Fire Starting

Started by Ghost, April 23, 2022, 03:03:09 PM

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Ghost

Branching off from here: https://ufozs.com/smf/index.php?topic=216.msg15414#msg15414

Along with water and shelter, fire is in the Top 3.Bullets, beans and bandages? You'll get no argument from me; I will say that the the previous three trump the later however.  So with tat in mind, fire starters.
I made them from nothing more than the following:
- cardboard egg holders
- sawdust
- wax (via the kids crayons melted down) they are older so don't care at all ;)
- dryer lint

The following? Once ignited, burned for 15 minutes solid with no issues. Next step is to add petroleum jelly and tape up with masking or duct tape and test out.

Even without the petroleum jelly these burned for 15 minutes solid in less than ideal conditions.

Moab

I use dryer lint (cotton is best) or cotton balls mixed with vaseline. Always lasts long enough to start a fire. But I have never timed it.  Anymore than that and I use a tea candle.

I posted a yt vid some time ago on zs. Where a guy showed starting a fire with wet wood using a tea candle. Like wet wood with an entire canteen of water piured over it. And with the tea candle set under it. It eventually will start burning. Didn't take to long. But you have to have that constant flame for awhile. I would think your 15 minute burn time would suffice. Its about the only way to do it. Short of using fuel.

I think most of the commercial fire starters are simply wax or some petroleum product like vaseline in cotton or similar. 

Make up removal pads work well too.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

CG

I would just like to point out that it's very hard to cook your beans (of bullets, beans, and bandaids) without any fire, and dried beans would not be fun to eat without cooking.  I always thought fire and water were assumed in that equation.

flybynight

You know it just occurred to me, one could carry a few matchlite briquets in a baggy to start your  campfire. (for beans, not bullets. Bullets  in the campfire would be hazardous to your health. Unless you are a really bad cook, in which case the bullets may be less painful)  . Five briquets in a baggy would start five fires
"Hey idiot, you should feel your pulse, not see it."  Echo 83

SCBrian

I've taught and used the dryer lint method plenty of times, but what I tend to carry is pieces from a small duraflame starter.  They make a very small version of their firelog (4oz) that can be broken into 4 sharpie sized pieces.  I wrap this in saran wrap for storage and usually have some other material with it to help (fatwood, cotton, etc). 
They are cheap (<1$) last time I went looking..

BattleVersion wrote:  "For my Family?...Burn down the world, sure... But, I'm also willing to carry it on my shoulders."

Moab

Quote from: SCBrian on April 24, 2022, 09:41:43 AMI've taught and used the dryer lint method plenty of times, but what I tend to carry is pieces from a small duraflame starter.  They make a very small version of their firelog (4oz) that can be broken into 4 sharpie sized pieces.  I wrap this in saran wrap for storage and usually have some other material with it to help (fatwood, cotton, etc). 
They are cheap (<1$) last time I went looking..


Are those impregnated with fuel or is it just wax or something? I would think long term the fuel would eventually evaporate. 

I've rethought alot of my bob preps since ignoring it for a couple years. And then opening things back up. My main emergency radio completely died. And it didnt even have batteries in it. I had Zippos with flint that turned to powder. And zippos that rusted into just about complete nonoperation. Now i only carry one Zippo without dlint or fuel in it. Inside of a sealed rubber zippo case. Which actually does work. It will keep fuel from evaporating for months instead of days or weeks. Like in a typical zippo. Not that zippos even rank in my hierarchy of fire starting tools. 

Tactical Lighter Storage Case Box Container Organizer Holder for Zippo Inner Tank Waterproof Anti-Drop https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YJQJRN6/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_i_GF7X5RHP7GN57F1XEJAD?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Rednex

Way back when I used to collect sawdust from work,melt the candle remnants I had in a metal bucket by a fire. Dump in sawdust when melted, add some citronella tiki torch oil . Let dry and cut into small cubes as fire starters. They worked good at the camp ground.

Moab

This would be a great thread title to start showing our fire starting kits. Or we should start one. I'd love to see others ideas on this subject. And strategies.

After alot of thought. And testing wood can stoves for months on end. (I manufactured them for a while. And sold them on ebay.) I came to the conclusion that a combination of bic lighters, fat ferro rods with hack saw blade strikers, vaseline/lint or cotton balls, vaseline or hand sanitizer by itself, and tea candles was the winning combination.

But I would love to be convinced otherwise. I won't go into my theories on this unless we want to do this in this thread or start a new one. I think alot of people that plan to bug out or even bug in. But that dont hike or camp much. Have little knowledge or theory behind how to start a fire. And what the best tools and techniques are. They put multiple bics in their bags. But have seldom actually built a fire.

Alot of my bug out plans revolve around saving weight and space. And using fire instead of various stoves and fuel to accomplish that. Not that I don't employ an alcohol stove, fuel, simple windscreen and a pot. I do. As it all fits inside of said pot. That I need for cooking. But there are so many tools to accomplish this. It can get complicated.

For other less experienced members of my family group. I think a fake pocket rocket with piezo ignition from amazon and a bottle of fuel are the best choice. But high on the list is training them in making fire. So many of our society are so removed from even the simple process of making fire its a bit surpising.

But I also always come back to the idea of doing everything with fire. As all you really need is an ignition source. Or just a bic. You can cook, heat yourself, purify your water. With some rocks as a pot stand and wind brake. And save yourself precious room and weight. From so many other tools for that job.

A person could pack so many things. A fire grate, metal water container like a stainless Nalgene or the like for boiling water, so many cooksets, so many different stoves, so many different fuels. The list seems endless sometimes. And every time I pick up my pack I think what the hell else can I do without?! And still remain effective. I'm always looking for a lighter weight easier way of doing things.

Not to mention all the other kits you want to take. Fishing kit, firearm maintenance kit, crucial firearms parts, first aid kit, trapping kit, repair kit, tool kit, hygeine kit - each one these ends up contributing so much to your added bulk. KISS is the way to go. But you also have to have clear strategies and some back ups. The question is akways where do you stop? Where is enough?
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Moab

Quote from: Rednex on April 26, 2022, 07:14:25 PMWay back when I used to collect sawdust from work,melt the candle remnants I had in a metal bucket by a fire. Dump in sawdust when melted, add some citronella tiki torch oil . Let dry and cut into small cubes as fire starters. They worked good at the camp ground.
Many tutorials about doing that. Especially with cardboard egg cartons. Those are awesome fire starters.

My only concern has always been bulk if its something you plan to hike with. I think dryer lint/cotton ball and vaseline is just as effective or at least effective enough. Takes up way less room. And you can carry quite a few more. Its very similar to those commercial firestarters that look like little tampons and come in a small tin.

I'm always on the side of home made gear. Its usually better. And better suited to your specific needs and climate. But commercial firestarters hit all the main points too. Its alot more fun and cost effective to make your own though. And you can spend those few dollars you saved on something you absolutely have to buy. That you cant just make yourself.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Ghost

Quote from: Moab on April 26, 2022, 07:43:09 PM
Quote from: Rednex on April 26, 2022, 07:14:25 PMWay back when I used to collect sawdust from work,melt the candle remnants I had in a metal bucket by a fire. Dump in sawdust when melted, add some citronella tiki torch oil . Let dry and cut into small cubes as fire starters. They worked good at the camp ground.
Many tutorials about doing that. Especially with cardboard egg cartons. Those are awesome fire starters.

My only concern has always been bulk if its something you plan to hike with. I think dryer lint/cotton ball and vaseline is just as effective or at least effective enough. Takes up way less room. And you can carry quite a few more. Its very similar to those commercial firestarters that look like little tampons and come in a small tin.

I'm always on the side of home made gear. Its usually better. And better suited to your specific needs and climate. But commercial firestarters hit all the main points too. Its alot more fun and cost effective to make your own though. And you can spend those few dollars you saved on something you absolutely have to buy. That you cant just make yourself.
Indeed making stuff is much more fun. In my BOB I have commercial stuff as you note the homemade ones we have been talking about are bulky. I use them for camping and for fire starter specific bags I have. Basically two of the same things: lint, Vaseline, cotton balls, small pieces of dry tinder, these fire starters, some Blackbeard fire starters, bic lighters etc. The idea is if the SHTF and I can bug out in the truck they go in the back, if on foot, maybe...

Moab

Quote from: Ghost on April 26, 2022, 08:26:06 PM
Quote from: Moab on April 26, 2022, 07:43:09 PM
Quote from: Rednex on April 26, 2022, 07:14:25 PMWay back when I used to collect sawdust from work,melt the candle remnants I had in a metal bucket by a fire. Dump in sawdust when melted, add some citronella tiki torch oil . Let dry and cut into small cubes as fire starters. They worked good at the camp ground.
Many tutorials about doing that. Especially with cardboard egg cartons. Those are awesome fire starters.

My only concern has always been bulk if its something you plan to hike with. I think dryer lint/cotton ball and vaseline is just as effective or at least effective enough. Takes up way less room. And you can carry quite a few more. Its very similar to those commercial firestarters that look like little tampons and come in a small tin.

I'm always on the side of home made gear. Its usually better. And better suited to your specific needs and climate. But commercial firestarters hit all the main points too. Its alot more fun and cost effective to make your own though. And you can spend those few dollars you saved on something you absolutely have to buy. That you cant just make yourself.
Indeed making stuff is much more fun. In my BOB I have commercial stuff as you note the homemade ones we have been talking about are bulky. I use them for camping and for fire starter specific bags I have. Basically two of the same things: lint, Vaseline, cotton balls, small pieces of dry tinder, these fire starters, some Blackbeard fire starters, bic lighters etc. The idea is if the SHTF and I can bug out in the truck they go in the back, if on foot, maybe...

I have to be honest. I have not been as good about prepping for a vehicle bug out. But I have been collecting necessary supplies. I am at about the place to start putting things in totes and bags. So glad i saved all those canvas pilot bags I've had over the years. They work perfectly for this. 

So I've just begun to get my head out of ounce counting. And realizing I can take some bulky heavy items that are necessities. Which larger firestarters would be great for. I hadnt even thought of firewood or even a couple duraflame logs. Might not be a bad addition. Firewood is scarce in the southwest. 
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Ghost

Quote from: Moab on April 26, 2022, 09:05:40 PM
Quote from: Ghost on April 26, 2022, 08:26:06 PM
Quote from: Moab on April 26, 2022, 07:43:09 PM
Quote from: Rednex on April 26, 2022, 07:14:25 PMWay back when I used to collect sawdust from work,melt the candle remnants I had in a metal bucket by a fire. Dump in sawdust when melted, add some citronella tiki torch oil . Let dry and cut into small cubes as fire starters. They worked good at the camp ground.
Many tutorials about doing that. Especially with cardboard egg cartons. Those are awesome fire starters.

My only concern has always been bulk if its something you plan to hike with. I think dryer lint/cotton ball and vaseline is just as effective or at least effective enough. Takes up way less room. And you can carry quite a few more. Its very similar to those commercial firestarters that look like little tampons and come in a small tin.

I'm always on the side of home made gear. Its usually better. And better suited to your specific needs and climate. But commercial firestarters hit all the main points too. Its alot more fun and cost effective to make your own though. And you can spend those few dollars you saved on something you absolutely have to buy. That you cant just make yourself.
Indeed making stuff is much more fun. In my BOB I have commercial stuff as you note the homemade ones we have been talking about are bulky. I use them for camping and for fire starter specific bags I have. Basically two of the same things: lint, Vaseline, cotton balls, small pieces of dry tinder, these fire starters, some Blackbeard fire starters, bic lighters etc. The idea is if the SHTF and I can bug out in the truck they go in the back, if on foot, maybe...

I have to be honest. I have not been as good about prepping for a vehicle bug out. But I have been collecting necessary supplies. I am at about the place to start putting things in totes and bags. So glad i saved all those canvas pilot bags I've had over the years. They work perfectly for this.

So I've just begun to get my head out of ounce counting. And realizing I can take some bulky heavy items that are necessities. Which larger firestarters would be great for. I hadnt even thought of firewood or even a couple duraflame logs. Might not be a bad addition. Firewood is scarce in the southwest.
Unless we are talking EMP, it's the most likely bug out mode IMO. I get the idea of weight saving, but a certain point it becomes excessive; almost as bad as carrying too much. I agree with some of the statements in other threads and places on the web:multi-function and redundancy, but where practical. Obviously if bugging out on foot its a whole different ball game.

In my case to get to my bug out lair its about 22 miles from my house. Not the best location but its better than nothing. I live on the edge of rural so I plan to bug in as long as possible. If I have to I can get out through the backyard if need be. My bug out vehicle is my daily driver: a 2021 Toyota Tacoma Off Road, better tires are in the future (just over a year old so still have the all-terrain from the dealer on them) but space can be a premium there too.

But more importantly is the packing of the vehicle. The packs would like be strapped down with cargo netting on top of the hard tonneau cover. Inside the bed I can fit a number of these:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-20-Gallon-80-Quart-Black-Tote-with-Latching-Lid/1000976072


Crosscut

One and Done Fire Starter

Burn day today, 50's with a light rain, decided to try an experiment.  5-hour energy bottle with a tampon inside and a loop tied in the string, filled with K-1 kero, and duct tape with shortened strike-anywhere matches.



Wrapped the tape around the bottle sealing the matches inside for a little waterproofing of them (not shown).  Out at the firepit full of wet yard waste, peeled off the duct tape from the bottle completely, removed a couple matches, and reapplied the duct tape higher on the bottle so it was above the level of the string wick.  Really wasn't sure how the thing would burn, but the plan generally was to make sure the plastic bottle caught fire at the rim anyway and duct tape actually burns pretty well.



This is about 45 seconds after lighting. 



Started adding wet kindling at this point, so difficult to see what exactly was happening with the bottle underneath.  About 2 - 2.5 minutes later, good fire intensity.  Just a guess but the bottle was probably completely melted at this point, and the flame is from the burning tampon, lying in a gob of molten plastic and in kero soaked ground.



My thoughts: Overkill for nice weather and dry wood, but the bottle is a good way to carry some Boy Scout Fluid in a BOB anyway.  The 5-hour energy bottles work well for most any fluids for that matter, burst proof and they don't leak.  For rainy (or snowy) days with wet wood this works pretty well as is, and it's fast.  More tinder/kindling around the base of the bottle before lighting would only help I think.  Taping a mini-Bic lighter to the bottle (for lighting only, not to burn it) might be better than the strike anywhere matches, the new strike anywhere matches don't light as easy as those from years past.

Moab

Quote from: Crosscut on May 01, 2022, 09:37:32 AMOne and Done Fire Starter

Burn day today, 50's with a light rain, decided to try an experiment.  5-hour energy bottle with a tampon inside and a loop tied in the string, filled with K-1 kero, and duct tape with shortened strike-anywhere matches.



Wrapped the tape around the bottle sealing the matches inside for a little waterproofing of them (not shown).  Out at the firepit full of wet yard waste, peeled off the duct tape from the bottle completely, removed a couple matches, and reapplied the duct tape higher on the bottle so it was above the level of the string wick.  Really wasn't sure how the thing would burn, but the plan generally was to make sure the plastic bottle caught fire at the rim anyway and duct tape actually burns pretty well.



This is about 45 seconds after lighting. 



Started adding wet kindling at this point, so difficult to see what exactly was happening with the bottle underneath.  About 2 - 2.5 minutes later, good fire intensity.  Just a guess but the bottle was probably completely melted at this point, and the flame is from the burning tampon, lying in a gob of molten plastic and in kero soaked ground.



My thoughts: Overkill for nice weather and dry wood, but the bottle is a good way to carry some Boy Scout Fluid in a BOB anyway.  The 5-hour energy bottles work well for most any fluids for that matter, burst proof and they don't leak.  For rainy (or snowy) days with wet wood this works pretty well as is, and it's fast.  More tinder/kindling around the base of the bottle before lighting would only help I think.  Taping a mini-Bic lighter to the bottle (for lighting only, not to burn it) might be better than the strike anywhere matches, the new strike anywhere matches don't light as easy as those from years past.
Thats a really good use for those bottles - holding fuel. I had not thought of that. I was on a kick a couole years ago. Where i drank that stuff. But never gave a thought about throwing those bottles away. I use an alcohol stove. And a 10oz(?) Bottle soecifically made for that. But thise little 5 hour energy ones would be a good little back up to keep in a small kit. That with a tiny fancy feast stove would be incredibly small.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Crosscut

Quote from: Moab on May 15, 2022, 07:46:56 PMThats a really good use for those bottles - holding fuel. I had not thought of that. I was on a kick a couole years ago. Where i drank that stuff. But never gave a thought about throwing those bottles away. I use an alcohol stove. And a 10oz(?) Bottle soecifically made for that. But thise little 5 hour energy ones would be a good little back up to keep in a small kit. That with a tiny fancy feast stove would be incredibly small.
I use them for storing liquids/ointments in our FAKs too, Betadine, sun block, and burn jel mostly.  None have leaked yet even in our BOV kits in freezing weather, but this was the first time trying kero and it was only in the container for an hour before I lit it. I should fill one and leave it upside down for a few months just to confirm with kero before packing them away though.  I wouldn't expect any problems with using them to store alcohol, they're sturdier than a lot of the single-shot / mini-bar liquor bottles anyway.

Ghost

Quote from: Moab on May 15, 2022, 07:46:56 PM
Quote from: Crosscut on May 01, 2022, 09:37:32 AMOne and Done Fire Starter

Burn day today, 50's with a light rain, decided to try an experiment.  5-hour energy bottle with a tampon inside and a loop tied in the string, filled with K-1 kero, and duct tape with shortened strike-anywhere matches.



Wrapped the tape around the bottle sealing the matches inside for a little waterproofing of them (not shown).  Out at the firepit full of wet yard waste, peeled off the duct tape from the bottle completely, removed a couple matches, and reapplied the duct tape higher on the bottle so it was above the level of the string wick.  Really wasn't sure how the thing would burn, but the plan generally was to make sure the plastic bottle caught fire at the rim anyway and duct tape actually burns pretty well.



This is about 45 seconds after lighting. 



Started adding wet kindling at this point, so difficult to see what exactly was happening with the bottle underneath.  About 2 - 2.5 minutes later, good fire intensity.  Just a guess but the bottle was probably completely melted at this point, and the flame is from the burning tampon, lying in a gob of molten plastic and in kero soaked ground.



My thoughts: Overkill for nice weather and dry wood, but the bottle is a good way to carry some Boy Scout Fluid in a BOB anyway.  The 5-hour energy bottles work well for most any fluids for that matter, burst proof and they don't leak.  For rainy (or snowy) days with wet wood this works pretty well as is, and it's fast.  More tinder/kindling around the base of the bottle before lighting would only help I think.  Taping a mini-Bic lighter to the bottle (for lighting only, not to burn it) might be better than the strike anywhere matches, the new strike anywhere matches don't light as easy as those from years past.
Thats a really good use for those bottles - holding fuel. I had not thought of that. I was on a kick a couole years ago. Where i drank that stuff. But never gave a thought about throwing those bottles away. I use an alcohol stove. And a 10oz(?) Bottle soecifically made for that. But thise little 5 hour energy ones would be a good little back up to keep in a small kit. That with a tiny fancy feast stove would be incredibly small.
I like the ideal of the compactness of the bottle but one would need to swap out the "Boy Scout fluid" fairly often I should think

Ghost

Did some testing this weekend with old hay from Halloween last year. I left over winter and spring so it would get wet and junky to test in June.

Now being a former scoutmaster and FF I know a fair amount of fire starting. My goal was to test in less than ideal conditions in a variety of methods with some of the stuff I had. Long story short I was able to get some less than ideal wood to burn via traditional methods but the straw largely just smoldered.

Next up is to try some of the homemade fire starters up thread with some of the same straw for a comparison.

EBuff75

Ghost's post about wet straw gave me a flashback to my youth.

I grew up outside of a small town and while we were in a subdivision (minimum lot size was an acre and most houses had more), it was still pretty rural and everything was heavily wooded.  That meant a lot of fallen branches, trees that had been cut back/down, brush that we'd removed, etc, that we had to deal with.  And THAT meant having big bonfires periodically to get rid of the piles of brush/scrap that had built up.

NOTE:  Do not try the following at home without significant redneck credentials!!

We usually cheated in order to get the fire started, since we were concerned more with expediency, not wilderness survival skills.  Sometimes we'd use starter fluid, but the normal method was to employ gasoline.  When starting, we'd pour on a few cups worth of gas, give it a couple of seconds to soak in (but not too long, as you didn't want it to evaporate), then toss a match in to ignite it while jumping backwards to escape the fireball.  If the fire died down and we were having trouble getting it going again, a paper Dixie cup filled with gas and tossed onto the fire would generally perk things back up.

But one year everything was soaking wet from a recent rain.  Even after quite a bit of gas being applied, we couldn't get the fire going.  It was just too wet.  But then my brother suggested using birch bark.  We had a reasonable number of birch trees on the property and there were always a few downed ones which were just rotting away in the woods.  We stripped some of them of their bark and piled it all on once side of the fire, then started things going there.  Fairly quickly, we had our usual bonfire going!

There are other trees/types of wood that work well, but if you're ever in a pinch and need something to really get a fire going, birch bark is excellent.  It has naturally occurring oil in it and once it starts, it'll burn quite nicely and very hot.  The downside is that it burns quickly and produces a lot of black smoke from the oils.  But it's hard to beat as a natural firestarter.  I've employed it several times over the years to get campfires going.
Information - it's all a battle for information. You have to know what's happening if you're going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

12_Gauge_Chimp

Not sure how true this is, but I was watching one of those Alaska off grid shows on National Geographic channel and a lady on one of the shows said that corn chips (she used Fritos) can be used as a fire starter.

She also said pretty much any chip with a high oil content will work, but corn chips work the best.

I usually end up eating corn chips and not using them to start fires, but this lady got me thinking about the idea.

Anyone ever heard of this or tried this ?

slipkid42

Quote from: 12_Gauge_Chimp on June 15, 2022, 05:15:35 PMNot sure how true this is, but I was watching one of those Alaska off grid shows on National Geographic channel and a lady on one of the shows said that corn chips (she used Fritos) can be used as a fire starter.

She also said pretty much any chip with a high oil content will work, but corn chips work the best.

I usually end up eating corn chips and not using them to start fires, but this lady got me thinking about the idea.

Anyone ever heard of this or tried this ?
Yes, I have and they do burn.  Also Pringles burn very well too.
"Savor the fruit of life, my young friends. It has a sweet taste when it is fresh from the vine, but don't live too long. The taste turns bitter ... after a time." --Kor, The Dahar Master

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