Egg Carton Firelighters

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A composite image showing the supplies needed for the egg carton firelighters, and a few steps of the process

These firelighters have a number of advantages over the shop bought fire lighters, they don’t have that horrible paraffin smell that gets everywhere, they are cheap, and they last for ages. My explorers have tested them, and one burned for 18 minutes.

You will need:
• a cardboard egg carton
• wood chip/shaving/sawdust (supermarket animal bedding is good)
• candle wax (Old burned out candles are fine or cheap shop-bought candles do just as well)

1 Melt the Wax. SLOWLY
• Be careful, hot wax is like chip fat, it burns very easily and can give you a very nasty burn. Turn off the heat before the wax has fully melted and do not let it boil.
• If the wax starts to pop like chip fat, turn off the heat and wait a few minutes
• Use an old pot or be prepared to do a LOT of clean up
2 Pack sawdust into the egg carton and lightly press it down.
• Fill the cells but do not overfill to the top of the carton.
• It is a good idea to put the carton in a dish in case of leakage.

3 Pour the wax into the cells
• Pour it in until the sawdust is just covered.
• The wax may leak out of the cardboard so please do this on a tray to prevent spillages.
• Top up if necessary
• If the wax is too hot it will leak out through the cardboard.

4 Let it cool completely
• Leave it overnight for the best results

5 Tear off a cell and light the cardboard. It should light instantly and burn for about 10 minutes

6 If you have wax left over, cut the carton lids into strips about 2cm wide and soak in the wax. You can use these for tapers for lighting fires, so much easier to handle than a match.

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Contributed by the Bush Craft team