Doritos Are More Than Just Snacks – They're Also Good Campfire Tinder

Pile of Doritos
Pile of Doritos - Studio Light and Shade/Shutterstock

Doritos are crunchy and delicious, but they're also an unexpected camping essential. If you're having trouble getting a fire going at the campsite, the popular snack might save the day. Doritos can be used as effective fire starters in a pinch, and surprisingly, they can sustain small flames without any need for kindling. Depending on what the person in charge of campfire snacks has a hankering for, most corn-based chips, like Cheetos and Fritos, will work just the same, and it's all thanks to science.

The magic lies in three of the chips' core ingredients. Cornstarch, vegetable oil, and salt work together to make Doritos flammable enough to maintain strong flames. Corn is a starchy carbohydrate that's great fuel in both your body and a fire. It's full of energy, and when ground into the powder used to create Doritos, the large surface area increases flammability.

Vegetable oils, such as corn, canola, and sunflower oil, all used in Doritos, can get extremely hot. Although they're safe for basic kitchen use, they easily catch fire when temperatures rise above stovetop limits. Coupled with an exterior coating of flammable fat, just one tortilla chip can keep a flame alive for close to a minute. However, the type of coating does not affect flammability. Any Doritos flavor will work. Additionally, a bag of Doritos contains about 210 milligrams of sodium. While salt is not flammable, it keeps the chips dry and brittle like firewood.

Read more: 16 Little-Known Facts About Salt

How To Build The Best Campfire Using Doritos

Campfire burning
Campfire burning - Warchi/Getty Images

With the combination of those flammable ingredients, you can make an impressive Dorito-based campfire (for about 150 calories per serving). The shape of the Doritos even enhances its fire-starting properties. The signature triangle form has increased surface area which supports the oxygen flow needed for healthy flames. Thin, curved edges allow room for air to circulate, but you can also crush them to get a similar effect.

For the best results, choose a new bag of Doritos instead of the stale one in the back of the pantry. If you're stacking the fresh chips, avoid unwanted crushing by putting small twigs on top, then add logs as needed. Think of Doritos more like catalysts rather than actual kindling. The tasty chips should generate decent flames, but remember to take proper safety measures. Check local fire laws, ensure children and pets are secured, keep water handy, watch for hazardous weather, and of course, enjoy some of the Doritos before you sacrifice them in the fire.

Read the original article on Mashed.