Do it Yourself Camping Gear: Fire Starter Logs

Do it Yourself Camping Gear: Fire Starter Logs

Save Money and Recycle in One Easy Process

There are several different fire starter logs on the market but they are often rather costly and not very needed. Most people are capable of starting a fire on their own, even if it does take a lot of extra time and effort. Through the use of some of your trash items and some wax, you can now create your own for next to nothing. This is not a difficult project and anyone can do this. If you can melt wax, you will have no problems in completing this project. The only problem with this method is that it may take a little time to collect up enough of one of the materials. To make these all you will need is empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls (depending on how large you want the “logs” to be), a very large amount of dryer lint, dried out used coffee grounds (optional), and some wax. You may also want some wax paper to prevent a mess and aid in the cleanup process. Once you have everything together, you can get started.

The first thing that you want to do after you gather all of the “ingredients” is to set up the area. You will want to put a very liberal amount of lint in a mixing bowl and set it aside. If you are adding coffee grounds to your fire starters, you will want to mix them in with the lint as well. You want to make sure they are well blended in the bowl. The ratio of grounds to lint is one variable that will take some practice and experimentation. The main reason for them is not only to dispose of your old grounds, but it will also add a nice aroma to your logs. This will also help to reduce the amount of lint that you will need. You might want to start with about two cups of grounds and experiment from there. You will also want to make sure all of your other supplies are nearby so that you can get everything built before the wax hardens again. This would also be a good time to line your work area with the wax paper as well. Now you will want to stand the rolls up so that you can put the things into the top of them to fill.

The next step in this process is to melt your wax. You can get this wax from either hobby shops or, just collect it from candles that you burn in your home. Do not be afraid to use aromatherapy candle wax either. This will add the aromatherapy to your campfire. Since wax has a habit of sticking to everything it touches, you may want to visit the dollar store and get the cheapest pan they have. You can either get a regular saucepan or even a disposable baking pan. You just need something that will contain the wax while it is melting. I would also recommend against using the microwave for this unless you have a covered dish. The wax may splash out and make a mess in your microwave that will be a real pain to clean later.

Once the wax starts to melt you can pour a little into the rolls. You will want about a quarter-inch of wax as a base. Return the wax to the heat source and let it finish melting. You will want to wait for the base to dry before proceeding. Once the base is dry, try to move the tube. This will need to be done so that you can move the tubes around. If you pull it up and the base rips off or gets damaged, you can easily start over or repair it. This is a good chance to make a “fuse” for your fire logs if you wish to use them. You can use either an old newspaper or a paper towel for this. You will want to twist it very tightly. Once it is tight, put a thin coat of wax over the paper. You can do this easily by giving it a quick dip in the wax. You do not have to get all of it covered. You can place the dry end into the bottom of the log and it will get covered with wax once you begin to add the filler. The important part to focus on is the top end that will be protruding.

After you get the tubes ready, you will need to get the filler ready. If you choose to use a “fuse” you will want to place it in the tube at this point. All you need to do is lay it in the tube and let the top portion hang out. You may want to tape the tip to the side of the tube so that it doesn’t get accidentally shoved down into the tube. Now you can start stuffing the lint mixture into the tube. You will want to lightly pack it into the tube until it is just below the top rim. After you have the tubes filled, pour wax into the mixture. You want to saturate the mixture. This will cause the filler to shrink up some. Return the wax to the heat and pack the mixture down. You can use more dry mixture to do this. Continue to do this until you fill the tube about a quarter inch from the top. The tighter you pack the mixture, the longer it will burn. If you pack it too tight, it will be difficult to light also. You want to experiment with different densities until you find one that fits your preferences.

Now that you have the tubes packed, there is only one more step to the process. All you have to do is cap them off. Fill the tops of the tubes with wax. There should be about a quarter-inch of room left in the top of the tubes to allow for this. If your tubes are packed tightly, you can just pour the wax right in. If you prefer looser logs, you may want to get a paper circle to fit into the top of the tube and then pour the wax in. This will prevent the wax from just sinking into the log and putting too much wax into it.

That is all there is to these. You can now use them in campfires or even in your fireplace at home. One good idea for these is to add some aromatherapy spices to the lint mixture. You can add rosemary and sage for a nice soothing and savory odor to fill the area. There are many things that you can do. If you are using these for your patio fireplace or camping, you may want to use citronella wax and put ground citrus peels in the lint mix. This will work as an insect repellant to help keep the mosquitoes away. There are many different things that you can do with these. A little experimentation is all you have to do. These little fire logs are great for anyone that enjoys the outdoors. These are perfect for hikers and campers since they take very little room and are extremely lightweight. To light them you may want to place them on a bed of dry leaves and twigs or you can wrap them in a newspaper prior to leaving. This will help them to burn more evenly which will give you a nicer fire and a longer-lasting fire log. As long as you keep these things dry and cool, they can last for many years until you burn them. For anyone that uses artificial fire logs, these are not only a great idea, but they also help you to recycle and save a lot of money. No matter how or even whether you use them, this is a great option that the whole family can get involved in making. So save money and help the environment on your way to the great outdoors.

Leave a Reply