How to Use Firebags in a Camp Kitchen

How to Use Firebags in a Camp Kitchen
Firebags are either manufactured or homemade sacks of kindling, wood fuel and other flammable materials that are meant to help campers get a fire going in damp or wet conditions. The best will start a fire in the rain or using green wood. Firebags can be used to start a cooking fire, and under some circumstances constitute a cooking fire in and of themselves.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Camp spade Matches One or more firebags Kindling Firewood
  • Camp spade
  • Matches
  • One or more firebags
  • Kindling
  • Firewood
Step 1
Identify and prepare your campfire area. In many campgrounds, fires are only permitted in grills or designated fire pits. Some places, like many national parks, prohibit them altogether (especially in the backcountry), and in this case a hobo stove can be used to contain a firebag. If there are no rules regarding fires and no designated fire areas, dig a fire pit.
Step 2
Collect kindling and wood. Following a "leave no trace" philosophy, use only fallen and dead material for this purpose. You may not wish to use all your firebags for cooking fuel, and it therefore may be necessary to collect more fuel to use after the first firebag is exhausted.
Step 3
Start the firebag in the grill/pit/hobo stove with a match.
Step 4
Broil or toast a meal. If you are cooking meat or vegetables, or toasting marshmallows or bread, nothing more is necessary than an open flame. One firebag may last long enough to broil several kebabs, for example. To get open flame for longer, feed in wood fuel.
Step 5
Use the firebag to build a proper cooking fire for anything more ambitious. Fish fries, pig roasts, stews and pretty much most things that cannot be skewered on the end of a kebab will require more sustained heat that can be maintained with a firebag, so the firebag must be used to build a campfire. In grills or fire pits, start a fire and use it to burn a few or several logs down to hot coals. Cook using the hot coals as heat, feeding in steady and small amounts of fuel if necessary to maintain the bed of coals. Hobo stoves, on the other hand, use open flame and convection to provide cooking heat, so just keep feeding in a steady supply of small bits of fuel throughout cooking.

Tips & Warnings

Firebags actually make great "fuel pellets" for hobo stoves, since much of what goes into a firebag is identical to the kind of fuel hobo stoves use. A backpacker should consider making a few homemade firebags, presized to fit into their hobo stove for use on nights when dry fuel is not readily available.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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