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Old 02-25-2014, 06:29 PM   #1
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Easy fire while camping--Kindling boxes!

For years, while building fires in our home's wood burning stove, I've relied on what I call "kindling boxes." They're always left-over cardboard boxes from shipping that seem to accumulate. Only criteria is that the box must fit inside our stove.

To build one, I take the box, wad up several sheets of newspaper and wander outside to find kindling to put inside. We always have a plethora of small oak/juniper pieces, so it doesn't take long to fill the box, starting with very small stuff on the bottom and layering medium and bigger kindling on top.

I usually build these boxes one at a time, but can make as many as I a) have boxes for and b) wish to have.

Once the box is ready, I stick it in the stove and use my Leatherman Wave saw blade to cut a small window in the side facing me. Once it's open, I stick a lit match into the window and light the newspaper on fire. Within minutes, a good blaze is going and then I feed firewood in as necessary.

I've modified this for camping to include longer-burning wood on the top, so once we arrive at a CG and want to start a fire, I just pull a box out and light it up.

I did this recently and a nearby camper came up and inquired how I'd gotten a fire going so quickly. Once I showed him the concept, he thought it really a neat thing.

Anyway, just in case you sometimes struggle to get a fire going, a kindling box is a very easy solution. You can also plastic bag them just in case you're worried about rain. As always, YMMV!
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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Good idea. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:52 PM   #3
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Good idea. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
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That's a good idea. I generate a small amount of waste mineral spirits in my woodshop from the finishing process. I have an empty square plastic paint can that I fill with pellet stove fuel and then pour my waste solvent into the can. The pellets absorb the mineral spirits and I use them for starting my campfires. The pellets allow a safe, controlled way to dispose of my mineral spirits. There is no vapor cloud to flash over like you would have if you poured an accelerant directly on the firewood, an act that I and many of you would consider unsafe practice.

Recently I cut up some compressed wood "bricks" that I bought at Menards and threw them in the can to soak up the solvent. They might be easier to pluck out and place in your kindling stack. We'll find out here in a couple of months when campfire season opens up.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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My DW and DD came back from Girl Scouts with a great fire starter idea.

Take two or three crayons, roll them in wax paper. Spin the ends so lit looks like a big fat/white Tootsie Roll. Insert into bottom of fire pit, and light. Acts like a disposable candle !!!!

If you have kids, you likely have crayons all over the place. Now you have a good use for them.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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I use a handfull of fritos they burn for about 15 minutes and it's dual purpose so no extra weight to carry in the trailer!
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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Some really great ideas.

We plan at least 1 charcoal meal when we go camping so I just buy a big bag of match light (yea I know...). This gives me enough extra to place into the fire ring and cover with logs. Works every time.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
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We have been saving our dryer lint and toilet paper rolls and making fire staters all winter. If they work well I have enough to last the summer. If they don't work well... then we'll have 1 really big fire once and then they'll be gone.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:53 AM   #9
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Some really great ideas.

We plan at least 1 charcoal meal when we go camping so I just buy a big bag of match light (yea I know...). This gives me enough extra to place into the fire ring and cover with logs. Works every time.
Instead of match light try regular charcoal I use a weber starter cube to light the charcoal for the Dutch oven! It is a lot safer than match light!
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:02 AM   #10
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Great idea! Crabman uses old broken crab baskets for kindling. The thin dry wood works everytime, and they would just get thrown away if not used for this. Of course not everyone in North America has ready access to these.

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