05 Aug

How to start a campfire with old wine corks!

Posted by Craig Categories: , ,

Who doesn’t like a  glass of wine and a warming fire?
“Come on baby CORK my fire”.

A few months ago a friend of mine gave me a great idea for all the used corks I had lying around other than making the usual cork boards that I made 12 years ago. campfire wine 3

Who doesn’t love sitting in front of a fire either at the cottage or by your backyard Chiminea. It is what I refer to as the best show to watch with friends besides a good thunder and lightning storm. Unlike a TV program or movie you can watch a roaring fire with several people around and carry on a great conversation. There’s something about staring into fire that just seems to make you feel content and sometimes a little philosophical. There have been many a night at my friends places up north that having a fire just seemed to make the whole weekend. It soothes me.

On that note we have had more than a few discussions on how to start a fire (and I do not mean anything but a fire in a fireplace, fire pit or chiminea for those who are thinking arsonist). One Saturday night after a couple bottles of wine I suggested to use the cork from said empty soldier and I will start the fire with it and a few of it’s brethren that were casualties of the night before. Some were skeptical but I informed them that real cork is actually bark from the Oak tree ‘Quercus Suber’ that grows in very dry climates mainly Portugal, Spain and northern Africa. I also enlightened the’ nay sayers’ to the fact that synthetic corks do not work and can be toxic when you burn them. And despite your efforts, the screw tops just won’t light no matter how long you hold a lighter to them. So use only natural cork.

What you need to start a fire with wine corks:


SIMPLY, take a handful of corks and wrap them up tightly inside a couple pieces of newsprint. You will have what appears to be a newspaper ball with the corks inside. From there just put the cork ball in the fire pit, place kindling, twigs etc over it in the typical tee-pee pattern and light the newspaper. The corks, remember are basically wood and very dry therefore they burn very easily. Also, they burn slowly since they are very dense. For those of you who have camped in the wilderness and had to start a fire from scratch would appreciate that it is like dry Birch bark but burns much more slowly. Once the kindling is aflame then place your logs on and ‘viola’…a rip roaring fire. It really does work and no more buying ‘firestarters’.

Nothing like a roaring fire on a cool evening. Give it a try…it’s that easy.

Thanks Micheline, great idea and thanks for sharing! Cheers.

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12 Comments on “ How to start a campfire with old wine corks! ”

  1. Donna Cats October 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Fabulous website. Sure hope everyone enjoys it and the helpful hints along the way! Well done!

  2. Nathan Aker October 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Go Craig. Thanks for showing this to me!!!!!!!

    p.s nice website

  3. Kelley Belfry November 12, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Why have we never thought of this before…..?

  4. Jeff Murchie November 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Corks are great fire starters. I put a few into a paper egg carton and added some kindling. The fire is roaring in no time.

  5. Mark Russell July 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Great advice Craig!

    I am glad I read this before heading up to the cottage for the weekend!

  6. Craig July 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Glad you read it as well. It works great.

  7. Jan Feguson July 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Fabulous idea!

  8. Craig July 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks Jan, I will be putting some corks to good use this weekend as well.

  9. Dana McLean June 13, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for the tip will pass it on.

  10. Bert Coates August 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    We have been doing this for several years. We put in a handful or two of the corks and they burn very slowly, much like coal with a very hot glowing fire with very little flame. This fire is excellent to toast marsh mellows over or to cook wieners.

  11. Craig August 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Great tip Bert. Thanks for that.

  12. Marc December 12, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I had wondere about the use of corks in a fire and of course quizzed the internet…. We’ll done for such a satisfying answer, unfortunately, I don’t have enough corks yet, but will by the end of tonight! A very expensive fire!

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