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Iceman
2007-02-12, 17:57
It seems like every year I try to re-invent the firestarter thing around here. I am done with the lint thingy, the diesel saturated sawdust, the eggshell container/wax/ and lint thingy.... And for my river fishing hikes, (where guys have fallen into the river and gone downstream far enough to crawl out of the water already suffering from hypothermia and cannot make a fire to warm themselves), I have even cut a road flare into quarters, drilled holes in the ends, put a birthday candle fuse in and then dipped the whole thing in wax, looks like a crude bomb of sorts..... Cedar shavings, waxed paper, purell hand cleaner, and superglue...

I was looking for a no b.s. firestarter. Something relatively small that would give someone lost and cold a really good chance of getting a fire going. Out here in the Pacific Northwest, forest fuels are most often damp. Getting a fire going can sometimes be a challenge, and from what I have studied, when lost, cold, and not generally thinking strait, even those with advanced woodsman skills can be challenged by a simple fire.

Here is what I have come up with;

The Undertaker

(If you can't get a fire going with this thingy, start digging....)

Take a piece of waxed paper, 2 inch by 8 inch, fold it up until you end up with a piece about square (2" by 2"). Take scissors and cut the non folded end about half way thru with many parallel cuts. Your final product will sort of look like a waxed paper comb. This is your tinder.

Wrap a thin birthday candle in the waxed paper comb/tinder thingy, so the wick of the candle protrudes about 1/2" past the waxed paper. See photo below to help with lousy description... This is your fuse.

Have thread handy, and begin wrapping three magic relighting birthday candles around the waxed paper and other candle. Your final product has a fuse end, a bunch of waxed paper tinder frayed out and protruding inside of three birthday joke candles. Wrap tightly, and then several dunkings into some melted wax to hold the whole thing together. Avoid dipping too far so as not to wax over the waxed paper tinder shag at the end of the device.

My idea was this. I wanted a device that had an obvious fuse...would not blow out, and would provide lots of flame, for a long time.

Results; The Undertaker; they start immediately, do not blow out, and burn for over fifteen minutes. What more do you want....?

TeeDee
2007-02-12, 19:03
Iceman - I'm curious - how did the road flare thing work??

Hog On Ice
2007-02-12, 20:57
too much like work - I'll stick with toilet paper and olive oil - a couple things I always carry for other reasons - it also burns a long time - typically I start fires with thumb sized wood using this fire starter

Take-a-knee
2007-02-12, 21:07
Hog on Ice, most things that will save your ass when you go into harms' way, like doing a tap-rack-bang until your hands bleed, are, most definitely, work. I for one plan to look for some magic candles and make some of these things. The best firestarter I'd found was the lint/wax egg cube, they burn 7min, 15min is over the top.

oops56
2007-02-13, 00:31
Ok iceman but its not waterproof the wicks can get wet .Now if you take the strike any where matches and put 3 or 4 up right with the candles wick hi cover whole thing with wax then you got a big match just strike it like a match

incognito
2007-02-13, 00:32
And for my river fishing hikes, (where guys have fallen into the river and gone downstream far enough to crawl out of the water already suffering from hypothermia and cannot make a fire to warm themselves),

I was looking for a no b.s. firestarter. Something relatively small that would give someone lost and cold a really good chance of getting a fire going. Out here in the Pacific Northwest, forest fuels are most often damp. Getting a fire going can sometimes be a challenge, and from what I have studied, when lost, cold, and not generally thinking strait, even those with advanced woodsman skills can be challenged by a simple fire.

The quotes above are for sure no bullshit conditions. Hypothermia kills for sure. The beginning symptoms are going to set in when you least expect it. You had beter be well prepared in advance with the proper knowledge of how to start a fire, where you are going to find dry enough fuel to get one started. And the proper tools to get that "undertaker" started.

Your wet butane lighter is not going to work, HOI your wet toilet paper is going to be your death. Wet matches don't light Iceman. Iceman, how are you going to light that undertaker under the circumstances that I have quoted up above? Those are the conditions that will surely start hypothermia. When you are in an uncontrollable shivering state(the beggining of hypothermia) it's going to be difficult to perform the smallest task.

This is my suggestion: Everyone carry at least the equivilant of one tablespoon of powdered or finely shaved magnesium and flint and steel combination of a form that you are totally familiar with in its use. Master the art of fire making at home under warm conditions. Progress into cooler temps. It's mandatory that you learn where to find dry tinder in the woods and how to start a fire with it using flint and steel and the magnesium. The flint and steel are the most dependable source of ignition. These can be carried with you at all times, everyday, make them part of your lives, keep the flint and steel on your keychain, the magnesium in your wallet in powder form or in a small canister.

As soon as i can I'll post a photo of what I carry at all times. Hypothermia scares me!!!!! I have been in the beginning stages of it I know how difficult it is to function under those conditions.

All the rest of the firestarters a just campfire starters, don't depend on them to save your lives.

Iceman
2007-02-13, 00:52
Read em' and weap. Iceman's homemade cut down magnesium steel and flint. I practice fire building skills in the fing rainforest, and can make fire. I carry custom storm proofed matches, and a quality windproof butane lighter in my survival gear. In addition, for all of you out there who claim that butane lighters do not work well below freezing, you are all wrong. When snow camping, I use cheap ass bic lighters well below freezing, they work fine. Those dead guys they found with butane lighters fingers didn't work, the lighters worked fine, hypothermia has a way of doing that to you, they waited too long to try a fire... Besides, you can always toss the lighter into your jock strap and warm it up, if your brain is warm and working. Tie a string on your lighter and keep around your neck, and the lighter will be nice and warm when needed.

The main problem people have is not figuring out early enough to make a fire. If you wait until you are a shivering mess, and now draw wet moss together, and fumble at your lighter, you are going to die. Don't blame the lighter.


Oops, you are talking about firebugs. I do not like them, if you have to strike them to get fire. We have wet rocks out this way. I prefer to always store my gear in ziplocs, besides, the whole idea of my waxed (waterproof) paper tinder around the wick is to make damned sure the thing fires off. Remember, the candle wicks are waxed. This whole thing is waxed. Wax, wax, wax. I will dunk one in water in the next few days and light it off, just to be sure. My point is, keep it dry in a ziploc, get your fire ready to go, then unzip the bag, place the Undertaker, and torch it off.

TeeDee, flare thing worked fine. Too big and heavy though.

oops56
2007-02-13, 02:59
Well iceman that fire starter is good for camping to get the fire going but incongnito said not shivering why incongnito why do you carry all that fire making on you do you live in the woods and got to walk to work or do you live in the jungle you see i dont work or hunt or fish any more so i dont need all that but i have it all just to do it oh somtimes i do take a hike but its were i know it by heart then not to far o guess one could get hurt and need fire ok thats it i well go play with my flint & steel or my fire piston or fire up some stove

dropkick
2007-02-13, 03:05
I carry paper matches wrapped in wax paper all the time. Used to be a Bic lighter but it started bothering me - too bulky and I had to many thing in my pockets in addition. Plus this way I have tinder with me.

If I know I'm going into the woods I also carry at least 2 Bic lighters plus a votive candle.


I grew up in snow country and I have always known the importance of fire.
I can testify for Iceman that they work fine in cold weather.

The only problem I've ever had is when I let snow melt off my tinder pile, drip on the lighter, and freeze up the top of it.

Been thinking about buying a new magnesium starter, but I have at least 2 of them somewhere and I keep meaning to find them...................

KBob
2007-02-13, 12:50
I like vaseline saturated cotton balls in a sealed container along with a BIC. Better spark that flint and steel.

incognito
2007-02-13, 15:22
Here are some links to a site that I spent some time on awhile back.

Hypothermia (http://survival.com/IVB/index.php?showtopic=8862)

Some good tinder (http://survival.com/IVB/index.php?showtopic=8550)

It's mandatory that you read these forums in their entire.

dropkick
2007-02-13, 16:28
It's mandatory that you read these forums in their entire.

Will this material be on the test?
:aetsch: :biggrin:

TeeDee
2007-02-13, 19:19
I like vaseline saturated cotton balls in a sealed container along with a BIC. Better spark that flint and steel.

A simple way to make these even more effective - take a rectangle of AL foil, fold in half, put the Vaseline saturated cotton in the middle, fold the edges to seal. When needed, make an 'X' in the middle with a knife or even a fingernail, open the foil and fluff the cotton, use flint and steel or whatever to light. The Vaseline lights off very, very easy. It will burn for up to 40 minutes according to some. I have gotten 30 minutes. Maybe I need a little more cotton.

These can be prepared ahead of time or just carry the foil and cotton separately. Better to have at least one ready though.

GGS
2007-02-14, 03:07
I like vaseline saturated cotton balls in a sealed container along with a BIC. Better spark that flint and steel.

I've done these too, they work pretty well. Somewhat slimy to make tho as one needs to dig cotton ball into vaseline and roll up in one's hands. Unless someone has easier method??

On a similar idea I came up with dipping cotton balls in Tiki Torch fluid and storing them in a plastic 35mm film canister. Fast and easy to make and little mess if you use pliers or such. Using fingers works OK too. They ignite as quick as the vaseline variety. I have not timed the burn duration of either method so I couldn't answer that.

peter_pan
2007-02-14, 09:20
I've done these too, they work pretty well. Somewhat slimy to make tho as one needs to dig cotton ball into vaseline and roll up in one's hands. Unless someone has easier method??

On a similar idea I came up with dipping cotton balls in Tiki Torch fluid and storing them in a plastic 35mm film canister. Fast and easy to make and little mess if you use pliers or such. Using fingers works OK too. They ignite as quick as the vaseline variety. I have not timed the burn duration of either method so I couldn't answer that.


I pick mine from the bag with two sticks like chop sticks.... then they provide a torch handle and the initial kindling....no waste...no mess....fire...

Pan

Iceman
2007-02-14, 10:08
GGS, regarding cotton balls and vaseline, I have a one ounce containter with a screw on lid, I make the cotton balls at home, cram them into the bottle, and keep a sewing pin with bent tip in the bottle. Ready a fire, open the bottle, grasp the pin head, and use it to pull one cotton ball out of the bottle. Works great.

incognito
2007-02-14, 13:06
Along with cotton balls and such, here are some interesting firestarter items. Scroll down the list and pick the one that sounds interesting (http://survival.com/IVB/index.php?showtopic=2359&mode=threaded)or read them all from the begining.

It's a long read, you might want to add it to your Favorites List, refer to it when someone starts a thread about firestarters.

jimtanker
2007-02-14, 15:50
I love those cardboard and wax firestarters you made Iceman. Those work great and take up almost no room/weight.

incognito
2007-02-14, 23:12
I love those cardboard and wax firestarters you made Iceman. Those work great and take up almost no room/weight.

Yeh, those work great, compact and light weight.

oops56
2007-02-14, 23:30
Well here is want i came up with a chap stick filled with petroleum jelly just crank it up put on cotton strike fire steel and it all fit in altoids tin
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d52/oops62/th_firecotton1.jpg (http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d52/oops62/firecotton1.jpg)

Iceman
2007-02-14, 23:45
I love those cardboard and wax firestarters you made Iceman. Those work great and take up almost no room/weight.


Hadn't talked about them here yet...what I have made is very thin slices of cardboard which I have dunked in wax. Each piece is 1/8" to 1/4" wide and about three inches long. My idea has been to carry a tiny bundle, maybe ten or so in my gear, and as I nurse my fire along, I can stand one of them up at a time in my tinder, to sort of help out. They work great. JT, did you use em on a hike?

Things being so damp out here, I am always re-thinking firestarters...and carry too many...

dropkick
2007-02-15, 00:47
I used to soak cotton balls in wax.
Would cut chunks off to work as tinder.
I kept them in an old chewing tobacco can.

Was ok as far as it went.

However if it got too warm the wax would soften, the separate balls of cotton would lump together, the wax would puddle in the downward aimed side and the whole mess would adhere to the can.
It made it very difficult to work with.

I changed to carrying votive candles in separate containers instead.
The good ones have a higher melting point, and will burn for hours.

When I want them to act as tinder I just whittle a few shavings off the side.

dropkick
2007-02-15, 01:08
Was thinking about it and I think one of the most important outdoor survival skills that a person can have is very seldom used anymore.
And many outdoors people that have good skills otherwise don't have this skill anymore.

-How many of you can build a fire using only one match?

I had to learn this as a kid, because a short time after I got the chore of lighting the morning stove my Dad limited me to one match - and I better have it lit or I'd be in trouble.

While I usually had dry wood and didn't have to deal with the weather, it still taught me how to stack tinder and fuel to make a one match fire.
Unless I get lazy setting up the fire under most conditions I can still do this.

Lanthar
2007-02-15, 10:01
Was thinking about it and I think one of the most important outdoor survival skills that a person can have is very seldom used anymore.
And many outdoors people that have good skills otherwise don't have this skill anymore.

-How many of you can build a fire using only one match?

I had to learn this as a kid, because a short time after I got the chore of lighting the morning stove my Dad limited me to one match - and I better have it lit or I'd be in trouble.

While I usually had dry wood and didn't have to deal with the weather, it still taught me how to stack tinder and fuel to make a one match fire.
Unless I get lazy setting up the fire under most conditions I can still do this.

:biggrin: I still, fondly, remember "one-match weekend" challenges when I was a Boy Scout (how many troops teach that kind of skill now-a-days?)... man those were the days, when you could be revered as a virtual fire-god by your peers rather than as a virtual fire-god in an online game...

lucky luke
2007-02-15, 11:22
hi all,

i have never carried firestarters, since i used a msr stove for all my travels. as iceman pointed out bics will work in any temperature youŽll encounter in the wild. i can say they do at -35celsius.

so do you carry starters in your emergency kit? or do you pack as many as you need for a certain trip?

do those vaseline thingies wear out during storage?

happy trails
lucky luke

incognito
2007-02-15, 11:39
Jute twine enhanced with petrolium jelly serves a dual purpose, makes lashings(tripods for hanging cooking pots that have bails on them) use as emergency firestarter, fuzz it up and it will light easily with flint and steel almost as good as cotton balls.

This photo shows the jute twine used as tinder starter for a hobo stove. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v228/obijiwa/hobostov002.jpg)

Hollowdweller
2007-02-15, 17:27
I've always wanted to try this

http://www.bushcraftuk.com/community/showthread.php?t=18090

But so far I've always been so busy hiking from point a to point B I have not had a chance to fool with it.

Hollowdweller
2007-02-15, 17:29
Another somewhat interesting thread.

http://www.bushcraftuk.com/content/articles.php?action=show&showarticle=77

incognito
2007-02-15, 18:39
Another somewhat interesting thread.

http://www.bushcraftuk.com/content/articles.php?action=show&showarticle=77

The author of that article "Storm" (http://www.bushcraftuk.com/content/images/articles/polyporefire13.jpg) is a super nice guy in every way imaginable. Good friend of mine.


But so far I've always been so busy hiking from point a to point B I have not had a chance to fool with it.
Hollowdweller, I'm curious, do you find that most hikers, backpakers are in that same state of being when on the trails? Is that the main idea had by most, getting from point A to point B in the least amount of time? I'm curious. Thank You

Just Jeff
2007-02-15, 18:52
Is that the main idea had by most, getting from point A to point B in the least amount of time? I'm curious. Thank You

That's how I usually hike when I'm alone. If I'm with a group or with my kids I'll spend more time in camp, but on solo trips I like the exercise and change of scenery when I hike from the time I get up until just before bedtime. Not really worried about "the least amount of time" or about the distance...just about hiking.

Hollowdweller
2007-02-15, 19:10
I don't know. I usually have an itenary of places I want to go. Cliffs, waterfalls, places I like to sit and take in. So a lot of times spending 2 hours to get a fire going with a bowdrill puts me too far behind.

My wife and I know this really nice bog and we are thinking about going there in Aug and Sept and just staying in one spot and doing at least 1 day (or more) trying to forage all of our meals.

We have on occasion camped in the same place 2 nights but usually done dayhikes to see difft places.

Iceman
2007-02-16, 00:12
LuckyLuke, work the vaseline into the cotton balls, in the palm of your hand, and cram into a containter, they last forever. Pull out later to use, fluff it up, tear it apart, light a chunk and stuff into the base of your prepared fire, you will be amazed.

lucky luke
2007-02-16, 13:23
LuckyLuke, work the vaseline into the cotton balls, in the palm of your hand, and cram into a containter, they last forever. Pull out later to use, fluff it up, tear it apart, light a chunk and stuff into the base of your prepared fire, you will be amazed.

hi iceman,

i rarely ever make a fire. canŽt in germany and iŽm above treeline most the time when iŽm out.

anyway, iŽll try them. and fluff it up, yes :adore: ... so you can haul 10 in a filmcan.

thanks
lucky luke

stray1
2007-02-17, 21:08
Vaseline and a cotton ball is a mainstay of Ranger Rick's fire starting survival technique!

dropkick
2007-02-18, 01:49
For some reason I never even thought of using vaseline for a fire starter.
I have a small travel tube of it that I've been carrying around for years in my dop kit. Had it just in case I had dry skin or got a tender rump from the trots.
Now it's dual use!!

Skidsteer
2007-02-18, 19:32
Iceman,

You know what I do when my Bic lighter gets wet?

Build a fire to dry it out. Works every time. :biggrin:

Jonas4321
2007-02-18, 21:47
LuckyLuke, work the vaseline into the cotton balls, in the palm of your hand, and cram into a containter, they last forever. Pull out later to use, fluff it up, tear it apart, light a chunk and stuff into the base of your prepared fire, you will be amazed.

I've been using cotton balls with baby oil (a few drops per cotton ball), and jamming several into a pill bottle or 35mm film canister to carry. They ignite very quickly.

Never tried vaseline, does it work better / burn longer than baby oil? Seems like it would be messier to prepare.

Jonas

Amigi
2007-02-18, 22:23
These can be carried with you at all times, everyday, make them part of your lives,


Jesus, my nonmilitary friends already think I'm whacked out for carry a pocket knife with me everywhere I go "just-in-case". Now I have to carry flint and steel "just in case"?!??! After this what, a defibrillator? :biggrin:

incognito
2007-02-19, 19:26
Jesus, my nonmilitary friends already think I'm whacked out for carry a pocket knife with me everywhere I go "just-in-case". Now I have to carry flint and steel "just in case"?!??! After this what, a defibrillator? :biggrin:

Opps, sorry Amigi, not you, your knife will provide all you need.

Actually, yall don't need to. I'm just paranoid about hypothermia. Disregard my post.

Sorry!!!!!!!

Iceman
2007-02-20, 18:09
Iceman,

You know what I do when my Bic lighter gets wet?

Build a fire to dry it out. Works every time. :biggrin:

Hey, sounds like a good plan! I am so anal about carrying something to start a fire, I figure if one doesn't work I can always try another. This does not fit with the "Go light or Go Home" mentality, but keeps me happy...

CanoeCamper
2007-02-21, 21:14
Just curious, but what did you cut your flares with?
I'm thinking about trying that but am afraid of the thing going off in my hands.

Take-a-knee
2007-02-21, 23:07
You can hold a railroad flare by the end when it is burning, until it burns down. Back in the stone age we used 'em to bring in helicopters at night, before Ronald Reagan bought us strobe lights. So I guess those would be democrat signal devices.

Iceman
2007-02-21, 23:14
Just curious, but what did you cut your flares with?
I'm thinking about trying that but am afraid of the thing going off in my hands.

Hacksaw. Come on, be brave now.....you only live once.

Actually, the first one went off in my hand and I had to permanently mount a coffee mug to my arm.

CanoeCamper
2007-02-22, 10:47
Thanks.
Gonna go try this week sometime. If I don't get burned alive in my shed I'll thank you again.

pure_mahem
2007-03-11, 00:48
I'm not exactly saying that this method is safe but it aint messy unless you drop something or catch something on fire! All I know is it works for me and my wife hasn't killed me for burning the house down. Take an old glass jar something you were gonna throw away anyways (i.e. mustard jar, olives, horse radish etc) smear it about half full of vaseline and melt it on low in the microwave. Take a handfull of cotton balls my hand is like a grizzly paw so if you have little hands use two handfulls and stuff 'em in a ziplock and pour the vaseline into the bag. Try to get most of the air out of the bag and seal the bag. Now sqish and mead the cotton 'til you evenly distribute vthe vaseline and you can just about mold the cotton balls (don't burn yourself vaseline holds heat like a mother @$%!er just in case you heated the vaseline up to much). Let 'em cool in the bag and place 'em in an empty film cannister you can usually squeeze ten in a canister. I've also started using the empty canister from my diabetic test strips it seems to close tighter, it does way slightly more because it's a more heavy duty plastic, but most importantly the lid is attached so you can't loose it.

Just Jeff
2007-03-11, 11:07
Welcome to the forum, mahem...great time to bring this thread back to the top, considering the other thread Iceman just started.

Iceman
2007-03-11, 18:31
Ok iceman but its not waterproof the wicks can get wet .Now if you take the strike any where matches and put 3 or 4 up right with the candles wick hi cover whole thing with wax then you got a big match just strike it like a match

Oops, I was thinking of you today and, well here it is...the firestarter works after completely submerging in water. To be honest with you, it took three regualr household matches before the fire starter really took of, but all things being considered, a huge success. After pouring water over the firestarter in my kettle, I took it out of the water, and shook it off. I did no more drying than that. Just a shaking....The first match lit the waxed paper, but before the end wick took to flame, it blew out by the wind in my hand. Second match lit, and I though it would go, so I set it horizontal in my new wood burner to protect it from the wind, it also flamed out. So third time was the charm, I relit, held it fuse end down, so the heat from the waxed paper would dry it all out, and it started to sputter, and then the relighting birthday candles all lit, and I set it into the bottom of my wood stove and started setting thin tinder on top. Fire followed. Very happy with these firestarters. I plan to carry a few in my hiking and hunting gear...

pure_mahem
2007-03-11, 21:43
Definately unique and inventive! personally i'm staying with the cotton balls they light with just the catch of a spark and burn like all haties. Very cool though! They may be more effective by including a couple of matches when rolling them together even if you don't use them to light your undertaker fire starter they would probaly help to keep it going after you first lit it by adding some additional combustion. Just a thought.

My corruption brought to you by the Dukes of Hazard, Zoro, Davy Crocket, Voltron, Alf, Transformers, MASH, He-Man, Sesame Street, and the Smurfs.

Iceman
2007-03-12, 01:18
Mahem, I agree the cotton balls are awesome, I also have these... But what suprised me today was that the device burned immediately after being submerged under water. I would imagine it may not have if left to soak under water for any long period of time. Expose most firestarters to some rain and they do not work so well.

KLeth
2007-03-12, 02:37
I have from time to time used shreds of rubber or left over rubber bands from our food packs to ignite fires. Rubber burns hot even if it has been left to soak in water for days.
My firestarter kit is an old wide mouthed plastic pill bottle with petrol jelly filled cotton balls. To pack more energy I added a good squish of baby-oil. On top of the cotton balls I have our left over rubber bands.
But to light fires under good conditions I prefer birch bark :bandit:

Just Jeff
2007-03-12, 19:29
I always carry toilet paper and usually have olive oil. Some folks have soaked some TP in olive oil and said it works well as a firestarter...pretty good for something you're already carrying anyway. Haven't tried it yet...maybe next time I'm out.

GGS
2007-03-13, 00:09
I pick mine from the bag with two sticks like chop sticks.... then they provide a torch handle and the initial kindling....no waste...no mess....fire... -Pan


GGS, regarding cotton balls and vaseline, I have a one ounce containter with a screw on lid, I make the cotton balls at home, cram them into the bottle, and keep a sewing pin with bent tip in the bottle. Ready a fire, open the bottle, grasp the pin head, and use it to pull one cotton ball out of the bottle. Works great. -Iceman

Sorry, my post wasn't clear. USING cotton balls/vaseline is not my issue. MAKING them is messy. Or at least the way I've been making them is - by putting a blob of vaseline in my hands and rolling a cotton ball around. Hands all slimy and covered with cotton fuzzies. I've found dipping cotton balls into Tiki Torch fluid (baby oil or whatever) is far faster and less messy.


For some reason I never even thought of using vaseline for a fire starter. I have a small travel tube of it that I've been carrying around for years in my dop kit. Had it just in case I had dry skin or got a tender rump from the trots. Now it's dual use!! -Dropkick

Well you got me there. A vaseline cotton ball has more dual uses than a Tiki Torch cotton ball. Not sure I want Tiki Torch fluid near my tender rump... :biggrin: Baby oil might work for both cases tho...


Take an old glass jar something you were gonna throw away anyways (i.e. mustard jar, olives, horse radish etc) smear it about half full of vaseline and melt it on low in the microwave. Take a handfull of cotton balls my hand is like a grizzly paw so if you have little hands use two handfulls and stuff 'em in a ziplock and pour the vaseline into the bag. Try to get most of the air out of the bag and seal the bag. Now sqish and mead the cotton 'til you evenly distribute vthe vaseline and you can just about mold the cotton balls (don't burn yourself vaseline holds heat like a mother @$%!er just in case you heated the vaseline up to much). Let 'em cool in the bag and place 'em in an empty film cannister you can usually squeeze ten in a canister. I've also started using the empty canister from my diabetic test strips it seems to close tighter, it does way slightly more because it's a more heavy duty plastic, but most importantly the lid is attached so you can't loose it. -Pure_Mayhem

Now this looks promising. Once the vaseline is liquefied a number of mess-free assembly methods present themselves. Now we have multi-use, ease of manufacture, mess-free Vaseline Cotton Ball Firestarters! We just have to be careful melting the Vaseline... However these same precautions apply to melting wax for firestarters.

-GGS

Rhino-lfl
2007-04-09, 14:30
Vasaline burns? I've held matches to it before and all it seems to do it melt, never a flame.

Rhino-lfl
2007-04-09, 14:46
Oops, I was thinking of you today and, well here it is...the firestarter works after completely submerging in water. To be honest with you, it took three regualr household matches before the fire starter really took of, but all things being considered, a huge success...

Why not bundle a waterproof self striking match in there? just whip it out, strike it on a rock, FIRE!

Lanthar
2007-04-09, 17:06
melting the vaseline first? Nice call...

Iceman
2007-04-09, 23:58
Why not bundle a waterproof self striking match in there? just whip it out, strike it on a rock, FIRE!

Rhino, there are some firestarters out there called firebugs with what you speak. Most often out here you couldn't find a dry rock to work with. Instead, I wanted the shredded waxed paper fuse on the end to instantly light up and fire off the whole device. I made some of the firebugs, and they do work. I wanted my design to incorporate many of those magic relighting birthday candles which do not blow out, more of an "all or nothing approach". I do carry a lighter and other spark measures so I was not worried about being able to light the waxed paper fuse.

Rhino-lfl
2007-04-10, 15:22
Ya, but if you just bundled a strike anywhere match there instead of a wick to light the candles, you could strike it on your bare bottom while soaking wet and it will light the first time, catch the wax paper, and light the candles.

Rhino-lfl
2007-04-10, 15:24
Man, I held my lighter on a spoonful of vaseline lastnight for a few minutes and it didn't catch fire. Do you use special vaseline mixed with gas or something?

GGS
2007-04-10, 15:33
Man, I held my lighter on a spoonful of vaseline lastnight for a few minutes and it didn't catch fire. Do you use special vaseline mixed with gas or something?

Nope. Good 'ol petroleum jelly. I think the cotton fibers act as a 'wick' or something to help the flame. Works great though, a spark from flint/steel is all it takes to ignite it.

Try it. Just roll a cotton ball around in vaseline, then fluff the cotton back up by pulling it apart some. Then just touch a flame to it and poof! it ignites.

When you pull it apart try to floof it as much as you can, the floofier it is the better it ignites.

Floof a cotton ball... Is that a new Lexicon?

Iceman
2007-04-11, 00:01
Ya, but if you just bundled a strike anywhere match there instead of a wick to light the candles, you could strike it on your bare bottom while soaking wet and it will light the first time, catch the wax paper, and light the candles.


Seems too logical to work,(IE: Firebugs) you try and let me know how it works. :biggrin:

dropkick
2007-04-11, 01:30
Man, I held my lighter on a spoonful of vaseline lastnight for a few minutes and it didn't catch fire. Do you use special vaseline mixed with gas or something?
You have to have a wick, and vasoline doesn't work well as it's own wick.

What actually burns is the vapors given off when it's heated (this is true with all solids and liquids, even wood).

Have you ever thrown a lit match into a container of gas?

9 times out of 10 it will go out, or flash over and then either have a weak flickering flame or none. And gasoline actually works fairly well as it's own wick. To be it's own wick the vapor on the surface has to stay burning long enough to create more vapor and sustain the burning.

A cotton wick provides more surface to heat, and exposes the substance to the heat longer as it drawn up the wick.

Rhino-lfl
2007-04-24, 10:54
I took a whole container of vasaline, turned a gallon ziplock bag inside out, and scooped it all up. I then filled the bag with cotton balls and preceeded to mash them about. When it was all mixed, I drank a beer, cut the top off the can, and stuffed all the cotton balls in the can lol. The fire was great, but it started to melt the rough can edge just a tad. Burned for like 18 minutes.

Lanthar
2007-04-24, 13:21
I took a whole container of vasaline, turned a gallon ziplock bag inside out, and scooped it all up. I then filled the bag with cotton balls and preceeded to mash them about. When it was all mixed, I drank a beer, cut the top off the can, and stuffed all the cotton balls in the can lol. The fire was great, but it started to melt the rough can edge just a tad. Burned for like 18 minutes.

you lit them all up?

Rhino-lfl
2007-04-26, 16:58
you lit them all up?
Ya, they just burned yellow and wicked for a while.

Lanthar
2007-04-26, 17:11
Ya, they just burned yellow and wicked for a while.

I bet it would have burned like blazes if you had loaded (piled loosely so air could get around them) them into a psuedo-bushbuddy like the one that Franco built... it's either here or WB that he posted it... (basically a reverse downdraft gassifier)

That or a homemade zip stove...

Iceman
2010-12-13, 14:44
Bump

warraghiyagey
2010-12-13, 14:47
Because?

Iceman
2010-12-13, 14:49
Just checking to see if things are still working around here...have not been here in a very long time...

taildragger
2010-12-13, 14:51
I prefer this one

http://www.capsgetpeeled.com/blog/archives/fireupbackyard1.jpg

Probly a bit heavy for anything other than car camping

warraghiyagey
2010-12-13, 14:51
Welcome back. . . :beer:

warraghiyagey
2010-12-13, 14:52
I prefer this one

http://www.capsgetpeeled.com/blog/archives/fireupbackyard1.jpg

Probly a bit heavy for anything other than car camping

I find those red x's to be a bit cumbersome. . .

SGT Rock
2010-12-13, 14:53
I like olive oil and toilet paper. Learned that one from HOI

Lugnut
2010-12-13, 14:53
You have stumbled on to Warraghy's hide out. He's been driven away most everywhere else. Don't let him annoy you. :angel:

Hog On Ice
2010-12-13, 14:58
did you ever see that vid of starting a BBQ grill with LOX?

TBLr_XrooLs

taildragger
2010-12-13, 14:59
I like olive oil and toilet paper. Learned that one from HOI

Hand sanitizer, I carry it sometimes, works well in a pinch, plus it doesn't waste precious TP

Iceman
2010-12-13, 14:59
Probably not the best to ask in the open forum......but is this place still swarming with uberleft econazzies? Ran me off years ago...

Lugnut
2010-12-13, 15:02
No. Most,but not all, hippies are gone now.

Skidsteer
2010-12-13, 15:02
Probably not the best to ask in the open forum......but is this place still swarming with uberleft econazzies? Ran me off years ago...

Oh yeah. We're everywhere.

taildragger
2010-12-13, 15:04
Probably not the best to ask in the open forum......but is this place still swarming with uberleft econazzies? Ran me off years ago...

I've used biodiesel before, does that make me uberleft?

Iceman
2010-12-13, 15:06
Depends on what you used it for I guess...

taildragger
2010-12-13, 15:09
3/4 ton 4x4.

I used it while working for Shell Oil, really pissed them off :bootyshak

Skidsteer
2010-12-13, 15:10
Depends on what you used it for I guess...

To burn old tires.

Iceman
2010-12-13, 15:11
I bet it did... heh heh....

Nice Whitetail, bow, modern or ML?

Hog On Ice
2010-12-13, 15:12
he's everywhere he's everywhere ... Chicken Man

XcQfy1SavdQ&NR

SGT Rock
2010-12-13, 15:15
Get you some of this:

LM-93gBZvio

Wet wood? Rain? No problem.

Iceman
2010-12-13, 15:18
Hey Rock, long time no see....

Out here on the left coast I would be afraid to carry any of that stuff in my pack... They don't call it the rainforest for being dry...

SGT Rock
2010-12-13, 15:20
Use a water tight bottle LOL.

I hear the rainforest out there is beautiful.

Iceman
2010-12-13, 15:25
Yes it is. Our forests are actually doing pretty well out here (Washington State), less logging in the last 20 years, there are vast tracts where no clearcutting has occurred for years, these look nice from afar but are a bit too homogenous. The true old growth rainforests which we still have in places are absolutely spectacular.

taildragger
2010-12-13, 15:29
Left coast eh? I think that I got along with those guys better than anywhere else (save Northern Colorado, Southern WY, and select parts of MT and ID. Get to see any good larches this year?

That little buck was high powered rifle.

Iceman
2010-12-13, 15:56
Left coast eh? I think that I got along with those guys better than anywhere else (save Northern Colorado, Southern WY, and select parts of MT and ID. Get to see any good larches this year?

That little buck was high powered rifle.

We have Larch primarily east of the cascade range in our state, sort of like a mini Rockies... The west side of the hill is too wet for Larch and you seldom see them on this wet side... (just like our Whiteail deer population, only the the dry side of our state, with the Muley's On our wetside it is blacktailed deer only, with just a few crossover Muleys occasionally (they are lost or don't know any better...)

warraghiyagey
2010-12-13, 16:02
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-signs138.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

GGS
2010-12-13, 17:42
Iceman, good to hear from you! Was wondering where all the old guard went...

Tin Man
2010-12-13, 17:59
A friend swears the fake underbrush stuff used in an old train set is extremely flammable.

Iceman
2010-12-13, 21:39
Iceman, good to hear from you! Was wondering where all the old guard went...

Thanks!

Iceman
2010-12-13, 21:40
A friend swears the fake underbrush stuff used in an old train set is extremely flammable.

That's funny, makes you wonder how they found that out...

SGT Rock
2010-12-13, 21:41
The little tykes flame thrower.

Bulldawg
2010-12-13, 21:53
I use a little homemade starter I learned about from a friend. Take the paper egg cartons and cut every pocket into a single. Then pack it full with dryer lint. Be sure to pack as much as you can in there. Then melt all the wife's old candles on top of the lint. If thoroughly melted it will mix down into the lint. About one will start a fine fire if you have dry tinder. Two maybe if things are a bit wet. Works great.

Iceman
2010-12-13, 22:03
I have tried the lint/wax/eggcarton style before. My problem is that out here in the Pacific Northwest, things can be really wet and during my hunting and snowshoeing pursuits, I need something that will light very easily and I found many other firestarters are hard to light in damp conditions.... I can also carry a dozen of these firestarters in the place of one other style firestarter.

taildragger
2010-12-13, 22:06
Have you tried the paraffin logs that they use to start charcoal grills? Those little puppies burn for a long time for their size/weight IMHO, probably wouldn't be too bad on short trips.

SGT Rock
2010-12-13, 22:08
As I recall, my uncle used a simple tea light candle. He would just light it and start building the fire around it. It always seemed to work, even in a light rain.

Hog On Ice
2010-12-13, 22:36
Iceman - have you tried the toilet paper / olive oil fire starter?

warraghiyagey
2010-12-14, 09:58
The little tykes flame thrower.

Now that's funny. . .

Iceman
2010-12-14, 13:16
Iceman - have you tried the toilet paper / olive oil fire starter?


I can imagine it works pretty good and is a good dual use type thought...

You could make it a tripple use, by using the TP after the fact....then use to light your fire... :ahhhhh:

taildragger
2010-12-14, 13:17
I can imagine it works pretty good and is a good dual use type thought...

You could make it a tripple use, by using the TP after the fact....then use to light your fire... :ahhhhh:

I hear that smells like...

Hog On Ice
2010-12-14, 13:28
I can imagine it works pretty good and is a good dual use type thought...

You could make it a tripple use, by using the TP after the fact....then use to light your fire... :ahhhhh:

well I can't say as I have ever tried it _that_ way but anyways

1. take about 8 sheets of TP and make a sort of cup in your hand

2. pour in an ounce or so of the cooking oil (doesn't have to be olive oil)

3. gather the TP together forming a sort of a tear drop shape - make sure to get some oil on the upper part - this is the wick

4. place in the fire pit - typically I'll put it on a piece of bark or a flat piece of wood

5. light to top of the drop shaped TP - this will act as a wick and produce a good flame for about 10 minutes+/- depending on how much oil was used

Note with this fire starter I typically don't bother with the real small stuff - I go straight to the thumb sized sticks

Iceman
2010-12-15, 02:00
For car camping, I have a screwtop peanut jar with sliced cardboard which was saturated with vegetable oil..... Awesome fire starter.. Watched a greasy pizza box burned and got inspired.

For hunting, I will stick with wax based starters, no muss, no fuss...

warraghiyagey
2010-12-15, 09:18
http://content7.flixster.com/question/61/49/49/6149497_std.jpg

Tin Man
2010-12-15, 09:24
http://dphclub.com/static/posts/2008-10/pica4u.ru_1225397112_disaster_firestarter_girl.jpg

warraghiyagey
2010-12-15, 09:34
That's awesomely creepy. . . :beer:

Tin Man
2010-12-15, 10:16
That's awesomely creepy. . . :beer:

reminded me of a kid in my childhood neighborhood who actually did burn down a house... fortunately, it was under construction and no one was hurt... he's probably a senator now

Bulldawg
2010-12-15, 10:19
reminded me of a kid in my childhood neighborhood who actually did burn down a house... fortunately, it was under construction and no one was hurt... he's probably a senator now

In Massholetuchetts!!

SGT Rock
2010-12-15, 11:31
http://dphclub.com/static/posts/2008-10/pica4u.ru_1225397112_disaster_firestarter_girl.jpg


That's awesomely creepy. . . :beer:

Probably the school.

Hog On Ice
2010-12-15, 11:51
looks more like a day care center

JPW
2010-12-17, 21:47
My favorit is still birch bark. I pick up a few dead branches whenever I can and peel of the bark.

erin
2010-12-22, 00:57
Nice thread. I really like Iceman's initial idea and the great suggestions here. In Minnesota this fall, everything was so wet. We had stoves for cooking but wanted a fire for warmth. No go. We even used the bark from the fallen and dead birches and that helped create a dry platform in mush. The kicker getting it started was alot of patience, fanning the flame and....a little dryer lint and olive oil.

mudhead
2010-12-24, 15:22
You have cedar trees there?

Amigi
2010-12-29, 12:52
Probably not the best to ask in the open forum......but is this place still swarming with uberleft econazzies? Ran me off years ago...

You and I left at the same time. Every time Whiteblaze would go down, the crazie left-wing econazzies would flood Sgt's board. I

Kanga
2010-12-29, 14:24
You and I left at the same time. Every time Whiteblaze would go down, the crazie left-wing econazzies would flood Sgt's board. I

i doubt you've got to worry about that anymore. we're mostly all crazy right-wing, gun toting conservatives now. we scare the hippies.

Superman
2010-12-29, 15:24
The answer to this question...as well as many others is...."flame thrower.":angel:

sheepdog
2010-12-29, 15:40
napalm strike???

Amigi
2010-12-29, 21:36
i doubt you've got to worry about that anymore. we're mostly all crazy right-wing, gun toting conservatives now. we scare the hippies.

That, my friend, is good to hear.:beer:

Superman
2010-12-29, 21:38
That, my friend, is good to hear.:beer:

we're mostly all crazy right-wing, gun toting conservatives now That's sort of a relative thing.:angel:

GGS2
2010-12-30, 03:32
i doubt you've got to worry about that anymore. we're mostly all crazy right-wing, gun toting conservatives now. we scare the hippies.
Especially Kanga.

john pickett
2010-12-30, 11:43
napalm strike?
Sheepdog, aren't we supposed to be at least a LITTLE LNT here? A napalm strike would have to be the size of a paper match, unless of course you caught them in the parking lot next to their priuses (heh,heh,heh)
john pickett

Superman
2010-12-30, 11:48
napalm strike?
Sheepdog, aren't we supposed to be at least a LITTLE LNT here? A napalm strike would have to be the size of a paper match, unless of course you caught them in the parking lot next to their priuses (heh,heh,heh)
john pickett

A Prius would make a nice fire and it would be good for the envirement.:angel:

Amigi
2010-12-30, 16:35
I'm a big big big believer in the fire piston myself. I have never encountered a situation where it wouldnt work.

SGT Rock
2010-12-31, 10:48
I haven't tried a fire piston yet, they look cool.

Amigi
2010-12-31, 16:26
I haven't tried a fire piston yet, they look cool.

Hey Sarge.
The thing is, they always work as long as the seals are in good shape. Pretty fool proof. I think when I was posting here before I hadnt yet gone this route. When I camp or hike I have a mini bic with me, but I keep a piston in my water filter bag as a back up. Even with wet tinder, a few smacks in the piston and it's dry and then lights.

I owned a ferrocerium rod for all of two trips. The damn thing scraped on my aluminum mess kit or a steel rivet I think and set my sweatshirt on fire in my pack! It just smoldered really, but wanna see how fast you can unlash your pack when it's billowing smoke? Try it, lol.

stonemark
2011-01-19, 02:20
DIY - Do It by Yourself, that's great~

Wise Old Owl
2011-01-21, 18:10
Well I dug deep into the thread and folks apart from the TP and Olive oil, you all forgot there is one thing that you do not need to carry, but find!
scroll down a little to the pictures.
http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forum/bushcraft/14127-what-your-preferred-method-fire-lighting-6.html

Our ancestors knew how to collect pitch and burl wood which is rich in turpentine. This is key to getting fire going in wet conditions in the backwoods. What is not mentioned is the little knots on the pine tree can be pulled off and will light easy!

Amigi
2011-01-22, 16:16
Well I dug deep into the thread and folks apart from the TP and Olive oil, you all forgot there is one thing that you do not need to carry, but find!
scroll down a little to the pictures.
http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forum/bushcraft/14127-what-your-preferred-method-fire-lighting-6.html

Our ancestors knew how to collect pitch and burl wood which is rich in turpentine. This is key to getting fire going in wet conditions in the backwoods. What is not mentioned is the little knots on the pine tree can be pulled off and will light easy!

Interesting. Though the the bottom of that page, someone said a rub and base or bow and string. I challenge anyone to light a fire those ways. It is HARD. I've never managed to base and rub, though did one time get a bow and string to smoke a bit. Not something I would want to do in a survsit.

GGS
2011-01-22, 17:51
The soaked cotton ball/ tp ball works with any wicking fuel:

vaseline
lamp oil
kerosene
diesel fuel
olive oil
vegetable oils
alcohol from your alchy stove
tiki torch fluid

Easy to prepare at home. I like the oils over vaseline as one can pack cotton balls in a small container (35mm film container or pill bottle), then dribble oil in until all the cotton is moist.

A single spark from a ferrule rod will ignite a cotton ball immediately. A small tuft of a cotton ball is all you need to start dry tinder. If tinder is damp, use a whole cotton ball or even two to dry out and ignite the tinder.

Footslogger
2011-01-31, 12:41
Belly Button Lint ...

Kanga
2011-01-31, 18:43
this is a great thread an i'm gonna let you finish, but every time i see this thread title pop up, i think of kanye west.

Jim Henderson
2011-02-09, 17:45
Just saw this today and thought this is a good SAFE alternative for fire starting.

Just need one of these and water and sun.

If you are an outdoorsman, you for sure have the first two and it is up to the weather gods as to whether we have sun.

http://www.cab4fun.com/making-fire-using-a-balloon-condom/?utm_source=wahoha.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wahoha

You all have one of these in your wallet, right?

Jim Henderson


Just noticed, some of the links from this page might not be appropriate for children. Nothing blatant but adult guy oriented stuff.

Rockdawg69
2011-02-09, 20:48
Don't know if this has be mentioned before but hand sanitizer that has high alcohol content works well, especially the gel variety. You still need some type of tender or small stuff to give it a better starting point. Also works in an alky stove in a pinch.

Wise Old Owl
2011-02-09, 23:09
Ok iceman but its not waterproof the wicks can get wet .Now if you take the strike any where matches and put 3 or 4 up right with the candles wick hi cover whole thing with wax then you got a big match just strike it like a match


Ok come on give him a break for trying, how about he substitues a non blow out candle and sawdust in the additional wax?

I will avoid all this and explain there are Knots and nodules on pine trees that are full of turpentine and that's my fire starter...

Semper fi

Wise Old Owl
2011-02-09, 23:11
I haven't tried a fire piston yet, they look cool.


http://www.bing.com/search?q=fire+piston+sale&form=OSDSRC

Amigi
2011-02-10, 02:31
Ok come on give him a break for trying, how about he substitues a non blow out candle and sawdust in the additional wax?

I will avoid all this and explain there are Knots and nodules on pine trees that are full of turpentine and that's my fire starter...

Semper fi


Not in Southern Pine. To get at the turpentine in the sap, you have to drill a hole which is both unethical unless your in deep caca, and in some case illegal as in the Ocala National Forest.

Roche
2011-02-10, 18:52
Here's a news flash - use a Bic lighter.:albertein