so much nicer. When I was in Girl Guides growing up, of course one to the things I learned was fire building. There is the traditional log house or teepee style, some use newspaper or dry moss to start the fire. But the best thing that I have ever discovered (and did learn how to make these in Girl Guides) is a firestarter. Made out of materials that you have around the home anyway, these firestarters will burn for 20 minutes and will work easily in the rain. They make starting a fire quick and easy and I won’t go camping without them!
All you need to make them is a cardboard egg carton (stryofoam ones do not work), some dryer fluff and some wax (you know all those candle ends and bits of wax you throw out? Keep them in a ziploc bag and save it for making firestarters). See easy. And you’re probably thinking wow that’s great that I can use dryer fluff for something other than just throwing it out!
Here’s how you do it:
- cardboard egg carton
- dryer fluff
- melted wax
- Cut top off of the egg carton.
- Place egg carton on top of a sheet of newspaper.
- Fill each hole in the egg carton with dryer fluff. Be generous and stuff them full!
- Then pour melted wax over the egg carton – ensuring that each ‘hole’ is filled with wax and has soaked through all the way to the bottom. This is very important as the wax needs to cover it in it’s entirety in order for the firestarter to work properly.
- Leave egg carton on newspaper and let wax dry completely.
- Once wax is dry cut between the holes in the carton to make 12 firestarters. Store in a large ziploc bag and voila! Done!
I also recommend that you melt the wax slowly on low heat on the stove. And once you use that pot designate it as the wax melting pot and just keep it for when you make more.
I was amazed how easy and well these worked when I first discovered them. I don’t remember who exactly in Girl Guides came up with it, but thank you so much they are awesome!
So if you’re going camping this summer, or just like having an outdoor fire, make some of these and give them a try.