DIY Fire Rope

This is one of my favorite tricks when it comes to primitive camping but this DIY came about due to necessity and cold camping.  As many of you know, I am an avid camper.  While I have camped in campers, I do prefer to camp in a tent.  But……when it rains, I am a diva camper.  I want inside where it is warm or at least I have available to me something that is warm.  This is fine, if I am at a campsite but if I am out in the backcountry, I do not normally have this luxury.  This is where this DIY comes into play.

Nothing says “home” like a fire but rain can damper that feeling.  A little sprinkle here and there is no big deal.  Down pours that last hours is the major problem and when you are in a condition like this everything gets wet.  But if you take the time to make a fire rope, fire is no problem as long as you can find a few pieces of dry wood.

Below are the directions for the fire rope but I must inject a cautionary tale.  This project is great for kids to do as long as they are supervised.  Also, when using your fire rope, make sure that it is not too close to your tent or other camping gear. 


To begin this process, one will first need to gather a few supplies.  You will need some type of heat source.  This can be a camp stove, indoor stove or even a gently burning fire with grilling rack.  Next, you are going to need two, old pots that you no longer care about.  If you do not have this, consider using one saucepan and an old coffee can that will fit into the saucepan.  Next, you will need cotton string and wax or crayons.

Once you have your supplies together, the next step in this process is to “fire up” your heat source and place a little water in the bottom saucepan.  After that is done, place the saucepan on the heat source.  At this point, you want to bring the water to a boil.  While you are waiting on this, cut up the wax or crayons and place in the second container or pot.  Once the water begins to boil, place the second pot into the first.  Stir with a wooden spoon or craft stick until melted.

Now, let me regress.  If you are accustomed to melting wax directly over the heat or without the “double broiler,” go ahead.  I have found that using a “double broiler” reduces the chances of scorching the wax.

After the wax has melted, you can begin to dip your cotton string.  How much you use is up to you but do not make the lengths so long that you cannot pull up the string directly so that the excess can drip off.  Once you have the first dipping done, you can repeat as often as you would like but I have found that two complete dips is all that your really need.

Allow your fire rope to dry completely before moving on to the next step, which is cutting the rope.  I actually leave my fire rope in a coil in my bag and cut off what I feel I need to start a fire.  If you do not want to do that, consider cutting off some links and placing them in your fire making kit.  In this way, everything is together.  When you are ready for a fire, simply remove your fire rope and light.