Pencil Shavings Fire Starters
We spent last week camping in a cabin at Pine Lake State Park. It was a delightful getaway. Our weather was all over the place and we had a fair bit of rain, but we still managed to get in a great deal of hiking and several fires. When it was raining or hot, we read books and played board games. It was so nice not to have tv and the internet to suck up our time for a change (and the cell service was terrible too :)).
Before we went camping, I made some fire starters. This year's experimental fire starter was shavings from my electric pencil sharpener. They were exclusively colored pencil shavings. I put them in paper cups and covered them in a ton of melted wax. We tried them out on our first fire of the trip.
I was concerned that the cups wouldn't light very well or stay lit. They lit fairly easily, but the edges sort of fizzled before they got to the wax. We ended up putting a cotton round fire starter on top of the wax and lit it and the whole thing burned fabulously after that.
And once it got burning, it burned for AGES....like 30 minutes. So the materials in the fire starter are definitely good for fire starters, I just need to refine the delivery system a bit so that they light easily and stay lit. Since I know that cardboard egg cartons work well for this, I may try the shavings in an egg carton next year (I'd do it this summer, but I'm all out of shavings--time to get coloring:)).