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It's Lit!

Fire starters can be a huge help when you’re lighting a fire. They light quickly and hold a flame long enough to light other pieces of wood on fire. Wet wood is not a problem anymore!

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  • What supplies will you need for this adventure?
  • What style of fire starter will you make?
  • How can you make sure that everyone can be part of the process?


Egg carton fire starter

  • Cut up an empty egg carton so that each egg holder is separated. Give one piece to each person.
  • Melt wax in an old pot – old candles or crayons (without their wrappers) work well for this.
  • While the wax is melting, you can fill your egg carton with more burnable materials, like dryer lint, wood shavings or even shredded paper.
  • Pour the wax into the carton. Careful not to overfill it!
  • Let the carton sit and allow the wax to cool and harden. Once the wax is hardened, your fire starter is ready to use!
  • To use your fire starter, place it in your fire and light a corner or edge of the carton on fire – the rest of the fire starter, including the wax will quickly catch.


Match and toilet paper fire starter

  • Take a strike anywhere match and 2-3 squares of toilet paper (do not rip them apart from each other).
  • Fold the toilet paper in half widthwise and wrap it around the match. Keep the match head (the part you light) exposed.
  • Melt wax in a pot.
  • Using tongs, hold the head of the match and dip the toilet paper-wrapped match into the wax.
  • Let the wax cool and harden on the match.
  • When you’re ready to use it, scrape the wax off the match head and strike it. Then, add it to your fire (be careful – it will catch quickly). This is an easy way to waterproof a match for your emergency kit!


Toilet paper roll fire starter

  • Take an empty toilet paper roll and fill it with dryer lint.
  • Fold over the edges of the toilet paper roll so that the lint does not fall out.
  • To light your fire starter, place it in your fire pit and then light an edge of the toilet paper roll.


  • Were you able to successfully make your fire starter? Why or why not?
  • Was there anything challenging about this activity that surprised you?


Egg carton fire starter:

  • Empty egg carton, cut up
  • Wax (old candles or crayons work well)
  • Old pot to melt wax
  • Stove
  • Other flammable materials to add to fire starter (lint, wood shavings, shredded paper, etc.)


Match and toilet paper fire starter:

  • Strike anywhere matches
  • Toilet paper
  • Wax (old candles or crayons work well)
  • Old pot to melt wax
  • Stove


Toilet paper roll fire starter:

  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Dryer lint

Keep it Simple

  • If you don’t have time to make a fire starter, it’s a good time to learn about what items you can carry in your survival kit that may be of help. Drier lint, egg cartons, old candles or even commercially made fire starters are all great additions to your backpack.

Take it Further

  • Learn how to start a fire using flint and steel. Vaseline-covered cotton balls are an easy way to get this kind of fire going!
  • Research other types of homemade fire starters – there are dozens of options, so figure out which one works best for you!