How to Start a Campfire

Part of the Camping For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Even when you’re camping, you don’t have to rub two sticks together to get your campfire going. You can choose that method of course, but most fire-starting begins with a good supply of wooden matches. Use them to ignite any of the following:

  • Commercial firestarters such as fire ribbon or petroleum-based tablets (Esbit by MPI Outdoors, for example) work very well.

  • In an old egg carton, fill each egg slot with finely shredded newspaper and a few spoonfuls of sawdust. Pour on melted wax to bind the sawdust and paper into a solid lump. After the wax hardens, you have a dozen little firestarters.

  • Fill a film canister with lint from your clothes dryer. Be sure that the lint is from wool, cotton, or fleece garments — not fire-retardant fabrics (of course). Lint ignites readily and starts big-time fires.

  • Look to nature. Even in the worst storm, you can find dry tinder around the base of tree trunks, under rock ledges, in tree hollows, and next to downed logs.

  • Make your own kindling by whittling a small log down to the dry center and then whittling dry shavings from this piece. Who brought the marshmallows?

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Camping For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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