Come On, Baby, Light My Fire


Once you’ve arrived at your camping destination in your Cruise America rental RV, and you’ve connected your electrical, water and sewer lines, there is one thing that is sure to happen next (or at least before you turn in for the night) — the evening campfire.

The family campfire is used not only for cooking, but for warmth, sitting around, inspiring jokes and ghost stories, stargazing, and definitely roasting marshmallows (and no, that doesn’t fall into the category of cooking). One thing is for sure though; most campers never miss out on their time around the campfire.

Campfires are fairly easy to build, so long as you have proper kindling and fuel to burn. Sometimes, though, you don’t have that easy-lighting experience, and it becomes a challenge to even get enough kindling to get the fire lit … and keep it lit. Now, obviously you don’t need special hacks to light a fire if you’ve made the right preparations, but now and then you find that you’re short on dry kindling because of dew or rainy weather, or because you’re not in an area with woods and natural plants (like the beach). For those times, here are a few campfire hacks from Cruise America that will hopefully keep your fires burning brightly:

One of the most obvious hacks is to go to your friendly neighborhood department store and purchase a case of easy-light firestarter logs, such as Duraflame, and use one of them beneath your firewood. These logs will burn for a very long time; certainly long enough to get your firewood burning steadily, and keep it burning. Some may think that this is cheating. Well, then we say, go ahead and cheat!

If you don’t have one of these firestarter logs, and you don’t want to burn through a gazillion matches, you can dip a cotton ball in Vaseline and then wrap it in a square of aluminum foil. When it’s time to light your fire, cut an X in the foil and pull a bit of the cotton out, twist it into a wick, and light it. It should last about 10 minutes.

If you ever remove makeup, you’ll probably have some of the round cotton pads somewhere in your bathroom. Take several of those and dip them into candle wax to coat them, then put them into a plastic bag until you need one of them to get your fire started. They work very well.

Save your empty toilet paper rolls and save your dryer lint. Each time you clean out your dryer lint filter, pack it into one of these rolls. When you have multiple rolls ready, pour candle wax into the rolls and store them for your trip. Place one under your firewood and it will burn for quite some time; long enough to light your wood.

Take a a non flammable container, such as an empty mints tin, and fill it with folded cardboard until it occupies all of the can’s interior. Drip candle wax all over the cardboard and let it soak in, then shut the container and take it on your camping trip. When needed, open the tin and light it for a great way to start your fire.

You can save your cardboard egg cartons for awhile. Place a briquet of quick-light charcoal into each egg receptacle and close it up. When you’re ready for a fire, just light it up and place the wood over it. Easy Peasy!