Thursday, November 8, 2012

Emergency prep

I made some fire starters yesterday for the good low price of FREE. I would use them in the event that I don't have utilities during a disaster (like a hurricane) but still wanted to eat cooked food or if I needed heat. I would definitely only start a fire outside, not in the house. When we made these in Relief Society a couple of months ago we lit one as a test and it burned for 15 or 20 minutes, and left a small greasy wax stain on the concrete sidewalk. (I should check sometime when I'm at church if it's still there or it has worn/washed away.) Because of the stain I wouldn't want to burn one in my family room fireplace.

I used:
  • a cardboard egg carton
  • sawdust
  • dryer lint
  • an old candle
That's it.

It took me a while to eat a dozen eggs, and save up enough dryer lint. I got the bag of sawdust from a friend with a woodworker husband. The unscented candle is from a wedding I helped with about a year ago. I shaved a big pile of candle wax (which turned out to be way easier than I thought it would be - I used an old serrated steak knife) and melted it in an empty tin can in a small pot of simmering water, put a spoonful of sawdust in the bottom of each egg cup, stuffed as much dryer lint into each cup as I could, then poured the melted wax over everything. I let them set until completely cool and hard and will store them in a drawer in my storage room. I will make more eventually but need to eat a few more eggs before I'll have another egg carton to use.

To use them, you cut or tear one of the cups away from the carton and light the paper with a match. The paper and lint are very combustible and the wax and sawdust keep the whole thing burning for a good while.

1 comment:

  1. I have made these every year for camping. You don't actually need the sawdust, just the lint, wax, and cardboard carton. You can also melt the wax in a glass jar over a candle warmer (just takes a while for it to melt all the way).

    Now if you REALLY want to have fun, you can light those with a 9 volt battery and very fine steel wool. Do it outside in a fire pit. And definitely don't hold the batteries and steel wool in the same hand. You can use the battery again; it doesn't wear it out.

    Oh, and my little friend from England who went through survival training tells me an unused tampon (coated with Vaseline or lip balm is even better) makes a fabulous fire starter as well. Built in wick and all. Not for every day of course but if you're ever stranded and have your purse along...