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Campfire Starters

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Fire Starters

Fire starters can usually be purchased anywhere camping items are sold. Their base is a compacted sawdust, and will surely start your fire with ease.

Fire Tubes

You can make your own fire starters with toilet tissue or paper towel tubes. Stuff these tubes with newspaper before your trip, and place them inside your tinder pile.

Do the Laundry

Yes, doing your laundry at home can benefit you at your campsite! Every time you empty your dryer screen, save the lint in a nearby can or bag. Use the dryer lint to start your campfire!

Egg Cartons

Place charcoal in paper egg cartons, then light to start the fire.

Cotton Balls

Rub Vaseline into 100% cotton balls.  Leave in a ziplock back until you are ready to use them.

Emergency Candles

Wrap an emergency candle in wax paper, twisting at both ends.  Light one end when ready to start your fire.

Dip Dip Dip

There are many things you can use for fire starters that involve melted wax.  Make these before your trip, allow to dry and pack them for camping.  Be sure not to leave these where they can melt. 

To melt your wax, use a double boiler and be careful not to ignite the wax.  Use wax for the following fire starters:

  • Roll strips of newspaper together, tie with string and dip in melted wax.
  • Dip cut pieces of cotton string into wax.  Let dry and store.
  • Use little drink cups (like "Dixie Cups") for fire starters by placing a cotton string in the cup, having the end hang over the edge.  Fill the cup 3/4 full with sawdust.  Pour in melted wax.  Let dry.  When camping, use the string as your wick. 

Difficult Campfire Conditions

Cold or wet weather camping provides a challenge when building fires. Before your camping trip, drip wax onto cotton balls and let dry. Place the cotton balls in your tinder when building your fire. As your cotton balls burn, the wax will keep the flames going long enough to start your fire in windy, cold or wet conditions.

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