DIY Candle Firestarter

Do-it-Yourself Candle Firestarter

As I was going through some old photos, I came across a video and photo series I created back in 2010 to show how to make your own firestarters out of a mini candle and some wood shavings. I’ve used this for so many years I can’t remember where I first learned it from.

These firestarters work great when tinder is scarce or damp. It has a burn time of about 10 minutes. I usually throw one or two into my ditty kit when I go camping or backpacking. Besides the burn time, I like that these firestarters aren’t goopy, slimy, or sappy like other options. Melting the wax is the most time-intensive part, but once you get it started, it goes quick. I usually create an assembly line and make dozens at a time.

Materials Needed

  1. Wood shavings
  2. Tea light candles
  3. Mini baking cups
  4. Double boiler (to melt the wax)

Steps

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  1. Dismantle the candles by removing the wick and the aluminum casing. Save the casing!

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  1. Place a paper baking cup into the aluminum casing. This helps to keep the firestarter well-formed when the wax is poured.

  2. Stuff some wood shavings into the baking cup, level with the top

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  1. Melt the candle wax (I do this whole process outside and I use metal tins that I don’t care too much about because everything gets a little waxy)

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  1. Pour the melted candle wax into the wood shaving-filled cup

  2. Allow to cool

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  1. To use, simply ignite a spark or light the top on fire!

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6 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Would it also help to use fatwood shavings as another layer of incendiary goodness?

  2. Liz Francis says:

    I used to make fire-starter with wood shavings & wax, but used an egg carton to hold the materials. I put the shavings in the egg cups, poured the melted wax on top of the shavings & let it set up. Then I’d grab an egg cup to start the fire. I used the wax that you buy at the grocery store for canning. I’m just getting back into camping….

  3. Here’s another, easier firestarter that I came across years ago – cotton balls + vaseline! You “mush” vaseline into the cotton ball, that simple. Each will burn like a candle, long enough to get a fire going. I carry a bunch in a little zip lock bag.

  4. Zed says:

    cotton balls wiped in vaseline and then dripped with candle wax also work VERY well

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