Campfire Starting Hacks (Fun and Simple)

Do you want to have a fun and educational experience with the family while camping? Consider this: when preparing to start your campfire, have a little campfire starting competition! It is a lifetime skill that will enhance their enjoyment of the outdoors.

Starting a campfire is an easy task once you know the basics.

We know that a fire requires 3 things to start and keep going. They are fuel, oxygen, and a heat source that will produce combustion. Common items as a match, lighter, battery, or a spark will do the trick. Friction from a bow drill set or focused intense light from a magnifying glass will also start a fire. These require practice and skill to master the technique but can also start a fire quickly in the hands of a skilled person. I have started many campfires using each of these techniques but want to focus today on some methods that require less skill. Here we go!

Preparation is the key in easily starting your fire so take some time to get the components ready. Have plenty of tinder and kindling ready because once you have a spark and are trying to get it to flame, there is no time to stop and prepare more tinder. Check out our campfire video on YouTube, or in our videos section on the website.

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare:

Ignition Source –something that will generate a spark or flame
Tinder – something that will catch and hold the spark or flame
Kindling – Small twigs or pieces of split wood (larger than tinder)
Fuel – Larger pieces of split wood or logs suitable for the campfire

Ignition sources:

  • Matches
    • Buy waterproofed matches or coat your matches in wax to waterproof
  • Lighters
    • Flint sparkers still work after fuel is expended
  • Flint and steel
  • Magnifying glass
  • Battery
    • Use on steel wool to generate a spark
    • Use with foil gum wrapper next to fine kindling
    • You get one shot with this method

Spark and Flame Catchers you can use for Tinder:

  • Dryer lint
    • Store in a Ziploc baggie
  • Fine kindling
    • Split with your knife or ax
  • Fine wood shavings
    • Make a fuzz stick with your knife
  • Pine needles
  • Sagebrush bark
    • Form into a bird’s nest to receive a spark of flame
  • Steel wool
    • Will hold a spark from a battery
  • Shavings from a pencil sharpener
    • keep one in your kit
  • Cotton balls in soaked in petroleum jelly
    • Keep in a sealed container such as a pill bottler

Unusual Tinder:

  • Doritos
  • Cheetos

Have sufficient amounts of tinder, kindling and firewood to get the fire started

Once you have all of the components ready, and close at hand, it’s Go Time!

Place tinder in the fire bowl with kindling nearby, hit it with the spark or flame, and then slowly add kindling as the flame will allow.

Enjoy your campfire!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrea Rounds says:

    Gosh, Vic! Your videos make me want to go camping! Even in the SNOW! And I DO NOT CAMP! Your videos are so fun and informative. Short and to the point. Extremely helpful. Thank you.
    Andrea Rounds

    1. Victor Rowberry says:

      Thanks Andrea!
      Time to get out and spend some time in the woods!
      Thanks for finding our website and commenting!
      Vic

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