Fire Starters the Boy Scout Way

Egg Carton
Photo by greenchartreuse on Flickr

Fire starters are an easy and convenient way to get a fire going without messing with loose newsprint or dry tinder only for it to go out when somebody breathes on it.  There as many recipes out there for these things as there are BBQ sauces. This one is my tried and true favorite of many.


  • Paper-based egg cartons (the classic kind, no plastic)
  • Old candles (can be found for next to nothing at thrift stores)
  • Sawdust (for flavor)


Melt the candles down in a pot/pan that you never want to cook in again.  This can be very dangerous so do use some common sense.  While the candles are melting, cut the bottom of your egg cartons out removing the lid and the flap on the opposite edge that holds the lid closed.

Once the wax has melted entirely so there are no solids left CAREFULLY pour them into your egg carton trays.  If you have a funnel, this would be a lot safer. (safety = 1 / fun)  While the wax is still in liquid form, sprinkle a generous amount of sawdust over the tops of each and let them dry all the way until they are room temperature again.

After they are all dry cut each individual pod (12 per carton) out with the peaks of the carton split equally.  This will make for an easy wick come lighting time.

Thats it!

Now you’re ready to start your charcoal grill, backyard foundry, etc. with minimal set up time and the best part is it can cost you nothing!  As with any open flame, it’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher around too.

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