An ideal campfire can be lit with a single match. It depends on the construction of the fire lay and whether the materials are dry. Sometimes the only available tinder is damp and is difficult to ignite, that’s when it’s handy to have a little help from a “fire starter”. A fire starter is not an ignition source but rather a device to sustain a flame long enough to dry out damp material or heat larger material long enough to ignite.
The other day I had finished some paper work in my bathroom and ended up with an empty toilet paper (TP) spool. These cardboard tubes have been used in a number of crafts and I pondered the possibilities of it’s application. Being a firecraft enthusiast I recognized the hollow cylindrical shape as an element often used in making rocket stoves. All it needed was a low level point of air intake above which a platform was needed to hold tinder, and what better tinder could there be but dry toilet paper tissue.
I made two perpendicular cuts on either side of the cardboard spool about an inch from the bottom end and then pushed in the lower edges. This created airways while at the same time provided support for material placed above. Then I took a two foot strip of toilet paper and lightly stuffed it inside from the top.
I set up a lean-to fire lay and placed this new fire starter beneath the kindling. It had rained the night before and the small twigs were slightly damp. I took a match and lit the fire starter at each of the slit holes and watched the ensuing flame as it ignited the TP tinder and kindling above it.
This may be more of an impromptu fire starter but it could come in handy for a campfire at a campground or backyard fire pit. For those folks who plan ahead for campfire activity this just might be a convenient solution for a good start.