The campfire is a staple of any camping trip. A campfire is versatile; a family activity, providing warmth, a place to cook, and entertainment. However, the awesomeness of your campfire does not have to stop there.
You may have seen (or created) these awesome colored campfires before, but if you have not, this is a surefire (pun intended) way to start taking your campfire to the next level and spark great conversation. With just a few simple ingredients and multiple delivery methods, you can have the most brilliant campfire at the campground.
Step 1 – pick your color(s)
The first step in taking your campfire to the next level is to select the chemicals by the color they produce. Buy them in powdered form and don’t substitute chlorates, nitrates, or permanganates. Some are common ingredients in household products and can be found in grocery, hardware and garden supply stores. Others can be purchased at fireworks suppliers, chemical supply stores, fireplace shops or online.
Carmine (deeper red): lithium chloride
Red: strontium chloride
Orange: calcium chloride, found in household products used for absorbing moisture or dehumidifying.
Yellow: sodium chloride, which is table salt
Lime Green: boric acid, which can be found in the pharmacy sections of some stores for use as a disinfectant.
Green: copper sulfate, found in products used for killing plant roots.
Blue: copper chloride or butane, which can be found at your local hardware store
Purple: potassium chloride, which is the main ingredient in non-sodium salt substitutes.
Step 2- pick your style
Taking your campfire to the next level is a reflection of your creativity, try one of these methods for color delivery.
Sprinkle it –a small amount of the chemical pinched into the fire will suffice for a few minutes of colored flames. Add the chemicals individually or blend several to produce multi-colored flames.
Make wax melts – Melt wax or paraffin in a coffee can sitting in a pan of boiling water. Add about 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of chemical to the melted wax. Increase the amount if you want more intense color.
- You can make wax cakes with 1 chemical, or blend a few to produce cakes that make multi-colored flames.
Stir until the mixture starts to cool. Pour the liquefied mixture into paper baking cups. Let them cool and solidify. Add 1 or more of the cakes to the fire to create long-lasting colored flames.
Soak the burning materials –
Collect lightweight woods such as lumber scraps, chips, pine cones, and kindling. You can also use rolled-up newspapers.
Dissolve 1/2 lb. (227g) of chemical per gallon (3.78 liter) of water. Use a glass or plastic container outdoors while wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves.
- For best results, use only 1 chemical per container of water with this method.
Place the wood in a mesh bag and submerge it into the water and chemical mixture. Use a brick or other heavy object to hold it down. Let the wood soak for a day or more.
Remove the bag and let the materials dry completely.
Add just a few pieces of the treated materials to your fire at a time.
- Keep hazardous chemicals stored in airtight containers made of plastic or glass. Don’t allow children and pets near these chemicals.
- Handle all chemicals carefully according to the package directions. Even seemingly harmless chemicals such as sodium chloride can cause skin irritation or burns in large amounts.
- If adding chemicals for a fireplace, make sure it is producing a good draft first so your house doesn’t fill with chemical-laden smoke.
- Fire is not a toy and should never be treated as such. It goes without saying that fire is dangerous and can get out of hand quickly. Always have an ample supply of water nearby.
This Video shows another example of how to add colors to your campfire for those who enjoy using tools and repurposing common household scraps to make something new and fantastic!
We hope you enjoy using this information and taking your campfire to the next level. Post your pictures to our Facebook and let us know how it goes, or what your favorite fire colors are!