I used to make “real” fires. The kind with kindling, tee-pees, fanning the flame…the kind you read about in magazines. Now I don’t. Camping with a toddler, alone, forces you to choose where to spend your energy. The things that need to be done all at the same time (fire, food, change a diaper, play, hugs, dishes) need multiple hands and people! Since there is just me I use the “easy button.”
My three simple steps to having a rip roaring fire:
- Toilet paper roll loosely filled with lint. At home save toilet paper rolls and fill with lint from the dryer. Don’t stuff them full or the flame will burn out before it has time to do it’s job. Lint is highly flammable and will create a hot dense fire for a couple minutes. I bring one for every fire I expect to have plus several extras for fires I don’t expect to have or ones that get “lost” in the car.
- Use fire starter next to toilet paper roll. Before lighting the lint on fire add some nice sized chunks of fire starter to the middle or ends. Don’t be stingy, you want this to burn! Now light the lint and let the fire start burning.
- Add very DRY wood to get it roaring. The dry part is essential. I won’t purchase wood if I suspect it has been in the rain during the last several days or even longer. I have been known to stop for wood, look at it and drive on if the wood doesn’t look dry enough. I like to start with two pieces of wood. One on the ground next to the toilet paper roll and the other propped up on the first piece of wood leaning over the toilet paper roll.
That’s how I get a rip roaring fire, cook dinner and play all at the same time.
What tricks do you have for getting a campfire started the first time?