There are many things amongst our camping gear that we have sought out and researched and spent a lot of time and money on finding just the right item and replacing over the years as we have fine-tuned.


And then there are the things that were acquired spur of the moment, didn’t cost much and have made all the difference.


Two such items are essential to our fire making efforts.




The first is a fire log handler/tongs. We got this years ago on that first big sabbatical trip and I think we picked it up in a camping store where we were visiting to buy a replacement part for the camper. It was literally just something I saw and thought “huh, that might be handy!” This little metal set of tongs has traveled with our fire tools ever since and ALWAYS comes in handy. It makes it easy to grab and move a hot log. It makes it easy to “poke” the fire and move things around as you work to keep the coals hot and add new logs. It is amazing for picking hot packs of foil covered food out of the coals when you have baked potatoes or cooked something in the flames.




The second is a small bellows. This was acquired more recently after we tried blowing on the fire to get the flames to catch and realized that this is not easy for asthmatics. I wandered into a small town local hardware store not evening knowing what exactly I was looking for and asked for “fireplace bellows.” The guy handed me a little box with a small set of wood & vinyl bellows inside that is perfect for camping and fits well into our “fire bag.” We haven’t had this long, but whenever I have wet wood or it is windy and a lot of trouble keeping a fire going, I’m thankful to have it.




Our fire bag is a waterproof bag that is just big enough to keep our tongs, our bellows, the marshmallow sticks and a food stick and our fire pie makers. It keeps these things that tend to get dirty from the coals together as well as cleanly away from other gear and dry when it rains. And it is easy to toss in the camper as we go and easy to put under the camper in the rain.