The Best DIY Fire Starters

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We have had quite our share of trouble getting campfires started over the years. After trying
everything to get some particularly stubborn firewood burning while camping along the Kentucky River our first summer on the road and only having a whole lot of smoke to show for it, we waved our white flag and let a neighbor squirt lighter fluid on it to get it to ignite. That's when we learned just how important the right type of firewood can be when it comes to getting your campfire started and keeping it burning all night. The type of wood can impact how easy it is to light, how much smoke it creates, and the duration it burns. To learn more, check out TradeWinds RV Center's blog post about how different firewood burns.

Unfortunately, you don't always have the option of choosing your type of firewood. More often than not, we buy our firewood from the campground we're staying at and make due.

That's why coming up with an effective, reliable fire starter became so important, and these DIY fire starters haven't failed us yet. They're super easy to make and virtually (if not entirely) free. It doesn't hurt that these bad boys are made by repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in the trash — which makes the econerd inside me do a little happy dance.♻️

While I use tealights in the video, you can also save the wax from burnt out candles and give it a second life. Be careful not to burn yourself as you're pouring the hot wax into the egg carton.

Want a continuously replenished supply of kindling? Keep a bin near your trash can or in your pantry to stash any paper or cardboard boxes. We've got quite the pile up right now due to the burn bans across the Pacific Northwest.

Don't have time to make the fire starters above? Stuff lint into some empty cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls. They'll burn quicker than the candle wax and egg carton version, but they'll still do the trick!

After you've stocked up on fire starters, make sure you pack some s'mores makings and warm blankets, grab a few bundles of firewood, and enjoy your campfire! The summer may be over, but this time of year is the perfect time to sit around a campfire on a brisk fall night.🔥

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