How to Make Coal Fire Starters

How to Make Coal Fire Starters
When using charcoal for a cooking fire, you usually need some type of fire starter to get the coals going. At home you'd use lighter fluid, but if you are out in the woods camping, it is not a good idea to carry along combustible materials. In this case, bring along a homemade fire starter that is safe for transport and will create the flame you need to keep the coals going.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dryer lint or wood shavings
  • Wax (either paraffin or used candles)
  • Egg cartons
  • Coffee can
  • Pot
Step 1
Pour water into the pot and place it on the stove. Turn the stove on to make the water simmer on medium heat.
Step 2
Cut the wax up and place it in the empty coffee can.
Step 3
Place the coffee can on top of the pot, similar to a double-boiler. Use the can instead of a real double-boiler so you don't have to worry about wax cleanup.
Step 4
Place the wood shavings or dryer lint in the individual egg carton cups while the wax is starting to melt.
Step 5
Stir the wax as needed until it is melted.
Step 6
Pour the wax into the into the egg carton cups and allow to cool.
Step 7
Cut the cups apart for 12 individual fire starters.

Tips & Warnings

If using dryer lint, use only cotton lint. Other types of fabric might be hazardous to burn. Make sure you are gathering only cotton lint by cleaning out the trap and then drying a load of only cotton fabrics like T-shirts or towels.
Before using a fire starter, pull an edge loose from the egg carton so that it sticks out from the rest, kind of like a wick or fuse. Light that portion of the egg carton and let the fire make its way to the rest of the fire starter from there.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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