Campfire ventilation

I took a page from the Mike McCrea playbook and fabricated a “ventilator” for getting recalcitrant campfires to roar to life.

Simply, it is a length of pipe, 1/2 or 3/4" in diameter, with a length of flexy hose attached. When the fire needs encouragement, place the pipe end on the coals, and exhale to your hearts content.

So as not to infringe on Mike’s patent, I flattened the end of the pipe to increase the air velocity and to provide some feedback to the operator via back-pressure. This seemed to work much better than an open pipe. At Point Pelee I was able to stoke the flames quite nicely. Delivers a pretty good buzz too.

Now I am wondering if a smaller pipe - such as 3/8" - would be a better choice. There is room for experimenting in this growing field of campfire technology.


Coleman fuel
Sprinkled liberally over the wood, stand back about ten feet and throw a match on top.

80 proof vodka works better but is a shame to waste.


I suspect
they are talking about fires already started but aren’t roaring as they should.

I would not pour coleman fuel on a started fire, no matter how bad/low the flames are.

Stump elimination trick
I was burning a stump out of a section of my driveway recently

I discovered an air compressor at 120 PSI with a blow gun and a 3’ piece of stainless hydrailic tubing is a real fast way to create one hell of a hot fire, moves ashes out of the way, and melts beer cans at an amazing rate.

Once you get the stump going, and all the firewood used to start it is pretty much ash., I’d blast that stump till i’s roaring. Throw on some more firewood, sit around and enjoy. The next morning put air to it.

2’ diameter Hickory stump became a big hole in the ground in about 4 days. Nothing left.

Fine idea!
Has so many good points going for it: fire, compressed air, fabrication of a tool, beer, and more fire.

All in all, good manly stuff!


Use the folded Cardboard
from a case of beer. Fan the fire until you reach the desired effect. The more you drink the more fans you have.


Air mattress pump

– Last Updated: Sep-29-06 5:58 PM EST –

Coghlan's used to make a small double-action air pump. It's small enough to slide into a mesh bag along with a popular bilge pump and paddle float kit. I use it mostly for topping off my float bags since I deflate them a bit for storage, hot days, or transport through changing altitudes. It makes a great little fire bellows, too. I guess any air mattress pump would do the same, particularly if it is double acting (pumps on both in and out strokes.)

Edit: This looks interesting.

Leave it to the HVAC guy…
Leave it to the HVAC guy to know flame and ventilation :slight_smile: Andy, wouldn’t that be a “draft inducer?”


(The other HVAC guy)

stand 10ft away…ain’t that the truth!
I still remember camping in the rockies of Yoho and having wet wood that wouldn’t light up no matter what we tried till dad poured some fuel over and tossed a match. soon after, us kids were running picking up the burning bits from around us! LOL!!!

A pint sized double action bicycle pump,
the little jobbers you attach to the bike, will do the trick and cut down on weight. Built right, though, the fire should last for a long time. Blowing on embers still burning at 4 am as you are preparing breafast should start the kindling you add. As for Coleman fluid, charcoal lighter fluid works as well and doesnt tend to whoosh as much, unless you let vapors collect.

I have used
one of those battery powered air mattress pumps. It works great! No blowing, just hit the switch. In my younger days we had those telescoping tent poles which worked real well also.