How to start a campfire with old wine corks!

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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.

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.