A cozy fire is a campsite necessity. Your campfire supplies warmth, light, and a heat source for cooking deliciously rustic meals. Camping just isn’t the same without a crackling fire.
Odds are, you haven’t put much thought into upgrading your campfire. Maybe it’s time to change that.
Next time you go camping, try these quick campfire hacks to get your fire lit, upgrade your campfire cooking routine, and make your camp experience so much better.
Camping Hacks to Get Your Fire Started
Save your dryer lint.
There’s no need to buy fire starters when you already have an endless supply of toilet paper rolls and dryer lint!
Tuck a wad of dryer lint into an empty toilet paper roll and pack it in your camper.
Lint is notoriously flammable – that’s why dryers always have warnings to clean out your lint trap before each use. Just tuck a tube under your stacked sticks and strike a match. Your fire will be roaring in no time.
Get some trick candles for breezy nights.
Have you ever struggled with a pack of matches while the wind keeps blowing them out?
You’ll never do that again if you use a pack of those trick birthday candles. Relighting candles only cost about a dollar a pack, and that same mechanism that relights them when you blow them out will work when you’re lighting a campfire.
Of course, you should be wise about lighting a fire on a windy night. Be safe above all else!
Campfire Cooking Hacks
Use cabbage for cooking on hot coals.
When you’re roasting meat on the hot coals from your campfire, it can be hard to prevent burning and drying from uneven heat.
Solve that problem with cabbage leaves. Just put a layer of leaves around the seasoned meat, wrap it all in foil, and cook directly on the coals.
The extra layer of leaves holds moisture in and gives you just a little bit of extra heat control. Plus, cabbage is really inexpensive.
Put rosemary on the coals before roasting.
If you’re using a grill grate or roasting your meal on skewers, put a few sprigs of rosemary on the coals before cooking.
The rosemary will char and smoke, giving your meats and veggies a delicious savory flavor.
You can use other herbs and spices, too – try soaking a couple of cinnamon sticks in water and letting them sit on the hot coals, or roasting some whole heads of garlic while you grill.
Stovetop popcorn can be campfire popcorn.
Those popcorn brands that are designed for the stovetop will pop up nicely over a campfire.
It can be tricky to pop corn over a campfire without burning it, and it might take a little practice to get it right. Make sure you keep moving the container, and don’t stick it too far down in the flames. Your patience will be rewarded!
Other Clever Campfire Hacks
Sage in your campfire repels mosquitos.
Use a bundle of dried sage to make scented smoke that keeps mosquitos away.
Smoke is already a natural insect repellant, but since you probably don’t want to sit directly in the column of smoke from your fire, you might as well add a sage bundle to help.
Some people also recommend burning juniper to deter biting gnats. You can also try cedar bark, citronella leaves, and lemon balm.
Make yourself a sleeping bag foot warmer.
Your camper is probably plenty cozy, but for a little extra comfort, make yourself a hot water bottle while you’ve got the fire lit.
Heat water while the fire is still hot, then carefully pour it into a sturdy water bottle. Tuck that bottle in the bottom of your sleeping bag and it will keep your feet toasty for hours.
Don’t use a disposable plastic bottle for this, and definitely don’t pour boiling water into your bottle.
Alternatively, you can also put a bottle of water near enough to the fire that it will heat up while you’re roasting marshmallows, but not so near that it will melt or scorch. Always be careful when you’re dealing with fire, please!