Homemade fire starter

With all the camping I do, I can use all the savings I can find. Even if its just a few dollars here and there!  I always bring firestarter with me on every trip. It is a small item that can sometimes make or break your camping trip.  Sometimes you are in the backcountry and all the good wood has been used up, or, you just arrived after several days of rain.  Sometimes the wood you purchase at whatever campground you are at, is not quite dry and has trouble burning or starting.  These little sticks that assist you in getting your fire going so you have eat, or can cook on them, or just want some ambiance are priceless.

When I was building my tipi I had a good chat with some outdoors enthusiasts who suggested I put a wood stove in it. Eventually that came to fruition and then I was curious what was best to burn in it?  I was advised to get wood scraps for free from some of the lumber companies and builders. I found the right type and was all set.  Upon using the wood, i noticed i had a huge amount of sawdust and recalled someone telling me that it could be used to make homemade firestarter.  So, I decided to give it a try.


I got a few egg cartons and filled them with the sawdust.   I was advised to use dryer lint, but because I don’t have a dryer, this wasn’t an option.  When I start fires with my flint stick, I usually bring a bit of cotton and it ignites nicely so I decided to break up the cotton and spread it through the sawdust.


After that I took a bunch of old candles that the wick has burned down from and some tea lights I had lying around and melted them using other candles to do so, which was neat.

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From there I poured the wax over the sections of egg container filled with sawdust and cotton until it looked like it had gone through the entire depth and was enough to make the sawdust and cotton stick together.


After that, I set them outside to cool and harder.

I broke them up into their sections and put them all in a ziploc bag ready to use on my next trip.  The next trip was family day weekend at Mew Lake, the weekend it was -42.  BRRRRR. I get cold still just thinking about it but somehow we had a great time and survived.

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Upon arrival to Mew, I set up my tent and tipi and my new wood stove I’d purchased at princess auto for $99.00.  I immediately grabbed one of the homemade fire starters and lit it the edges of the egg container and it sparked up right away and caught. I put the fire starter inside the stove and POOF it was lit and burning right away.  I was pretty impressed indeed!


The next adventure I used the fire starter on was my solo tipi camping trip in the Haliburton Highlands.  It was my first time actually sleeping in the tipi and my first winter trip alone.  Mind you, I was brought to my sight via ATV and wasn’t super far from civilization, but it was still a good test.

Once again, I reached for the homemade fire starters and once again they worked amazingly well. I used them to start the fire a few times as the stove is very small and unattended, the fire would go out after a few hours.

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I have to say overall I am really impressed with these homemade fire starters.  If you are able to make your own and give it a try, I say give it a go.  I save a bit of money and I learned another way to assist in the fire process.  Plus, they work really good so overall it’s a win win for me!

I hope you enjoyed my post and will come back to visit again soon!

If you have made your own firestarter, please leave a comment and let us all know what you did and how it worked out for you? I am always interested in hearing about other peoples experiences and creations as well!

Happy Fire Starting!


Camper Christina

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  1. Kristen April 12, 2016 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    We just made some today, for the first time. Toilet paper rolls with dryer lint and wax, wrapped in newsprint. My son loved making them – mostly the dripping wax part – and is now super-excited for the first trip of the season! If we ever have sawdust, I’ll give your way a shot. Free is good 🙂

    • camperchristina April 13, 2016 at 10:54 am - Reply

      THAT IS AWESOME!!! I love that the kids are getting involved and it’s making them excited about camping! Such a good idea! I don’t normally have sawdust, but I had gotten the wood for the stove and happened to have an abundance of it and was throwing it out. Who knew you could recycle that? 🙂 I hope you have an amazing first trip and the firestarter works well! Thanks for checking out my post and for commenting. Hope to see you again soon! Happy Camping Kristen! 🙂

  2. planetmetalhead April 15, 2016 at 7:00 am - Reply

    My dad has made these for years and the work great. The addition of dryer lint is a great idea!

  3. Joyce June 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    I love this! I’ve got a TON of dryer lint lol… I can just never bring myself to toss it. Now I have a good use for it!

  4. Joyce June 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    I’ve been wondering lately about this (since I didn’t bring anything on my recent solo trip! I thought I’d go really bada$$ and carve up some kindling with my knife. Too tired after all the work of getting there to bother!) Anyways… I’m wondering if scented candles are a bad idea? As I type this I’m already thinking that it is. I don’t want to attract anything undesirable to the site. It’s just that I have a ridiculous amount of scented candles that I can’t use. And toilet paper rolls and dryer lint! Maybe I’ll try it for my upcoming car camping trip and see how it goes 🙂

    • camperchristina June 18, 2016 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      A few people have mentioned to me that they do use scented candles. I agree with you however, I think it’s a bad idea.

  5. […] stumbled on her post the other day about making homemade fire starters and although I don’t have the same […]

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