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How to Make a Fire Starter or Survival Candle

How to Make a Fire Starter or Survival Candle

How to make a survival fire starter from recycled material:

Need a quick way to start a fire? Or maybe you don’t have a fire pit and you don’t want to leave a trace? This tutorial will show you how you can make a fire starter using recycled materials that you most likely already have lying around your house. It is also a great survival candle. Trust me, you’ll never go on another camping trip without one of these.

Let’s get started!

Supplies you need to build the fire starter:

  • Medium sized pot (for boiling water)
  • Small metal pot (one that can easily sit inside the medium sized pot)
  • Wax from old candles
  • tin can (crab meat/chicken/tuna can)
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors or a box cutter


Step 1:

Fill your medium sized pot with water and put it on your stove at medium heat.


Step 2:

While your water is heating up, start prepping the container. Start by removing the label on your can. Then cut your cardboard into 4cm x 15cm strips. You’ll need about 5 of them.



Step 3:

Your water should be nice and hot now. Place your smaller mug/pot (metal) into the water. Place your wax inside to start melting.



Step 4:

Slowly poor the wax over the cardboard wicks you made.


Step 5:

Now you are ready to light it!



 Good luck! We hope we helped you learn how to make a survival fire starter using recycled materials!


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    • Gerry N. says

      When I was a kid we called these “Buddy Burners” They fit in a Sterno Stove as if they grew there. Another good one is to put charcoal briquettes in paper egg cartons, then pour melted wax on them until they absorb no more. Two or three of these in a fire pit or rock circle will provide enough heat to cook a pretty substantial meal.

      If you cook over a Buddy Burner your utensils are going to get sooty. A cotton cloth, (Old bed sheet, or unbleached muslin.) bag will keep the rest of the stuff in your pack or kitchen box clean.

  1. Nora Marginean says

    So much easier than reading a lot of instructions without photos ! Bravo . By the way FYI there are no fb likes at end of article or elsewhere on this page.

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