Home Bugging Out Make a Bug Out Bag Fire Starter for Free

Make a Bug Out Bag Fire Starter for Free

by Derrick James

A bug out bag fire starter? Is there room for that?

What to put in your bug out bag is one of the most debated subjects among preppers, right behind the best guns for survival. Like guns, the gear for a bug out bag can get expensive fast. But, no matter what you decide to include in your bag, having the ability to make fire is critical. I have one of the cheapest ways to help you make sure you can get a fire going in any condition.

by Grimm from Bug Out Boys TV

Repurposing Trash as Fire Starters

One of my favorite things to do is to take unused materials or trash and repurpose it. Many of my Pioneer Prep videos revolve around this concept and these egg carton fire starters are no different. It might seem odd to look at their trash and think, “What can I do with this that could benefit me further?” but you should. A lot of the packaging, containers, even some of the food we just toss away can be used for something else.

Egg cartons as an example: Most of us go to the grocery store and purchase our eggs. We enjoy the eggs, but the carton typically gets thrown, maybe recycled. For this project, I am referring to the paper egg cartons, not the styrofoam or plastic ones. Instead of throwing those cartons away I’m going to show you how to use them to make fire starters.

First, I lay out everything needed to create these egg carton fire starters. The important thing to notice here is that most of the the materials are things you have already.

bug out bag fire starter materials

Everyone has dryer lint, and if you are not saving it, I urge you to start. It is a free byproduct of a weekly chore. Best of all – it’s free! If you already purchased the eggs, that carton is “free” too.

You will need candles or petroleum jelly. These may or may not be “free.” You can salvage anything that has wax of some type. When candles near the end of their life – scrap the wax. If you look at it, you are taking a few items you would have thrown away anyway and producing a useful item for you to start a fire. If you have no old wax, well, it’s very easy and inexpensive to acquire.

STEP ONE – Fill the Holes with Sawdust, Wood Chips, and Dryer Lint

egg cartons with wood chips
This doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty.
another layer of dryer lint
Top the holes with another layer of dryer lint.

STEP TWO – Melt Wax

melting wax
Some old candles I hope my wife won’t notice missing.

STEP THREE – Pour the Wax into the Holes

A strangely relaxing task.

STEP FOUR – Lint in a Dimple!

Here I add small dimples into each hole while the wax is still hot. They’re holes within holes. Here I add another bundle of lint and petroleum jelly. If I’m desperate for fire, this will help the fire starter catch hold with just a spark.

more lint

Many other preppers have demonstrated how to make this fire starter, but I see many of them light the egg carton with a match or lighter. What if you have a bug out bag fire starter but no match or lighter? It’s not really a fire starter then! Matches and lighters will eventually run out and when this occurs, even at your house, how will you light these?

A professor once told me that if I can paint with five colors I must now learn to paint with three colors. It’s an exercise in stretching your skills and abilities. I like to apply this to my survival strategies. If I can start a fire with a match, then I must learn to start one with just a spark.

By placing the tried and true fire starter of petroleum jelly and lint in that dimple I have created an area that will take a spark from a ferro rod, flint and steel, or empty lighter. This way, even if the lighter breaks or the matches get wet, you can start a fire with just a spark.

finished fire starters

More Uses than Just a Bug Out Bag

Now when and where would you use these? Anytime you need to make a fire! These have a burn time between 10–15 minutes, helping along even the most stubborn of fires. Anytime you want to use your fireplace, wood burning stove etc. is a perfect time to use these.

Don’t waste your money purchasing those starter logs or using a ton of newspaper and lighter fluid when you can just use one or two of these. This will save money and space that can be utilized for other gear.

As I mentioned in the video, they can also be used in the woods or on a bug out, but given their design, they are not as waterproof as a Tinder Tube. This is not to say that you can’t use them in these situations, just know that they will need to be sealed in something watertight just in case your gear ever gets wet.

Bug Out Bag Fire Starter Conclusion

Next time you go to the grocery store to pick up eggs you probably won’t look at the carton the same way. Hopefully, you will pick up the eggs with the paper cartons and make yourself some egg carton fire starters. If you do, then you will know that the money you spent on those eggs and the carton that they are in will not go to waste.

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