Fire building issues

We’ve been in the RV for about a month and a half now. We’ve built probably a dozen fires, if not more. And the lesson learned is that we suck at it.

We use paper to start it, not lighter fluid, so maybe that is our problem. We build a square building of smaller pieces of wood around it, then light the paper. The most successful fire has taken us two tries to make it work. I built the chimney of wood, lit the paper and all seemed good. It burned for awhile, so I put on larger pieces of wood. That burned for a little bit, then went out but the coals were still hot. We adjusted the wood, added more paper, lit it up again and this time it flourished. When it was going hot, we added the remaining wood we have and had a good, hot flame. We let it go for over an hour while Tiffany burned marshmallows on it, and finally dumped some water on it to stop it and not let it start a wildfire.

Now, heres the issue: We can’t seem to get a fire to start and burn successfully on the first try. We put a rock under the corner of the metal fire ring to let air get in underneath. We cleaned out the fire pit of old charcoal and mostly burnt wood. We built it with the more flammable material on the bottom so the heat and flames would rise. But it never seems to work on the first try.

I’m not sure what we are doing wrong. I had originally tried the teepee method that I learned years ago, but that doesn’t seem to work. A camper neighbor told us to build a square with kindling like a log cabin. That worked better, but not still it did not last. The last time I built the fire, I laid a piece of wood across the paper, then leaned more kindling across that to make a roof-like structure and it took. Once it was going good, I added more large pieces of wood and it took off.

If anyone has suggestions, I’m open to them. We need something that works the first time and easily. We haven’t used anything like pine needles since there are no pines in this park we are at now. We do throw some leaves in it, but not many and usually not to start the fire, just to add to it. I learned the hard way to make kindling from our bigger logs with a hatchet, and that has certainly helped, but I think I’m still missing something. Ideally, I’d like to do it without lighter fluid, but if we have to cheat, we may just do that.

Leave a Reply