I recently got the book Preppers Survival Hacks: 50 DIY Projects for Lifesaving Gear, Gadgets, and Kits by Jim Cobb. I’ve decided to do a few of the projects every few weeks and document my experiences.
For the first project, I decided to make a Buddy Burner. In order to do this, I also followed the instructions for melting wax. When I go to yard sales or thrift stores I am always on the lookout for old candles, which I can usually find for pennies. I managed to score this whole box at a yard sale this summer for less than a dollar.
To melt the wax I use a metal coffee can and break the candles into it. Since I am home all day and heat exclusively with wood, I put the can on my woodstove until the wax melts. When doing this over open flame definitely use the double boiler method, wax can get hot enough to catch fire!
I followed the instructions for the Buddy Burner using a cat food tin. Since we recently moved, we have plenty of cardboard around. Cutting the strips was quick and easy. I filled the tin with the cardboard strips and then filled the whole thing with wax as instructed.
While I had all this melted wax, I decided to also make some Egg Carton Fire Starters. My partner works in the restaurant industry and brings home huge, restaurant sized egg cartons. If you know anyone in the restaurant industry, see if they can bring some home. A lot of places just recycle them, or throw them away, and they are huge!
I’ve asked my family to save their dryer lint for me, as I usually line dry my clothes and don’t always have a lot of lint. I really have had any issues with the lint being a mix of natural and synthetic fabrics. I’ve noticed no smell and no issues otherwise.
These fire starters work just great. They definitely work as well as store bought fire starters and they save a ton of money over the store bought ones. They burn for a long time, definitely long enough to get a good fire going. They are rather heavy, so I will be using them for fires in the wood stoves, as opposed to taking them camping with me.
These are the the first of many projects I’ve tried from this excellent book. Many of the projects are quick and easy, and safe to do with children. It’s a great way to get the children in your life involved! The projects are also well suited for people who enjoy camping, backpacking and hiking, and I will be using many of these ideas when the weather is better and I get out there backpacking again.
In my next entry, I’ll be sharing the results of testing the Buddy Burner in an outdoor experience. I’ll also be making a mini Buddy Burner, out of a smaller tin, to see if there is any difference in cooking time of things. I will be making a Hobo Stove, Cotton Pad Fire Starters and an Altoids Tin Candle. I welcome any feedback, and hope you have found this interesting!
She holds a degree in Anthropology from the University of Southern Maine, and works full time for a land conservation organization in Massachusetts. In her free time she can be found hiking the mountains of New England, or more likely in the kitchen!