How to Make Fire Starters With Sawdust

How to Make Fire Starters With SawdustSawdust can be used as a base for a fire starter. Most local lumber yards will give you their sawdust outright or charge a nominal fee. Sawdust is also available from landscapers or tree pruning services. Sawdust is light, which makes it easy to carry in a backpack or saddlebag. Adding waxes or oils makes it even more effective if you need to start a fire in damp conditions.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 5-gallon bucket of sawdust
  • 1 to 2 cups of vegetable oil
  • Paper lunch bags
  • Stapler or tape
  • Cookie sheet
  • Double boiler
  • Beeswax or used crayons
  • Pint sized milk cartons
Step 1
Mix one to two cups of vegetable oil into a 5-gallon bucket of sawdust until coated but not dripping wet.
Step 2
Spoon two cups sawdust mixture into paper lunch bags. Roll top of bag down and staple or tape shut.
Step 3
Tamp sawdust fire starters into pint-size paper milk cartons.
Step 4
Melt beeswax or used crayons in a double boiler until liquefied. Pour liquid wax over fire starter in each milk carton.
Step 5
Place filled cartons on a cookie sheet in a cool, dry place until wax hardens.

Tips & Warnings

Store your sawdust fire starters in a cool, dry place in a metal can or on a cookie sheet until ready to use.


Article Written By Jane Smith

Jane Smith has provided educational support, served people with multiple challenges, managed up to nine employees and 86 independent contractors at a time, rescued animals, designed and repaired household items and completed a three-year metalworking apprenticeship. Smith's book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in 2008. Smith received a Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995.

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