What's a camping trip without the campfire? Here are some fire starting tips that campers have been using for years.
Build a Great and Safe Campfire
When building a campfire, ensure you only use the provided fire pit. Most major parks have designated areas that have been carefully selected for a campfire and are strictly enforced for safety reasons. Always keep your tent, food and overhanging tarps at least 10 feet away from the campfire location to avoid sparks from causing damage.
Many parks sell wood and prefer that you do not gather sticks from your surrounding campsite. These branches and logs are a vital part of the park's ecosystem, so always check with the park office regarding their policies. It is always a great idea to keep a bucket of water near the fire to control it if strong winds approach. It's important to completely extinguish the fire before sleeping or leaving the campsite. Do not use sand or dirt, as that will not extinguish the fire, but will actually leave the coals burning for many hours.
The most popular building style is the Teepee Campfire. Simply place some crumpled newspaper in the center of the campfire pit, surround it with kindling and logs in a teepee shape. The other popular building style is the Crisscross Campfire. Place crumpled newspaper in the center of the campfire pit and in a crisscross format layer the kindling. Finish with a few small logs on top, and simply add more logs as needed. The crisscross style campfire is easy to maintain for longer periods, whereas the Teepee style is better for cooking as it provides a central and fast burning heat source.
Submitted By: Albert Lara
While hiking, my kids and I pick up fallen pine cones and bring them home. We then coat the pine cones with leftover candles by simply melting the wax in a small pot on the stove and dipping the pine cones in the wax. We then set them on wax paper to dry. These pine cones smell great and are a great way to start a campfire.
Submitted By: Sarah Zellmer
Spread lint on to a cooking sheet and pour melted wax on the lint. When it dries out, cut or slice into square pieces and use them as fire starters for your next campfire. They burn for hours!
Submitted By: Sue Nelson
Use a Cheese Puff
Buy a huge bag of cheese puffs at your local grocery store and bring it with you when you are starting a campfire. Throw them in once you have a small fire going. I have used this many times, and it works great!
Submitted By: Michael Murr
A Fire Starter that Will Last for Years
I have come up with a fire starter that works every time and can be stored in your camp box for years if needed. Go to your local cabinet shop and ask for a coffee can full of saw dust from under their table. When it's time to go camping, melt a cube of wax and pour over the saw dust. Once mixed, press the mixture into egg cartons. Make sure the mixture is pressed firmly in to each egg holder and as full as possible. Let it cool and cut the individual egg holders. Each fire starter will burn for a good 10 minutes and only requires one match to light.
Submitted By: Steve Terry
Use Shredded Paper To Start The Fire
Last winter we filled grocery bags with shredded paper, tied them up and brought them with us on our camping trip. These are great to get the campfire going.
Submitted By: Nancy Stroschein