Campfire Hacks

July 7, 2015

by Amos Adams
Campfire Hacks

Dry-weather campfires are a breeze. When rain turns fire building into rocket science, focus on the little things.

Keep your tinder dry.

If rain’s on the horizon, take a quick stop to gather tinder before it’s all soaked.

Good tinder is key.  Know what works and what doesn’t.  Great natural tinder includes:

  • Birch bark (never gather from a living tree, as this can kill it.  Gather from downed trees, or what’s fallen off already).
  • Dry grass
  • Dry leaves
  • Flammable fungi (familiarize yourself with what’s in your region)
  • Dry wood shavings
  • Dry pine needles

Bake It with Body Heat

If tinder is already wet, gather early and store in an inside pocket where your body heat dries it out before camp.

Bring a Backup

If the going gets really rough, let civilization help you out.  Bring tinder from home.  These combust like magic (anyone who calls you a “cheater” will soon be huddled around your blaze, sheepish and silenced):

  • Dryer lint
  • Starter sticks
  • Vaseline-soaked gauze or cotton balls.
  • tea light candle (build your fire over the small flame)
  • Cardboard or newspaper
  • Some white gas from your refillable camp stove.

Practice fire-building skills before heading out, as simple tricks can never replace honed skills.

The Pole Splint Blow Pipe

Most tents come with a small piece of pole meant for repairs.  Stoke your fires by blowing through this; the increased range will save you from singed whiskers.

Simple tricks like these are the difference between misery and triumph during long trips outside.  Stay tuned as Active Junky brings you more hacks for your backpacking betterment.


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