How To Make Firestarters

Think of sitting around a campfire while enjoying the cold night outside, exchanging jokes with friends, having your favorite drink, and basically just living the moment. There’s nothing quite like it. How to make firestarters is about being able to start a campfire which simply makes camping so much more enjoyable.

Not only does it give you warmth and light, but it also boosts your mood to reflect, uplifts the spirit, and entertains everyone in the camp. Building a campfire is fairly easy if you have a good fire starter. However, remember that dry kindling is not always available at every campsite.

Therefore, we highly suggest coming prepared with some homemade fire starters. If you’re approaching your next camping adventure, check out below some of the tips on how to make firestarters from home. These gems will light easily every time and will always come in handy to make starting a fire quick.

Wax Fire Starters

One of the most common homemade fire starters is one made of wax. The first step is, of course, melting a wax stick. To start, place some wax inside a tin can or any similar container. You can use old wax from burnt candles or paraffin wax from a local hardware store.  

Next, heat up a pan with water and put the tin can inside the pan. Once the wax is melted, use it immediately. The tin can will tend to float. If this starts to happen, use a tong to hold it in place.

2. Wax, Egg Carton, and Lint

Just when you thought lint is just another form of dust, it also comes useful as a firestarter. You will also need an egg carton and wax. 

The first step is to fill each cup of each carton with lint (yes! The lint from your laundry dryer). Then, melt crayon/candle wax you find in your house. Pour the melted wax into each cup of lint.

Make sure the wax penetrates the lint by prodding it with a knife or fork. Let it dry completely. Once done, you can cut the carton into individual firestarter cups. 

Wax-soaked cotton string 

There are a lot of firestarters made of wax. Here’s another option you can do with a cotton string. Simply dip a cotton string into some melted wax. Then leave it to dry in a flat area. Once totally dried up, you can cut the string into shorter lengths. This is probably the most lightweight firestarter you can bring for backpack camping.  

Cotton pads soaked in wax

If you don’t have a cotton string, you can also use cotton pads. Following the same method, dip the cotton pads into the melted wax. You can use a tong or tweezer to do this. Then, place the pads on a paper or tray to dry. 

Sawdust/Wood/Shredded Paper Cupcakes 

Want to teach your kids a firestarter DIY? You can use this simple method. First, you will need some sawdust, wood chipping, or paper/car cut into thin strips. Place them in cupcake cases. Then, pour some melted over the cupcake case and allow it to set and dry. 

To make it a little extra fun, you can use a crayon wax for a colorful firestarter. You can also add a few dried orange peels for that sweet smell. 

Before you think you can only use wax as firestarters, here are some non-wax homemade firestarters you can DIY too. 

Soaked Corks

Start saving those corks from your wine tasting parties. In a jar half-fille with rubbing alcohol, place the corks and leave them to soak. You can take one out when it’s needed to light a fire. If you’re bringing this to your next camping trip, be sure to store them in a sealed container to prevent leaking. 

Cotton Wool and Vaseline

Vaseline and cotton are both highly flammable items so this combination is really strong. They are also normal items you can find in a first aid kit, so a lot of campers use them. All you need to do is put some vaseline in the cotton wool ball and store it in a ziplock. 

Pine Cone

Ever wonder what those pretty pine cones are for in a fireplace? When not in use, they make good ornamentals. But they are also good firestarters too. They even smell good when being burned. Pines cones must be totally dried out to be effective firestarters.

If you’re lighting a big surface area, you can add flame-inducing elements like cooking oil and wax. After drying pine cones, you can soak them in used cooking oil. They are perfect for outdoor fires so you won’t have to worry about the smell of delicious food being burnt. 

Before dipping into wax, tie a string around the pine cone. Then, leave it to dry before using it. When you’re out in the wilderness, you can still find a lot of firestarters. Here are some of them. 

Tree resin

When you’re in the woods camping, try looking for conifer trees. The sap from that tree makes a good firestarter accelerant. If you find a pine cone tree, with fallen dried pine cones, then you’re good to go. You only need to cover the pine cone with the sap and throw it in your burning place.

Dried Orange Peel

We mentioned adding dried orange peels to wax for some sweet fragrance but oranges alone are natural and effective fire starters. Just leave the peels to dry on a tray or a cooling rack before use. 

Coffee Stirrers

You can keep those wooden coffee stirrers from cafe’s in a waterproof container for use later. But when you don’t have one, you can actually just find sticks of wood in your campsite as a firestarter.

Firestarters You May Already Have

There are also other common household items that can help get your fire started fast. You probably have most of these items with you in your pack.

Hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are effective fire starters. Even if the wood is a little damp, a few blobs of your hand sanitizers poured onto the kindling can help things get going easily. The hand sanitizer works due to the alcohol content in it and it lights up as soon as it is in contact with a spark. So make sure that the one that you’re using is with alcohol. 

Duct Tape

Duct tape is an incredible fire starter. Not only does duct tape burn slowly, but it can also be your tool in making canisters that can be transported and packaged anywhere. Before lighting your kindling, cut the duct tape into strips and place them onto it.

Bug Spray

Bug spray is another fine option. It can be used in a similar way as a hand sanitizer. To give things an extra boost of flammability, spray it on wood or kindling. 

Crumpled Paper Products

Chances are good that you already have some crumpled paper products with you. Whether paper towels, scrap paper, newspaper, or toilet paper, they do very well when starting a fire. Place some crumpled paper under your kindling or wood, then you’re off to go to have your campfire. 


You might hate to use your favorite chips in making a fire, but if all else fails, then you should be willing to throw some in the fire. Chips can be one of your finest choices to help you get a fire.

Particularly chips with higher fat content do the work better. It turns out that its ingredients and the oil in it create the perfect combo for snacks and combustion. So for your next camping trip, go for the full-fat chips that will come in handy when starting a fire.


How to make firestarters is fairly easy. It can also be fun if you’re a fan of DIY projects. It can be a win-win situation for you. You can save a few bucks while making your fire easier to start. 

But if making your own firestarters is not your thing, be informed that you may already have with you some of the best firestarters to use. By the way, observe extra care with the fire. Go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy your campfire!

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