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Starting A Campfire

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Whether your fire is for cooking or heat, getting your campfire established quickly makes your camping experience more enjoyable. This guide is about starting a campfire.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

9 found this helpful
June 16, 2016

Here is a fun Campers or Survival project. Collect some kindling and leaves, dried tiny branches and fire starting materials. Take a round empty bottle like Pom Drinks, you can use it as a magnifying glass to pinpoint a ray of sunlight onto your collected leaves and other light fire starting materials to start a flame. You could even use a plastic bag filled with water. Just twist the top until it is in a ball shape.

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2 found this helpful
April 27, 2012

Sometimes I have had trouble starting a fire or BBQ. The fire burns out before the tinder sets the wood on fire, or before the charcoal sets on fire. I have found that if you roll a cotton ball or two in Vaseline or other petroleum jelly, you can set it on fire right away and it burns long enough to start the fire.


WARNING: Do not hold in your hand to light.

By Nightsong from Hay Capitol of the World

Comment Was this helpful? 2
May 1, 20120 found this helpful

Am sharing this info because I have lung problems. Please be careful about not breathing it in if you're going to do this and especially do not use this around anyone with lung issues. The hydrocarbons contained in the refined petroleum jelly are potentially dangerous to inhale and can lead to a serious lung infection. It would be best to simply use wadded up newspaper or shredded paper documents.

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3 found this helpful
January 30, 2014

This tip came from a friend, a woodsman and war reenactor. Works amazingly well, but takes some prep. You should prepare this fire starter kit before you have to rely upon it off the beaten track.


2 found this helpful
May 24, 2014

We are camping in Oregon and, as usual, it is drizzling. We found that last year's sword fern fronds make a good firestarter. They stay relatively dry under the new green fronds and are easy to pull out by the handful.

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5 found this helpful
September 18, 2009

Save the lint from your dryer screen; it can be used as kindling to start fires in your fireplace.


July 16, 20080 found this helpful

To start a campfire or charcoal grill, use old bacon drippings. You can use a paintbrush and spread the bacon


0 found this helpful
January 30, 2014

Your old lighters can be used to strike up a fire. Hold the lighter upside down atop your bed of starter material. Roll the flint several times, without sparking it. Magnesium will flake off the mechanism.


0 found this helpful
May 14, 2012

My husband is the king of campfires! He makes a successful campfire by starting the fire with kindling and lighter fluid under wood pieces piled in a teepee fashion allowing air to get to the fire and ignite.


Brandi M. Seals0 found this helpful
May 25, 2006

Campfires are a great way to sit back and relax. They offer not only a way to cook food while camping, but also serve as a backdrop for casual conversations, s'mores making, and the telling of ghost stories. Kids and adults alike love them.


March 21, 20010 found this helpful

When building a campfire, dampen the ground around the perimeter of (but not in) the fire pit to reduce the possibility of sparks and flying embers catching ground cover on fire. And, never line your fire with wet or damp rocks or stones as they can heat up and explode.



Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photographs. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

10 found this helpful
September 2, 2010

My husband goes camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire every year with friends. This year he took a beautiful picture of their campfire and I'd like to share it with everyone. If you listen, you may be able to hear it crackling!

By Jo

Scenery: Campfire in New Hampshire, at night

Comment Like this photo? 10
September 3, 20100 found this helpful

Oh my! This big campfire sure brings back some great memories. I love camping and sleeping out under the stars, over-the-fire cooking and just about everything else that goes with camping.

Many years ago, we did a lot of primitive camping on Sanibel Island when it was still pretty-much wild.

It was wonderful. So many sea-shells. Things change.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful photo Jo. It's a keeper and you get my vote.


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October 9, 20070 found this helpful

A campfire is the most beautiful site in the fall of the year. We recently went on a camping trip and enjoyed the coloration of the fire while sitting outside in lawn chairs. Watching the campfire will relax you, make you ponder on things you haven't thought of in a long time and it can be a great place to hold a conversation with your spouse or significant other! It is a nice way to end a long day of hiking, enjoying nature and being in the camping environment.

By WandaJoy from Tennessee

Autumn Fire

Comment Like this photo? Yes


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September 18, 20090 found this helpful

Recycle dryer lint? Think again! Collect your dryer lint to start fires in your fireplace or when you are camping. Especially useful if the wood for your outdoor fire is damp.

By Earthgirl from Pensacola, FL

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June 2, 20090 found this helpful

Dryer lint is extremely flammable and makes a great fire starter! And, besides being FREE, it's something we all have plenty of! At this time of the year I save all the dryer lint and put it in with my newspapers, etc. that I have saved for starting a fire in my woodburning stove.

By Diane - Muskegon, MI


Dryer Lint for Starting Fires

Sounds like a great idea to me. I was wondering though if there would be any chemical concerns with burning lint. Surely it has to be less so than with a firelog starter. (12/08/2000)

By vanurita

Dryer Lint for Starting Fires

One of my friends also uses dryer lint as a fire starter. She saves toilet paper and paper towel tubes and stuffs them full of the lint and stows it all in a basket near the fireplace. (10/01/2008)

By Trisch

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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