How to Make Compact Firewood

How to Make Compact FirewoodA traditional staple for camping is the building of campfires. Many campers' favorite memories from a camping trip will be formed around a campfire, telling stories, singing songs or making smores. You'll need wood for your campfire, and rather than purchasing it at your campsite or spending a lot of time looking for it in the woods, you can make your own compact firewood and bring it along. It's a great way to recycle used newspaper.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Newspapers
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap
Step 1
Unfold the newspaper so that it is shaped like a rectangle with the short sides at the top and bottom.
Step 2
Fold over the bottom edge of the newspaper one inch, and roll the newspaper up tightly around the fold all the way to the top to form a compact log.
Step 3
Wrap wire tightly around each end of the paper log and twist it to secure. Trim off the excess wire with wire cutters.
Step 4
Fill a bucket with water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Swish the water and soap with your hand to mix. Place the compact newspaper log into the bucket and soak in the soapy water for one minute. Remove the wet log.
Step 5
Set up your compact firewood log so that it stands on on end and let it dry for at least 48 hours before burning. Repeat the process until you have as many compact firewood logs as desired.

Tips & Warnings

Compact firewood is ideal for car camping, not for backpacking. Don't try to carry it in your backpack as it will slow you down on the trail and take up too much room in your pack.
Once your compact firewood has burned, remove the wire pieces from your campfire site.
The vegetable dye used in newspaper print is safe to burn in campfires, but the glossy paper used in advertisements can release fumes. Before rolling up the newspaper, remove all glossy advertisements.

Article Written By Elizabeth Grace

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Elizabeth Grace is a freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Pepperdine University, and has 15 years of experience developing marketing campaigns for universities and multinational corporations.

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