The next time you go camping, don’t use precious relaxing time starting your campfire. Keeping a stock of these nifty pine cone fire starters on hand will have you parked next to a fire in a flash. There are a couple of techniques you can use to make these—the one we’re featuring here is simple, and takes minimal time.
12 pine ones
12 tealights, removed from metal or plastic cups
Cupcake paper liners, slightly larger than your pine cones
Optional candle scent; cinnamon, pine, cranberry or sandalwood are all good choices.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a mini cupcake pan with paper liners. Place one tealight in each paper liner and put pan in oven. Make sure the wicks are straight and tall so that you don’t have to fish them out later. “Bake” for 5 minutes and check to see if the wax is completely liquefied. Only continue to bake until wax is completely melted and remove from the oven.
If you want to add candle scent, add it now. Using tweezers, gently move the wicks to one side of the cupcake liners; this will ensure the wicks won’t be crushed by the pinecones and the fire starters will be easy to light. Insert a pine cone, bottom side down into each cupcake liner, pressing firmly to embed it in the melted wax, holding it upright. The wax will rise around the pinecone and harden. Hold pinecone in place till wax is soft set. Makes 12 fire starters.
These make fantastic gifts for fellow camping enthusiasts or home owners with fireplaces, and can be easily made by older children.