Homemade firestarters come to the rescue on damp camping trip


Camping without a campfire isn’t camping at all. So imagine my horror when Mr. Eagle Scout lost his fire-making mojo on a recent family camping excursion.

Yes, this is the same delusional outdoors writer who gave you the step-by-step instruction to building the perfect campfire. I just couldn’t get my wood-burning groove on. The logs were damp, the kindling too thin and my patience level even thinner.

One evening, I even broke the Cardinal rule of the true outdoorsman’s code of firebuilding. I was at the end of my rope and the family wanted a hot-cooked meal. Before I even knew what I was doing, I used lighter fluid to help stoke the fire. As I type this, I still am hanging my head in shame, ready to feed my Man-card into the nearest shredder like a debit card into an ATM.Luckily, my crafty wife was there to bail me out at my moment of true weakness. When it seemed all fire-building hope was lost, she reminded me of the homemade firestarters she and our kids had made.

Not much to look at, the firestarters consist simply of egg cartons, dryer lint and candle wax. You put a ball of dryer lint into each of the egg carton holders and drip melted wax from a candle over the lint until it is completely dried. This helps lock out dampness and ensures a quick burst to your fire-making efforts.

She inserted a firestarter into the shell of one of my fire failures and applied a lit match. Within seconds, the fire was roaring and we were able to continue our meal prep.

Many survival kits suggest adding some dryer lint, and these starters do just that while giving your fire plenty of egg carton kindling to feed the flames.

Yes, building a fire is so simple a caveman can do it — although behind every cocky caveman is his patient cavewife to pick up the pieces when things don’t go as planned.

~ by zaktansky on August 24, 2013.

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