We’ve all had those moments where we wish we had some superhero powers that allowed us to shoot fire from our fists and light our campfire quickly and with ease. Maybe our wood is just a little too wet or maybe we set camp up a little later than we had hoped. Whatever the reason, sometimes it nice to have a helping hand. We’d like to share some of our tricks for getting the fire to catch, so that you can spend less time blowing twigs and more time relaxing by the warmth of the fire.
Petroleum Jelly Soaked Cotton Balls
This method is one of our favorites because they are lightweight and long-burning comparatively to other methods. Not only that, but they are relatively inexpensive and quick to make. Coating a cotton ball can be messy so the easiest approach is to put a scoop of petroleum jelly into a snack-sized Ziploc bag, toss some cotton balls in, zip it up, and knead the petroleum jelly into the cotton balls. You can also collect dryer lint and roll it into balls for substitute in the place of cotton balls.
Alcohol Soaked Wine Corks
If you are wine drinker, this is a perfect way to put to use all those leftover bottle corks. After you’ve collected the corks, seal them inside a glass jar along with rubbing alcohol and let them soak. Make sure to seal the jar tightly so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.
Dried Orange Peels
Orange peels are full of natural oils making them a perfect fire starter. If you can peel an orange, you can make these. Peel the oranges in large strips. Try not to get the pith onto your strips as this will cause them to not burn as well and can cause your fire starters to mold over time. As a bonus, not only do they work to help you get a fire going, but they also release some scent into the fire making it smell faintly of oranges.
Sawdust or Shredded Paper Cupcakes
Making fire starter cupcakes is a great way to get the kids involved. They are extremely easy to make. Place a spoonful of sawdust, wood chippings, or shredded paper into paper cupcake cups. Pour melted wax into the cups and let them set.
When totally dry, pine cones are a perfect way to start a fire naturally. However, if you want to really maximize their effectiveness, soak the pine cones in used cooking oil. Leave the cones out to dry. This is the perfect way to to recycle your used cooking oil.