Our favorite travel time for outdoor activities is hands down the fall. No matter where we travel to, we love to light up the fire pits that are at the places we are staying. What I have learned is that you really have to know how to spark a fire in order to get these to work.
After being in a few, unfortunate travel situations, where we were either understocked with items we needed to spark a pit fire or with no items at all, we have gotten really good at making kindling sparks and lighting pit fires at all of our lodging destinations.
The seasons are changing and what follows are cooler nights, less sunshine and an earlier night but it also means more time to use those fire pits and have great family outdoor time. Are you ready to learn how to light your fire ~ kindling sparks will do it and your nights will ‘flame on!’ Lavishly living life outdoors, and make sure your fire catches, lights, and glows with warmth!
HOW TO LIGHT YOUR FIRE~ KINDLING SPARKS
Great Pit Fires don’t just happen, they take time. The kids all think it is so easy, they invite a bunch of friends over and the fire is lit and S’MORE eating happens, but it is a bit of an art to light a pit fire and keep it burning! Want to know how to create a long-sustaining fire that burns bright? Fires are all about the tinder and kindling and from there, it’s burn baby burn!
Before you strike a match before you get your large logs on the fire, you have to create a great base and as with any foundation when it’s strong everything else is supported.
KINDER AND TINDER DISCUSSION
Tinder comes before the kindling takes on the fire. You need to make sure that you have some form of kindling wood ready to light the larger logs, but the Tinder enables you to get a fast, equal burning flame. The flame you get will help you catch fire to the kindling and the kindling will light up those big, fat logs! Tinder will only take a Spark to ignite, it’s that quick and that easy. (love this)
If you have a dryer, you have got the best fire-starter in the world. Simply take your lint from the lint catch (it has to be dry, I store mine in a lunch paper bag for when we make fires). Throw some of this on the kindling and you will not believe how FLAMMABLE this stuff is kind of like a lightning bolt!
Cotton balls and Vaseline. Yes, Glopulate(my word, glopping cotton balls with vaseline=glopuate) cotton balls with Vaseline. This will burn well, long, and be hot! I store mine in zippered plastic bags.
In a pinch we have tossed potato chips on and wow does this catch fire (nothing mushy though). Trust me, from ski slopes to ill-prepared rental homes, we have had to get really crafty with our fire lighting, or there would have been no heat in our fireplaces. We applied the same principals to fire pit lighting and it all just works! Experience and lack of are the best teachers!
We were in a ski cabin, locally, there was no heat, and it was freezing. We were desperate to get the fire going. We had logs and no tinder. I will tell we tried everything. Having hiked in a field of pine cones earlier on that day, I recalled so many pine cones that I thought, why not. We hiked on outside, into the chilly air, gathered a bag of them and we had tinder! Don’t forget that the long needles of pine that are dead (brown) also are perfect for burning and sometimes the scent comes out too!
A few other off the wall items you might consider: hair clippings (if you cut your families hair, keep the hair in a bag and use it for tinder), dry moss (totally dependant on where you live), and grape vines (again dependant on where you live)
POWER OF CANDLE WAX
Remember, we travel a lot and when we travel, we rest along the way. One tip I have to pass on is this one. Light a candle, let the wax build. Take a cotton ball and put about 5 match heads into it, burying them. Dip the cotton/match wad into the wax, which effectively seals the matches and cotton ball and will allow you to keep it waterproof until you arrive at your cabin (this has saved us a few times). Another tip is to save all those old tennis shoe laces, dip them in wax, let them dry and pack them up, perfection for fire lighting!
Kindling wood is the small wood that makes the actual logs catch on fire. You need a good bit of this to get that log going, so don’t be shy when gathering, we go by the bucket! I like logs that will burn for a while, so when we start a fire we know our kindling can not be short lived it has to have some sustenance to it in order to light that fatter log, often easier said than done. The fire starting can be a challenge as well and that is why a good TINDER comes in handy.
To get the fire started, I use crumpled pieces of paper and set up kindling in a teepee formation. After the kindling catches, I begin to add progressively larger logs. The key is to use dried kindling and logs to be sure that the fire catches.Now if that does not work for you, fear not, I have a bunch of other methods that may!
While I realize there are things called Duraflame logs, the traditional PIT Fires are not using Duraflame logs as they are cost prohibitive and not really what you are going for when throwing a patio party with a pit! You need to manufacture a strong fire and this is done by the basis of kindling that you lay in the structure. You might, however, find a great fire created with bbq briquettes.
LAVISHLY LIVE PIT FIRES OUT LOUD
Now if you are looking for the perfect dessert, make sure to check out my S’MORE PIE! Lavishly live life outdoors, enjoy the fall, the season, and your family when you successfully build a fire that exudes heat and a beautiful glow!
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