Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to Make Fire Starters Using Walnut Shells and Cardboard Egg Cartons

Items needed:
~ cracked walnut shells (we used English walnut shells)
~ string (garden or other cotton string)
~ scissors
~ cardboard egg cartons
~ beeswax
~ grater (if you are using a block of beeswax) and double boiler

1. Cut the tops and flaps off of the cardboard egg cartons.

2. Cut the egg sections apart using a serrated knife or scissors (we found using the knife a bit easier).  Do this on a safe working surface.

3.  Cut a piece of string and  place one end in each egg cup and fill with walnut shells.  Length can vary.  We cut ours at about 6-7 inches long.

4. In a double boiler, over low heat, melt grated beeswax.   How much wax you need, will depend on how many you are making.  I think we used approximately 1/2 cup or more to make 1 dozen, placing about 2-3 teaspoons on each one.  

Note:  Block beeswax is very difficult to grate.  You most likely will get blisters doing this.  However, if you chill the block it will grate, or break up easier.  We found it best to place it in a couple of Ziploc plastic storage bags, then place that into an old pillow case, and beat it against a cement floor (such as a garage or patio).  This will save you a lot of time as well.

5. Pour a small amount into each fire starter and allow to harden.  Use a spoon if needed.

Take these camping for an environmentally friendly fire starter.  Store them in plastic bags or sealed containers to avoid morning moisture or rainy days while camping.  Don't forget to pack the matches too.

I do not recommend you use these in wood stoves.  These fire starters contain wax.

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