Archive for April, 2014

DIY Waterproof Matches and/or Fire Starters

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Nothing ruins a camping trip like not being able to start a fire.  While there are several reasons why you may not be able to get a flame, one of the most common reasons is a wet match.  But what can you do?  One approach is to simply cover it with fingernail polish.  This will work but just coating the match with fingernail polish will not make it a fire starter.  To do that, you need to coat your matches with something special.  What this special ingredient is for DIY waterproof matches and/or fire starters?  Well, it is wax.  You know that simple wax that candles and crayons are made of.

To begin this process, you will first need to melt your wax.  This will need to be done in a double broiler that you really do not care about.  The melting of the wax will ruin the pan so do not pick out your finest from your culinary stash. 

If you do not have a double broiler or do not want to use the one you have, do not worry.  A simple double broiler can be made from a clean coffer or vegetable can and a saucepan.  Place the saucepan on the stove and fill about ½ full of water.  Bring the water to a boil.  Once it boils, place the coffee or vegetable can in the water.  Fill this can with your wax, turn down the heat of the burner and wait.  


To speed up the melting process, stir the wax with a bamboo stick.  While the wax is melting, get your matches ready.  If you are looking to just waterproof the matches, simply dip the striking end of the match in the melting wax.  Place on wax paper and allow to dry.

If you want a waterproof match and fire starter, you will need to wrap the match with yarn or garden twine.  There is no set rule as to how many wraps are needed but I will say the more wraps the better the fire starter will be.   The only rule is to make sure to leave a tail of yarn at the end of the wrap.

Once the matches have been wrapped, take the little tail that was left from your wrapping and use it as a handle to dip your match into the wax.  Place the freshly dipped match on wax paper to dry and then repeat with another dip. 

The more you dip the longer your fire starter will last in the fire, which could be very important especially if you are trying to light wet wood. 

After you matches have dried, place in an old film canister or plastic bag. 

While this project is simple, I can tell you that having waterproof matches that also act as fire starters can be lifesaving.  In a worse case situation where you cannot get the wood to light, the fire starter matches can be lit and just burned by themselves for supplemental heat and comfort.

Campfire Recipe: Underground Chicken and Potatoes

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Oh, I love to cook on a campfire but there are times that I want a good meal without having to toil over the camp fire.  While this recipe does require one to build a fire for coals, you do have time while the chicken is cooking to take a short hike. 

Please keep in mind though that this recipe does require you to dig a hole so check the regulations of your camping area before digging.  Also, make sure that the area where the hole is located is marked and secured.  This will prevent sprained ankles and injuries from occurring if someone steps in the depression.

Underground Chicken and Potatoes


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons garlic salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoon dried oregano

4 medium white potatoes washed and scrubbed



Wood or charcoal

Mixing bowl




  1. Choose a location for your hole near your fire.  Dig a hole that is one foot deep.
  2. Build your fire and tend it until you have good bed of coals.
  3. While your fire is burning, place all your spices in a bowl and mix.
  4. Rip off 4 sheets of tinfoil.
  5. Rub chicken down with oil and then roll in spice mixture.
  6. Place on foil and wrap up.
  7. Once your coals are hot, place a layer inside the hole. 
  8. Cover the coals with ½ inch of soil.
  9. Place wrapped chicken on top of the soil.
  10. Top chicken with 6 inches of soil.
  11. Allow to cook in the hole for 3 to 4 hours.

About 45 minutes before the chicken is done, it is time to prepare the potatoes.To do this, one needs to first rub the potatoes down with oil.Next, wrap the potatoes in foil and place in the coals of the fire.Rotate the potatoes in fire and in about 45 minutes your campfire potatoes should be done.But after that time, do not just remove them from the fire.Instead, squeeze each potato prior to serving.If the potato gives, it is done.If it is still hard, place back in the coals for additional cooking.

Once the potatoes are done, dig up your chicken.  Prior to serving, make sure to knock off as much soil as possible.  This will keep the soil off your plate and your meal.