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I love social media but at the same time? I hate it too. As a business owner, it seems that I simply can’t get away from it. That’s all fine and dandy most of the time, but there are moments where I want to just put the phone down and walk away. Enter camping. Our family loves to camp and hike because for those few hours or days, it is just us, the Wilderness, Mother Nature and God. We camp rural. No glamping for us. We love everything from a fire in the fire pit to setting up the tent and everything in between. That’s why these orange peel fire starters are one of my favorite prep projects to make.
What we don’t enjoy though is having to fight to get a fire started. It isn’t that none of us know how. We rural camp. We all know how. Winds and damp wood and other natural factors can come into play sometimes though that make it hard to get a good campfire going. These DIY orange peel fire starters make those situations so much easier though!
I don’t like waste. It’s not that I am cheap (I am but that’s beside the point), it’s more that I like to get as much use out of something as I possibly can. It doesn’t make any sense at all to throw something away when I can reuse those items again to save money. Maybe I’m just strange, but reusing things to get as much life out of them is just common sense to me. I especially love anything that can make organizing a camping trip easier and these easy fire starters? Totally do that. They’re just one way of using food scraps to save money and you all know. I absolutely adore anything that saves me money.
How to Make Orange Peel Fire Starters
Orange peels are full of natural oils which means that these orange fire starters are great for more than one reason. First, they’re super simple to make. If you can peel an orange? You can make these. Second, not only do they work to help you get a fire going, but they also release some scent into the fire making it smell faintly of oranges. Those are both pluses for me since I love the smell of anything citrus!
Citrus oils like orange and Citronella are also great for keeping mosquitoes and other bugs away which is an added bonus if you’re camping. While we used them to start a fire in our fire pit, they’re also fantastic for getting on started in your fireplace if you have a wood burning fireplace. The citrus scent really permeates inside so your whole home should smell fantastic!
How to Dehydrate Orange Peels
Learning how to make orange peel fire starters is also an easy DIY Prep project since quite literally anyone can do it. Whether you’re using them for camping as we do or you’re stocking them up for power outage preps, they’ll be a welcome addition to your preps when you need them.
Let’s get started and trust me when I say? These are so easy to make that you’ll be wondering why you haven’t used orange peels like this before! I’m not going to give you a list of supplies because it boils down to this: oranges, paring knife, cookie sheet. That’s it!
The easiest way to make these is when you’re cutting up oranges for school lunches, to can or just to eat. You don’t want to rip chunks out of the peel, but instead, using a sharp paring knife to cut the peel into thin strips.
Try not to get too much of the pith onto your strips. Getting too much pith on your fire starters will cause them to not burn as well and can cause your fire starters to mold over time. Pith is bad. Down with pith!
Once you have them peeled, lay on a cookie sheet and let dry in a warm place. I use THIS cookie sheet because it’s big and heavy. I don’t have to worry about the peels coming up the side as they shrink up a bit or it being too ight to get the orange peel fire starters fully dry.
Do not dehydrate them or put them in the oven. You will lose the natural oils that are in the peel if you do. You do however need to let them dry fully. They should be dried enough that they snap in half when you try to bend one. Since you’re air drying, this can take overnight or even a few days depending on how much humidity is in your kitchen.
Once dry, light and end to start your fire! One should do it but if your wood is damp or has been wet recently, you may need to use 2 or 3 to really get your fire going.
See? Told you it was incredibly easy! These orange peel fire starters make amazing gifts too! Just package them up in some paper and tie with twine before you light them. They’re also great to keep in your 72 hour emergency kit in case you would ever be stuck away from home. No matter how you use them though, they’re fantastic and since they’re so simple to do? You really have no reason not to!
*This post was originally published on our sister site; Six Dollar Family. It has been moved an updated 10/2018.
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