Campfire 101 – Tinder Gets the Fire Started

Being a Professional Camper, I take pride in my campfire abilities. We’ve found over the years that there are a few ways you can prepare so you can have an easy time getting to the relaxing part of the campfire process.

Have Dry Wood

We’ve found that if we don’t prepare for campfires ahead of time; we may not get dry wood on the night of the fire. You can’t count on places you purchase wood from to make sure they keep their wood dry.

Tinder isn’t just for Dating

Tinder gets the fire started. West Glacier KOA (66)Easy to catch fire, tinder often overlooked and an important step in getting the fire going. Some examples of Tinder:

  • Wood Shavings
  • Wadded Paper
  • Strips of Cardboard

Kindling is Crucial 

The next size of wood is Kindling which works well with 1/8 to 1/2 thick branches. You can often buy kindling, however, it can also be fun to round up in areas where allowed.

Building the Fire

West Glacier KOA (38)While it’s possible to usually have a fire if you just throw the logs randomly in a pile, a strategy can increase the results you get. Here are a few different common types of campfires:

The Teepee Fire

Lay down your tinder roughly a foot in diameter. Arrange your kindling Teepee style over your tinder. Then build a large teepee of firewood over the kindling. When the fire’s lit, the flames will rise up through the kindling and into the larger wood. This is a good style for cooking over the fire.

The Cross Fire

A good long lasting fire. Start by laying down your kindling over the tinder bed in a criss-cross style. Then do the same with your firewood.

Use a Fire Starter

Sometimes I’m put to the test with wet wood, no fire starting fluid, little to no kindling, etc. I finally found a solution, the Homeright Electrolight Fire Starter allows you to light the campfire quick and easy. Just plug it into the RV, push the button and hold it on the wood.

Have Treats ReadyWest Glacier KOA (68)

Pull out the campfire goodies. Hot Dogs, Burgers, and whatever variation of Smore’s you’d like to enjoy. Our personal favorite is to cook marshmallows and then put a rolo in the middle of it.

Putting out the Campfire

Make sure you put out the fire at night. We’ve been in areas where it was completely calm when we went to bed, and within a few hours had crazy strong winds. Start by sprinkling water onto the flames or coals. As you sprinkle water stir embers with a stick to make sure all the coals get wet. When the steam and hissing sound is gone you should be good to go. Double check by holding your hand a foot or so above the coals to feel for any warm spots that you may have missed.

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