One of the basic elements for camping or RVing is a blazing campfire at the end of each day. There’s nothing like sitting around the campfire with friends and family, talking, singing, making smores, or just relaxing with a glass of wine. But what if you forgot the conventional fire starting kit or what if you just want to add some flare to your fire-loving crowd’s nightly ritual? No worries! We’ve got you covered. There are so many creative ways to start a fire from the basic and simple to the ‘How did you do that?” variety. So read on for some new ideas to make your next campfire more magical and memorable.
Friction-Based Fire Starting
Let’s start with the good old fashion friction-based bow & drill method. You’ve see this one repeatedly in movies and survival shows. It involves two sticks, a string, a spindle, a spindle block, and a whole lot of muscle. If you have the fortitude to keep going until you get some embers going you will definitely earn your survival merit badge with this one. This method probably takes the most physical effort but the crowd will cheer and applaud when you manage to pull it off. For precise instructions on how to achieve this feat, watch the video below!
Strike-Based Fire Starting
This method of fire starting goes back even further than the friction-based methods (or so some say). Now these days the ‘flints’ used are different than those found in Neanderthal survey sites but the methodology remains the same. You strike the flint on some sort of metal and the sparks that are generated ignite the tinder which then ignites the firewood. Again it takes a little bit of effort and practice to do but once you get the technique down you will earn a healthy amount of respect from your stunned, fire-loving family and friends. Watch the video below for instructions on how to start a fire using flints and steel.
Magnification-Based Fire Starting
Electronic-Based Fire Starting
The most commonly known method of electronic-based fire starting is the battery and steel wool method. Many people don’t consider this when throwing their 9-volts in their junk drawer but they are extremely vulnerable to setting things on fire. This why fire fighters tend emphasize the need to store your 9-volt batteries away from everything else with scotch tape over the connectors. Doing so prevents unexpected and unwanted fires from happening out of nowhere.
Now if you don’t have the steel wool required for this method have no fear, gum wrappers or aluminum foil work just as well. However, this method is probably the easiest way to start a campfire and will still earn you points for magically starting the nightly campfire using what is perceived by the crowd as harmless objects. It would also be a great way to emphasize the importance of what was said in the previous paragraph if you want to make it a teaching moment as well. By the way, this method can also be done using two AA or AAA batteries. See the video below to see how it’s done.
Another creative, electronic-based method is the lemon fire starting method! Yes, you can make a fire using a lemon (or an orange or potato too actually) and although this method requires you to have copper clips, zinc nails, a lemon, a steel wool pad, and steel wire it still is really fun to put together to show off your magic fire starting skills. This method will definitely get you points for creativity from your captive fire-loving audience. Check out how to start your campfire with this unique method in the video below.
Other Creative Fire Starting Techniques
If all you are lacking to start your campfire is kindling then you should know you can also use Doritos, potato chips, or sugar packets instead because, believe it or not, all of those things are really flammable (and the sugar packets burn a pretty blue too).
Another fire starting method is to use a car battery and jumper cables – once the cables are connected to the battery just hit the other two ends of the jumper cables together to create a spark to set your kindling on fire. You might also want to know that there is another method that uses a pencil and a car battery to do the same thing!
This is not an exhaustive list of creative ways to start fires. A quick search online will show you that there are plenty of other methods as well, several of which involve chemicals, however those just didn’t seem as safe and creative as the methods above.
The fact is that basically anything that throws a spark or is a fuel source (like the potato chips, etc.) will achieve the fire starting wonderment you’re looking for. So if your fire-loving crowd is wanting to be wowed then there is no end to the ways to achieve that. Just look around you, be resourceful, and most of all be safe!