5 Easy Campfire Starter Hacks
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts know you always need to be prepared. Today we’re helping you live by that motto!
However, sometimes you don’t have everything you need to get a good fire roaring and need to improvise. Here are a few ideas for using everyday items as an unconventional campfire starter.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Good Campfire Starter Materials?
A cozy campfire is often a big part of the camping experience. It can keep you warm and give you the opportunity to put together a rustic, hearty meal. A butane lighter or some matches are a good place to start, and so are charcoal or wood chips and some shredded paper.
You might be surprised at what you can use as alternatives, however. Read on for some ideas on how to get things blazing with some common household supplies.
Our list includes unexpected things like egg cartons, cotton balls, and petroleum jelly – even wax from old candles.
5 Easy Campfire Starter Ideas
There are lots of ways to start a fire, and here are some creative ideas you might consider to be a bit unusual. These are frugal alternatives, and in some cases they put something to use that would otherwise just be thrown away.
Dryer Lint in an Egg Carton
It’s safe to say that pretty much all of us wind up with dryer lint and empty egg cartons. Why not make them useful? This homemade approach to getting a fire going is very simple. Fill the egg carton with dryer lint and set it on fire. To accelerate things a little, pour some melted wax on top or even a bit of hand sanitizer.
Wax is good to use because it burns slowly rather than all at once like some other fuels. It’s easy to obtain, too. You can use paraffin or save some money by using old candles.
TIP: You can sometimes find candles really cheap at thrift stores and garage sales.
Cotton Balls and Petroleum Jelly
These are light as a feather, and you can make these up ahead of time and store them in a Ziploc bag. Petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, is highly flammable. Just massage some of it into a few cotton balls, and you’ve got a nice little campfire starter.
It doesn’t cost much, either – you can get bags of cotton balls for next to nothing at a dollar store. On a smaller scale, Q-tips and lip balm work in exactly the same way.
Wood Chips with Wax in Wax Cups
Sometimes called Dixie cups, these disposable paper cups are a good size for starting fires. The ones that are covered in wax are perfect because they ignite so easily.
Just fill them with sawdust or wood filings or the wood chips you use for grilling. Shredded paper works, too – you get the idea.
Pinecone Fire Starters
Pinecones are great natural campfire starters, and they are often easy to gather without having to walk very far. They don’t work when they’re wet, though, so you might think you’re out of luck if it has rained recently. But here’s a trick: cover the pinecone in melted wax.
As it gradually burns it dries out the pinecone so it will burn, too. It’s such a simple solution, and it gives off a nice scent, too!
Dryer Lint Wrapped in Waxed Paper
Waxed paper keeps moisture out and won’t stick, so it’s great for storing certain kinds of food items. It also burns really well, which makes it an effective campfire starter.
Instead of wrapping cookies with it, try filling it with dryer lint. Fold or twist the ends to keep the contents inside.
Light My Fire
These homemade campfire starters probably came about through necessity or trial and error. They are proven methods, however, because someone was thinking outside the box.
These ideas can help you build a fire and may also kindle some creative ideas of your own.
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