Start That Fire!!

Start That Fire! When on a camping trip in the wilderness, or in the comfort of our home – few things are as essential as staying warm on a cold night – and being able to cook our food. So everybody, let’s give a big round of applause for the one way to complete both of these necessary tasks – Fire! 

We always want to be able to start one when we need it – and, not only to start it, but to safely control and extinguish the flames is as important as starting it in the first place. And, almost nothing makes us feel more manly as being able to start a fire when we need it. Think of it as the primitive version of pulling up to a restaurant in a Ferrari. So, we’re going to mention a list of tools that we all need to have on hand. However, there a number of key  elements before we get started – where we plan on setting this fire, and how we are going to utilize it. And, you’re going to need to keep on hand a supply of water and a fire extinguisher – don’t think you won’t ever have to use one!

Indoor fireplaces – you’re going to need logs as well as ways to start the fire. Make sure you store your wood off the ground and covered, if you live in a wet locale. And, pick them up while wearing gloves and a long sleeved shirt. Guess what likes wood? That’s right, spiders. Avoid dealing with potential poisonous insect bites (or nasty splinters) whenever possible.

Outdoor – it’s a great idea to have a metal, self-contained outdoor firepit, as well as a Weber (or similar) charcoal grill. A common way to start fires is by utilizing a “chimney starter”, and filling it with coals, and newspaper to start the fire. Of course, keep those lit coals outside at ALL times. 

Here’s a list of other fire items that we all need to have:

  • Matches – plenty of them, stored in a waterproof plastic bag. Butane lighters, and an extra supply of butane – and, you can get waterproof and windproof lighters – a great choice. A magnifying glass. As a Cub Scout we all had to start a fire using one of these and the rays of the sun (wait a minute, or was this Junior High School?). Not my first choice, but it’s good to be aware of the possibilities.
  • Magnesium Fire Starters – A firesteel and scraper, is a steel or magnesium tube that creates sparks when you run the metal scraper down the tube. These are great as they work when it is wet, and can last over 5,000 strikes – a fantastic and essential tool to have in your arsenal. And, they are mostly under $25.
  • 9 Volt Battery and steel wool – ever try this “trick”?  – touch the steel wool to both of the battery poles, and watch out, you’ve got fire.
  • Fire extinguisher – I suggest a “family pack” of 3 or more units – always have one within 15 feet of your fire, and the others in easy to see and grab places. You will note the “A, B or C” ratings:  “A” – effective against fires involving paper, wood, textiles, and plastics. The primary chemical used to fight these fires is monoammonium phosphate. “B” – effective against flammable liquid fires – cooking liquids, oil, gasoline, kerosene, or paint have become ignited.  Monoammonium phosphate effectively smothers the fire, and sodium bicarbonate induces a chemical reaction which extinguishes it. “C” – for electrical fires, and also utilizes the same components as the “B” rating.


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