How you build a wilderness candle with children

A wilderness candle is a nice little idea for your forest program with children. You only need empty snail shells, beeswax, and a wick.

from Martin Gebhardt | Wilderness education | reading time 1 Min
Updated on 24 January 2024 17.086 views 100% found this guide helpful
How you build a wilderness candle with children

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • Thomas Stalter shows how to make wilderness candles
  • Materials: Snail shell, beeswax, wick (2.5-3 cm)
  • Fill the snail shell with wax and make a hole for the wick
  • Insert the wick into the hole and seal it with your fingers
  • Wilderness candles are great for forest programs with children
  • Alternative: Pine resin and moss wick instead of beeswax and wick

Today I would like to introduce you to Thomas. He has brought a very fine idea for your forest program.

Hello, my name is Thomas Stalter, and I am a wilderness, nature, and environmental educator. You can find my work and courses at

The wilderness candle is a lovely little idea for your forest program.

Material for the wilderness candle

We need for a candle:

  • A snail shell (the size of vineyard snails)
  • Beeswax
  • A wick approximately 2.5 to 3 cm long

You can get beeswax from a beekeeper or from beekeeping supplies. Beeswax candles are also an option. I have obtained a block of beeswax.

You can find the empty snail shells in the forest or, for larger groups, in catering supplies.

Self-built wilderness candles
Self-built wilderness candles

Assemble the wilderness candle

Here's how you proceed:

  • With a knife, scrape small pieces off the beeswax block or prepare your wax chips.
  • Then fill the snail shell to the brim.
  • Using a small stick or a nail, poke a hole in the center of the wax filling, as deep as possible without piercing the snail shell.
  • Now, press the wick into the hole with the stick or nail, as deep as possible.
  • Use your fingers to close the hole around the wick.

That's it. Your wilderness candle is ready.

The candles can be fantastically integrated into any forest program. Children love the candles, so I include this little project in every forest program with children.

Read also

41 Bushcraft Ideas with Children - kid-friendly outdoor activities for parents, groups, and classes – Here you will find 41 great kid-friendly outdoor activities to introduce your children to Bushcrafting and nature. Perfect for family activities.

Auch buntes Wachs und Schneckenhäuser aus dem Meer bieten sich an
Auch buntes Wachs und Schneckenhäuser aus dem Meer bieten sich an

There is still an original construction if no beeswax and wick are available.

Instead of beeswax, pine resin is used for this. For the wick, you use moss and build a moss wick out of it.

Take dry moss and twist it into a wick. And important: knead tree resin into the wick; otherwise it won't work.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

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