CampingOutdoor ActivitiesOutdoors

3 Ways to Start a Campfire

start a campfire in the wilderness

You’ve arrived at your campsite for the night, and have started setting up your gear. What better way to kick off your stay than to light the first campfire!

When out camping, there are few things more soothing than the warmth, light, and comfort provided by your campfire. Though delightful when they’re going, without the right preparation, you and your fellow campers may be left in the dark.

The inability to get your fire going can pretty much ruin your camping or RV experience. From cooking to warmth to serving as a gathering space for your group, a good campfire goes a long way in keeping your campsite running.

Now, aside from rubbing two sticks together, what other ways can we create the necessary spark? Let’s explore a few main ways to start a campfire, and the tools you will need. 

A Match Made in Heaven

matches for starting a fire
Image from Gander


The most familiar technique, matches, have been around since the early 1800s, and are still as reliable as ever. A match strike is more than enough to get your blaze going.

Keep a small, waterproof container full of matches as a stand-by in your RV, and lighting a campfire will always be an option. We recommend this 5-in-1 tool, complete with waterproof match storage, a small compass to help in navigation, a mirror, and whistle—in case of any emergency.

Beyond keeping you warm, this small, lightweight addition to your pack can help in a number of ways during your adventure.

But What if Everything is Wet?

flint and steel for starting a fire
Image from Gander

In this scenario, your matches have been soaked by a rainstorm, and you have to move on to a new method to get your fire started. Enter: The Flint Fire Starter. 

Useful in all types of weather, a flint-based fire starter can withstand both wet and windy conditions. The functionality of these tools is simple. By striking the flint with the metal rod, sparks are created, which will quickly consume the tinder, and get you closer to a roaring bonfire.

There are plenty of options and styles to choose from when selecting a flint fire starter, and your options can be simple in design or include other safety necessities along with it, like a whistle or lanyard. In some cases, these also include a small storage space for keeping a small amount of tinder dry and fire-ready.

When using a flint starter, using dry tinder is imperative. Without it, the sparks may not have enough heat to light. By using dry wood, frayed rope strands, leaves, or other fuels, you can ensure a guaranteed light every time.

It’s Power Bar Time

Image from Gander
Image from Gander

Matches are nice, and flint can help in a pinch, but one of the most effective methods for starting a campfire in the wild is the use of a magnesium starter.

Not susceptible to rain or moisture, the magnesium starter relies on itself as fuel. By shaving tiny bits off of the magnesium bar, you create your own tinder. No need to gather or store dry tinder ever again.

Once you’ve created a small pile of shavings, begin striking the bar to create your initial spark. Once the spark hits the pile and catches, you are on your way! These small and mighty fire starters are incredibly reliable and can support the starting of hundreds of fires before needing to be replaced. Add one to your pack today.

Of course, when engaging in campfire lighting, always be aware of your surroundings. Keep all flammable liquids and fuels out of reach, and always have a water bucket full nearby to extinguish in the event of an emergency. Safety keeps everyone having fun!

Not seeing a firestarter that strikes a flame in your heart? Check out all of the firestarters available at Gander RV & Outdoors.

3 ways to start a campfire


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