Best Fire Starters for Campfire Cooking: A Comprehensive Guide

Campfire cooking is one of the most enjoyable aspects of camping. There’s nothing quite like gathering around a roaring fire with friends and family, cooking up a delicious meal, and sharing stories. However, starting a fire can be a challenge, especially if you’re in an area with limited resources. That’s why it’s essential to have the best fire starters for campfire cooking.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of fire starters, their pros and cons, and provide tips on how to use them effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a novice, you’ll find valuable information in this comprehensive guide.

The Best Fire Starters for Campfire Cooking

Best Fire Starters for Campfire Cooking

Waterproof Matches

Waterproof matches are a must-have for any camping trip. They are reliable and easy to use, even in wet conditions. The best waterproof matches are made from sturdy materials that won’t break easily. You can also find matches that come in a waterproof container, which is a great way to keep them dry.


Lighters are another popular fire starter option. They’re easy to use and come in a variety of sizes and styles. However, they can be unreliable in windy conditions or at high altitudes. It’s always a good idea to bring a backup lighter, just in case.

Fire Starters

Fire starters are designed specifically for starting fires. They’re made from a variety of materials, including wax, paper, and wood chips. They’re easy to use and can be very effective, especially if you’re starting a fire in wet conditions. Some popular fire starter brands include Fatwood, Instafire, and Light My Fire.

Magnesium Fire Starters

Magnesium fire starters are a great option if you’re in an area with limited resources. They’re lightweight, compact, and easy to use. To start a fire with a magnesium fire starter, you’ll need to scrape the magnesium shavings onto some dry tinder and then strike the included flint with a metal rod to create a spark.

Charcoal Chimney Starter

If you’re planning on cooking with charcoal, a charcoal chimney starter is a must-have. It’s a metal cylinder with a handle and a grate on the bottom. You fill the cylinder with charcoal, light some paper underneath, and the chimney effect will quickly and evenly light the charcoal.

How to Use Fire Starters Effectively

  • Gather dry tinder, kindling, and fuel before you start the fire.
  • Create a fire pit or use an existing fire ring.
  • Arrange the dry tinder in a small pile in the center of the fire pit.
  • Use your chosen fire starter to ignite the tinder.
  • Add kindling in a teepee shape around the tinder.
  • Once the kindling is burning well, add fuel gradually.

Some of the best campfire cooking kits are designed to be compact and lightweight, making them easy to pack and transport, and perfect for backpacking or camping trips where space and weight are limited.


Can I start a fire without fire starters?

Yes, you can start a fire without fire starters, but it’s much more challenging. You’ll need to gather dry tinder and kindling and use a method like the hand drill or bow drill to create a spark.

Can I use gasoline to start a fire?

No, using gasoline or any other flammable liquid to start a fire is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injury or death.

How do I keep my fire from spreading?

Always use a fire pit or an existing fire ring, never start a fire directly on the ground. Clear the area around the fire pit of any flammable materials, such as leaves or twigs, and keep a bucket of water or a shovel nearby in case the fire starts to spread. It’s also important to check the local fire regulations and restrictions before starting a fire, especially during dry seasons or in areas prone to wildfires.

Can I cook directly over an open flame?

Yes, you can cook directly over an open flame, but it’s essential to use caution and the right equipment. Make sure to use a sturdy grill or a cooking grate that can support the weight of your food. Use long-handled utensils to avoid getting burned, and keep a close eye on the flames to prevent flare-ups.

How do I extinguish a campfire properly?

To extinguish a campfire, pour water over the flames and embers until everything is thoroughly soaked. Use a shovel to stir the ashes and embers, making sure to wet everything down. Keep pouring water until there are no more hissing sounds or steam rising from the fire pit. Once the fire is completely out, carefully feel around the fire pit for any hot spots or embers and repeat the process if necessary.


Having the best fire starters for campfire cooking is essential for any camping trip. Whether you prefer waterproof matches, lighters, fire starters, magnesium fire starters, or charcoal chimney starters, each option has its pros and cons. When using fire starters, it’s important to follow safety precautions and check local regulations before starting a fire. With the right equipment and knowledge, you can enjoy delicious campfire cooking while staying safe and responsible.

Anthony Arroyo

Anthony is a passionate outdoor enthusiast with a love for adventure and exploring the great outdoors. With years of experience hiking, camping, and rafting, he has a wealth of knowledge to share with others. Anthony’s writing captures the essence of his experiences, offering readers insights into some of the most beautiful and breathtaking landscapes in the world. Follow his journey and join the conversation as he continues to share his passion for the great outdoors.