Use This Salty Snack To Start Your Campfire If You Run Out Of Fire Starter

If you're on a camping trip and find yourself out of a fire starter, you might already have a decent substitute in your snack bag. Salty snacks are the ideal accompaniment on a hike for a quick way to boost your energy. The salt in your snacks can also help replace sodium levels depleted through sweating during exercise and other strenuous activities and help rebalance your electrolyte levels.

But there is another handy use for salty snacks — they can be used as a fire starter to help get your campsite fire going. Corn-based chips such as Doritos or Fritos are said to be the best salty snacks for this, and you only need a handful of them to get started. Find out why and how you can create a fire with the chips in your snack bag so you'll never be frustrated if you forget to bring any essentials on your next camping trip.

Why can you use chips as a fire starter?

Cast your mind back to your high school science class for a moment. For a fire to start, it needs fuel and oxygen. Corn-based chips like Doritos work well as fuel due to their ingredients and flat surface area, which allows the fire to spread.

Chips work well as a fire starter due to three main ingredients: corn, vegetable oil, and salt. Corn-based chips burn easily due to the cornstarch, a carbohydrate that acts as a fuel. These chips are also coated in flammable vegetable oil, which helps ignite the fire. Finally, the salt in their flavorings keeps the chips dry, which makes them easier to burn. All in all, you have a handy fire starter to use in a pinch if your usual method isn't available.

Do chips made of other ingredients, such as potato, work as well as corn chips? Well, according to one intrepid tester at Far Out, both can work, but corn chips are superior due to their longer burn time.

How to start a fire with chips

Now that you can use chips as a fire starter, here's how to do it. Prepare your fire pit first, then grab a handful of corn chips. Stack them so there is enough space for air to pass through. Then, add small, dry branches on top of your chip stack, which should ignite once you've lit the chips as a fire starter. Then, arrange your firewood on top of this. Light your chip stack until you see the flame erupt. The flame from your stack of chips should ignite and burn long enough to set fire to the dry wood stack above it.

As a safety precaution, remember you should always check the area around you for flammable materials before lighting your fire. Ensure you have plenty of water on hand if you need to extinguish the flames. And never leave your campfire unattended — even a slight breeze could cause it to spread out of control quickly.