If you're not enjoying our community fire pit on starry Wisconsin nights, Elkhorn Campground allows your personal chiminea or traveling fireplace. They just have to be elevated off the ground with built-in legs. A quick scour of Pinterest hacks and old Boy Scout ingenuity produced these four ideas for getting your flame on – with no chemicals or fumes.
Toilet paper tubes with dryer lint – You know you were going to toss both of these items out. Repurpose them. Stuff old dryer lint into the center of the tube. Dryer lint catches flame quickly. That's why keep dryer vents clean to begin with.
Egg carton with Match Light charcoal – The cardboard egg carton from the grocery store is the perfect size to hold 12 charcoal briquettes of the fast-lighting variety. Setting it up in advance at home keeps your fingers clean at the campsite since you're likely cooking on that fire.
Wax on cotton pads – When you have candles going at home, drizzle some melted wax onto unused makeup removal pads. You can ignite them from the edge for a slow burning fire starter to get your kindling going. If you forgot kindling or can't forage enough…
Doritos or Fritos – There's just enough oil in corn chips to get a good start to your campfire. You'll be surprised how quickly they burn. They just don't seem to burn off the waistline as quickly.
If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave
Not leaving a fire unattended is a no-brainer. Smokey Bear's lesson for preventing forest fires since the 1950's still applies today, with an added twist.
Chimineas and portable fireplaces heat up. That's what they're designed to do in addition to getting the smoke further up in the area. The surfaces can be a burn hazard for kids and pets. The devices fall into the category of 'attractive nuisances:' Kids can’t resist testing Fourier’s Law for
Heat Conduction by touching the surface once the fire's out. Dogs might hustle over looking for leftovers from the marshmallow feast. If, before you walk off or go to sleep, you douse the outside of the chiminea or portable fireplace after dousing the fire itself, you're protecting everyone at Elkhorn Campgrounds.
Photo by Phil McDonald, used with permission.