Open Wide the World


5 Life Lessons I Learned Building a Campfire ∙ Guest Post

In this guest post, 17-year old first-time camper, Lauren, shares life lessons she learned building a campfire with just one match! #camping #campfire #lifelessons #openwidetheworld

Door County, Wisconsin, with its bright green scenery and jaw-dropping night sky, was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. 


Meet Lauren L.

17 years old ∙ artist's spirit ∙ adventure-enthused ∙ first-time camper

As a South Californian girl who has never camped before, being in an environment with limited resources would be a challenge I had never dealt with. 

Granted, we did have an RV as a tent-alternative for those more reluctant to be as outdoorsy as the others; but I wanted to experience camping as wholly as I could (of course, within the reality that bath houses and other resources were provided). And sure enough, there were some times I succumbed to the luxury of the RV with its running water and electricity. 

On our last day in Door County, Wisconsin, I was in charge of starting the fire with a challenge to use only one match, some lint, paper, and wood. I set up some paper on the ground with lint and made a teepee of kindling wood on top. Originally, I thought this strategy would work without a hitch, but that wasn’t the case. After I lit the match and set the fire onto my foundation, much time and effort were to follow. 

I did succeed in starting the fire with one match, but it was no easy feat. After this experience, I realized I had learned some things in the experience. 

Plan & Adapt

My plan was to use just one match to start the fire. I planned to light the kindling (i.e., small sticks that light easily), see an instant fire, and feed the fire with more wood.

When the initial flame I set to the kindling went out, I needed to adapt. I had to consistently fan the kindling to keep the embers alive and hope that the fire would start again… which it did!

Don’t give up right away. Perseverance is key. 

Even though it looked like there was no hope of reviving the fire, consistent fanning of the embers for close to 20 minutes resulted in a fire. Perseverance and refusal to give up payed off in the end. 

Be open to help.

After many minutes of fanning, I also then started blowing air on the embers to try to get the fire to restart. As the embers continued to sparkle, my motivation continued, but after inhaling too much smoke and feeling light-headed, I had to ask for help. Luckily, my brothers and cousin were nearby to take my place to help start the fire again.

Self-interest and -motivation Are the keys to success.

When I first started to try to revive my diminishing fire, my brothers and cousin were invested in watching me restart the fire. However, as time passed by, their interest slowly decreased, and they found other things to do. This didn’t stop from me from continuing to try. I then realized that I don’t need to rely on others’ interest to reap my own success. Through my self-interest and self-motivation, I can get things done.

The result is worth the effort.

When the fire finally started, all the time and effort were worth it. The feeling of success and completion from starting this fire left me with so many life lessons that I can take with me for the rest of my life.

Have you learned great life lessons on a camping trip?

Tell us about it in the comments!


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In this guest post, 17-year old first-time camper, Lauren, shares life lessons she learned building a campfire with just one match! #camping #campfire #lifelessons #openwidetheworld

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