One of the most frustrating things about camping is trying to get a campfire going when the weather’s against you. A passing shower might have wet your firewood or the wind keeps blowing out your matches. With a little preparation before you leave on your seasonal camping trip, you can avoid such calamities. The best way to start a campfire is by using your own homemade campfire starters.
There are several ways you can make your own DIY campfire starters but the basics are similar for each. One such method is to make your own fire-starter logs.
Fire-Starter Logs – Discover the Best Way to Start a Campfire in Bad Weather
To make your fire-starter logs, you will need:
- A couple of handfuls of dry lint from your tumble-dryer (cotton balls or cotton pads will also work);
- Wax – Paraffin wax or beeswax, even stubs of used or broken candles are fine;
- 2-3 empty toilet roll tubes;
- a sharp knife;
- optional: petroleum jelly (Vaseline), if you want to add some to your wax;
- an old pot or empty can in which to melt your wax.
Then follow these steps:
- Cut the wax into small pieces and place them in your old pot or empty can. Gently heat the container on LOW heat until the wax has melted. Be especially careful with the temperature if you are using an open-flame heat source, such as a gas stove, as the wax could ignite if it becomes too hot.
- Stuff lint into the toilet tubes until they are full.
3. Holding each tube upright, carefully pour melted wax onto the packed lint, allowing the lint to absorb the wax. Turn the roll around and pour more melted wax into the other end until all the lint is soaked.
4. Allow the wax to solidify – placing them in the refrigerator will speed up this process.
5. Once the logs are solid, take your sharp knife and slice them into 3-4 pieces. These will become your homemade campfire starters.
Before using your homemade campfire starters, you can slightly tease out a bit of the lint on one side of the firestarter. This is not a necessary step but the loosened lint can help catch the igniting flame more quickly.
These DIY campfire starters are the best way to start a campfire, especially in bad weather. Just drop one into your tinder to get your fire going. I’ve seen these fire-starters burn for as long as 15 minutes, so you should be able to enjoy a roaring campfire without any trouble.
There are other materials and combustible substances you can use to make your homemade campfire starters such as lighter-fluid-soaked cotton balls and Vaseline-infused cotton balls. However, the lighter-fluid balls usually burn out in a little under 2 minutes, while the Vaseline balls continue burning for a couple of minutes longer.
Wax method proved the best way to start a campfire
The slices from our wax DIY campfire starters, however, can burn for several more minutes, depending on their size and composition. I’ve seen a blend of wax and Vaseline melted together produce a fire starter that burns for 12-15 minutes. This, I believe, should be the best way to start a campfire in any kind of weather.