How Not to Die Camping! Part 1 – Starting a Campfire
Nothing is more refreshing then a deep breath of crisp mountain air when you wake up in the morning on a camping trip. That being said, few things are worse then freezing your tuchus off because you either do not know how to build a campfire or did not plan ahead and bring what you needed to accomplish the task. Whatever the case, the difference between toasty warm and frozen is a stark one. Fortunately, knowing a few tips and planning ahead will certainly serve to make your camping experience more enjoyable, and warmer.
There are many products on the market today that allow the user to start a campfire in almost any environment. Fire Sticks, WetFire, and Fire Paste all work well in most environments and are easy to carry. WetFire and Fire Paste are generally the surest bets in any environment as they burn hotter and can help ignite damp wood. Without question the easiest way to be prepared to build a campfire in any environment is the use a prepackaged product designed specifically for starting campfires.
Despite the relative ease of prepackaged materials that will serve to make your campfire building experience seamless and quick, there is a portion of the population that endeavors to make things difficult under the banner of either saving three cents, or “doing it the old fashioned way”. Should you fall into this category here are some other ideas for being prepared to build a campfire.
A paper egg carton can be loaded with charcoal bricks; one brick per compartment, then tied shut. While it may make more of a mess then a tube of Fire Paste, surely you will happily clean it up and it will be worth your time for the more “rustic” experience you get doing it this way. When it is time to make the campfire simply light the egg carton. If you endeavor to really make things more difficult for yourself, or you have so much free time you do not know what to do, try coating the charcoal-filled egg carton with wax. You can pull off one section at a time and light as needed. Please use caution if you decide to use a wax coating, as this can be extremely dangerous.
Other options for the do-it-yourselfer include making fire starters out of cotton balls or paper towel rollers. Covering cotton balls with petroleum jelly and storing them in a plastic zip lock style bag is a relatively simple method of preparing a homemade campfire starter. Saving paper towel or toilet paper rolls and then filling them with crumpled newspaper is also relatively easy. For anyone in the recycle, reduce, reuse community this second option should fit like a glove.
Finally, should you find the need to build a campfire and realize that you are woefully ill prepared and have only a couple of matches and your wits to guide you, good luck! Tidings of good luck are offered primarily due to the fact that you are in a position to rely on your wits, and it is the absence of such that allowed you to get in the position in the first place. Fear not, this simply means you really have to focus to make up for other shortcomings. Should you find yourself in such a position, dry pine needles are a good source of kindling as are pinecones. The key is to have dry tinder, and dry wood. Very little will be able to help you in the event you fail to plan ahead and find yourself in a damp or wet environment.
For more camping tips visit IronAim. You can also purchase fire starters and thousands of other camping, hunting, fishing, shooting, and outdoor products at The IronAim Store.