Just like when you bake a cake, you need ingredients to start a campfire.
First, you need heat. That comes from matches. Then you need oxygen. As long as you’re lighting a fire outside (and you’re on Earth), oxygen is all around you. Last, you need fuel.
That’s where tinder, kindling and firewood come into play.
Striking a Balance
Starting a fire isn’t as simple as holding a match close to a piece of firewood.
You have to build your fire slowly using tinder, kindling and logs. Tinder is anything that burns quickly after you light it. Think of this as step 1 in the recipe of getting your fire burning. Kindling is step 2 in that process. If it can catch on fire easily but not burn as fast as tinder, it qualifies as kindling.
Like a chain reaction, you can arrange your fire fuel in a way that once the tinder catches fire, it ignites the kindling — which slowly catches your larger fuel wood that will burn for a long time. But it all starts when your match meets tinder.
BL-Tested Fire Starters
So what makes good tinder for a campfire? You probably know dry twigs and leaves do. But what about some other items you might have stashed away on a campout?
We put five campsite items and snacks to the test. Guess if each item will work to start a fire, then play the corresponding video to see if you’re right!
Note: We did the testing so you don’t have to. Don’t experiment with tinder at home.
WHY THEY MIGHT WORK: They’re dry and small like twigs.
WHY THEY MIGHT FAIL: The ingredients that make a cheese puff edible might not sustain a flame (even if it’s the Flamin’ Hot variety).
WHY THEY MIGHT WORK: We know super-dry twigs work as tinder. And carrots are about the same size.
WHY THEY MIGHT FAIL: Carrots have a lot of water in them. Water puts out fires
WHY IT MIGHT WORK: Steel wool has a reputation as a great fire starter when you don’t have a match handy.
WHY IT MIGHT FAIL: Just because it might produce a spark, that doesn’t mean steel wool can produce the flame required of tinder.
WHY THEY MIGHT WORK: Tinder is usually not dense but takes up a lot of surface area. That’s true with cotton balls.
WHY THEY MIGHT FAIL: You use cotton balls to clean wounds. That’s nothing like starting a fire.
WHY THEY MIGHT WORK: They’re dry. They’re tubular like some twigs.
WHY THEY MIGHT FAIL: There are chemicals in Twizzlers that make them safe to eat. But we’re not sure if these chemicals will fuel a flame or not.
FIRE IS NO JOKE!
Fire can be dangerous. It requires care and respect. Remember these fire-safety tips:
• Never play around fire.
• Never try to start a fire with a substance that could unleash toxic chemicals. Never burn something that contains paint.
• Never leave a fire to burn without supervision.
• Before you leave, make sure your fire is completely out (no longer smoking, with ashes cool to the touch).
Powered by WPeMatico