Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fire Starters 101

One of the main needs in life is warmth or heat.  You cannot survive well without it.  It keeps you warm, brings you comfort on a dark and stormy night and cooks your food adding more comefort to your life.  Cooking on an open fire is so simple but often getting the darned fire going is the hard part.  This brings me to my next "How To". 

When I was visiting Vietnam I was astounded at the amount of sidewalk restaurants.  There are no laws governing what a "restaurant" has to have, look like or even health regulations.  If a person there wants to have a restaurant he or she just finds a good location with enough sidewalk, brings in a way to cook, sets up a few little plastic stools and a supply of small bowls and chopsticks or spoons and they have a restaurant!  Pedestrians often have to walk in the street or gutters due to the huge amount of sidewalk vendors in busy areas.  Many of the "stoves" consist of a few bricks and a supply of wood or small canisters of propane inserted into small hibachi-like barbeques. 
The point being that you can have a perfectly working kitchen just about anywhere!  A couple of bricks 18" apart with the rack from an old oven or barbeque set on top and you have a grill or a place to set your pots, pans etc for cooking.  You can use wood underneath or even briquets.  I have even seen this kind of setup using sterno fuel.  So maybe you even have a woodstove in your house and can cook on that, I have used my own woodstove for that purpose.  That kills two birds with one stone, heat and cooking.  Heck you can even move it outside if you need to use it for cooking during the hot months. 

A lot of folks use a gel or those compressed wood things to get their fires going.  You may not like the idea of using paper or have a lot of kindling wood to use as a starter.  Lots of oldtimers know about homemade fire starters and so do lots of youngtimers...

You need something that will light easy, stay lit and get your bigger wood going.  Here is how we do it.   First you need some old candles or candles you get a really good deal on. Old crayons work too.  I pick them up at garage sales quite often you can get a bag of old crayons or half used candles or just old and dusty candles for pennies.  I bought some at a dollar store the other day pretty cheap (4/$1.00) You could use household parafin but that has really gotten expensive!
Remove the little metal disc that holds the wick from the bottom of the candle
Then using the pliars if neccesary, pull the wick out completely.

You will need a clean empty tin can, squeeze one side to form a pour spout and using the pliars fold one part of the edge of the can down to make a place to grip the can with the pliars.  Place the candle in the can and the can in a pan with an inch or two of water and put it on medium heat on the stove.
Next you will need toilet paper tubes or the tubes from inside the foil, wax paper etc.
You will need to save your dryer lint for a few washdays, as shown I keep mine in an old coffee can that has a lid and just push it in the can and put the lid on to keep it dry.
Put the dryer lint inside the tubes, not too solidly, leave it a little loose.
When the wax has completely melted, very carefully pour it into the tubes a bit at a time.
Let the wax cool, flip the tubes and repeat the process at the other end of the tubes.

Light them with a match and they burn for a long time (10-15minutes) giving a good ignition to the firewood in your woodstove, campfire or cookfire.  I make them every few weeks all summer long then store them in  ziplock bags which I put in plastic bins under the bed or in the pantry (wherever I have room) .  My husband loves them and its so easy to throw a bag in the car or camper when we go deer hunting or camping out.  Some people make these from old cardboard egg cartons and that would work fine too, you would follow the same process then after they cool you would cut them into single use plugs.  I don't use the egg carton idea only because I need the egg cartons to put my hens eggs in.  (I recycle them use after use). 

Step 1. 

1 comment:

  1. This is great I am going to try this out thank you for sharing this.


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