If you have ever tried to build a campfire only to have your wood topple over, you know the struggle. What is a fast, easy, and foolproof way to start a campfire?
An easy way to start a fire while camping without having your wood fall over is to use the 6-Pack-In-a-Box method. Find the handled carton that a 6-pack of bottles comes in and fill each of the 6 holes with dryer lint. Find a cardboard box that the 6-pack carton will fit inside. When you are ready to start your fire, pull a bit of lint out of the 6-pack carton, put it between the carton and the box, and light it. Start forming your firewood teepee on top of the box, using the box to help support your firewood. The box will burn away, leaving your campfire teepee intact.
Follow the tutorial below to make your 6-Pack-In-a-Box and start your fire the easy way!
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Easy Way to Start a Fire While Camping
1. Gather Materials
- Carton that comes with a 6-pack of beer or other glass bottled beverages
- Dryer lint
- A small box that the 6-pack carton will fit into
It may not look classy, but if you have a lot of campfires it makes it easy if you keep your 6-pack cartons by your dryer. That way you can stuff the dryer lint into the 6-pack as soon as you pull if off of the screen. You’ll be ready to go for your next fire!
2. Assemble the 6-Pack-In-a-Box
Stuff each hole in the 6-pack with dryer lint. Put the 6-pack carton inside a cardboard box. This serves a couple of purposes.
- The lint and paperboard of the carton burn really well, but they also burn really fast. Once the fire hits the box it slows it down just a little so it can more easily ignite your wood.
- It also provides structure and support for your firewood.
3. Light Your Fire
When you are ready to light your fire:
- Pull a little lint out of the 6-pack carton, or get a wadded up a piece of newspaper.
- Put the lint or newspaper in the space between the 6-pack carton and the outer box.
- Use a lighter and start the bit of lint or newspaper on fire.
It will go up quickly, so be ready!
Start building your campfire teepee using the box as support. Surround the box with the wood, resting the firewood on the box to help keep it upright.
As the box burns away, the campfire teepee will stay in place and be the start of a great fire, and a great weekend!
One thing that makes this easier is that the box doesn’t burn away all at once so in the first few minutes of the burn as the box degrades slowly you can see which pieces of wood need to be adjusted slightly to hold your campfire up.
Equipment to Help You Start and Keep Your Fire Burning
Starting a fire can be easy, not burning yourself trying to adjust your fire isn’t as easy! When I first started building fires I wanted to go the minimalist route and not buy anything. Especially once I started campfire cooking, this got a little intense at times and a little scary, so I invested in some gear and don’t regret it!
This is my favorite safety tool because you can use it while cooking at home or over a fire, they are very useful in so many situations. When you are new to starting campfires, these are vital.
I did have one small glove for a long time, but recently upgraded to a pair and glad I did! This is the pair I bought:
The reason I like these gloves is that, for one, they are a pair! If carrying a heavy dutch oven you need two hands and that sucker gets hot!
I looked at the leather gloves, but I am glad I went with knit because I can move more easily in them and have more dexterity. Also, they have grippy stuff. If I can move more freely and things won’t slip, I am not as likely to spill that hot skillet on my feet.
Also, these go much higher up my arm than my old glove did and I feel much more protected now with my forearms covered.
Even though they are protective, I want you to know that you will still feel the heat through them! It’s not like you can go stick your hand in the fire now and feel nothing. You will still feel the heat and you want to still be careful, but they slow down how long you are exposed to heat before you get burned. Also, the outside of the gloves can feel REALLY hot after you have been close to the fire, so be aware of that.
I feel these gloves were worth every penny, and I got mine quickly on Amazon. See the current price here.
In my opinion, these aren’t as vital if you only have one or two fires a year, but if you have frequent campfires you will want to invest in a good poker.
There are people who just use long sticks, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, having a poker makes your life easier in two ways:
- Sometimes you just can’t find a good stick. This sounds almost silly, but if you have ever had a roaring fire that needs to be adjusted and you can’t find a stick for the life of you, you know that frustration. Campfire pokers are usually at least 36″ long or more. A good, solid stick that long is hard to find!
- The stick has no spar on the end so it isn’t that great of a tool. Sure, a stick can push a log up a little higher, but more than that and it isn’t going to work well. I have seen people get 2 sticks and try to move burning logs chop-stick style. Not effective, and really, not very safe.
The length of a campfire poker keeps your hands and face THAT much further away from the hot flames, so if you plan on having campfires with any kind of regularity, you will be glad you got one.
These are available in any store that has a camping section, or you can grab one on Amazon. See the current price of the one shown above here.
If you use the 6-Pack-In-a-Box method to start your fire, I am betting you will get it started quickly with no problem. But, what about after that? What is an easy way to keep that fire burning?
Campfire bellows are a long, metal tube that you can blow through to heat up your campfire and get it burning hotter. Oxygen is fuel for fire and there is enough of it in your breath to increase the intensity of your fire. Put the narrower end of the campfire bellows at the base of the fire and slowly blow through the tube. You will see the coals glow red-hot and in a few minutes, your fire will be burning bigger and hotter.
What I love about my campfire bellows is that it is simple to use and takes up no room, yet is so effective. The one I own is called Pocket Bellows and I got mine quickly from Amazon. They are very affordable. Check the current price here.
BUT, I just saw something really cool on Amazon that I didn’t know existed! It is a campfire poker/bellows combo. My Pocket Bellows works great, but next time I am in the market for a poker, this may find its way into my cart!
Enjoy your next easy-starting campfire, and have fun!
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