Easy, offbeat fire starters

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Easy, offbeat fire starters

Postby gyroguy » Mon May 26, 2008 7:37 pm

While camping last weekend, I was introduced to a new kind of tinder for starting fires: Fritos corn chips.

I lit one, and it burned for a couple minutes. LOTS of fatty fuel there!

I've used petroleum jelly (Vaseline) in cotton balls -- worked well.

Germ X will start a fire, but blows out easy. The hand cleanser is 60% alcohol, and the flame is invisible in daylight.

Milkweed seeds -- poof! They're gone.

Anyone have any other easy, offbeat fire starters?
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Postby Eddielbs » Mon May 26, 2008 8:42 pm

We use Vaseline and cotton balls it works great..
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Postby jplock » Mon May 26, 2008 9:00 pm

I have made them from cardboard egg crates cut up into 12 invidual peices then dipped in parafin. Lint out of your clothes dryer makes good tender. Light steel wool works good to and you don't need matches you can get it buring with a flahlight battery by using the steel wool to create a short between the negative and positive terminal. In emergency situations if you have no matches a flint and steel one can use lint out of their belly button for tinder.
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Postby IndyTom » Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 pm

Regular potato chips work great tool. Might be easier to light than a corn chip. Back in the days I was a volunteer firefighter, learned that Lays are the choice for fire starters among automobile arsonists. :roll:

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Postby tddriver » Mon May 26, 2008 10:41 pm

Spread wax paper on a cookie sheet. Spread dryer lint on the wax paper, then pour melted paraffin or candle wax over that. When dry, break or cut into useful sized pieces. They store well, too. :thumbsup:
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Postby Hinermad » Tue May 27, 2008 8:03 am

In Boy Scouts we mixed sawdust and paraffin to make a dough, then molded it into blocks or sticks, or packed it into the pockets in a paper egg carton. If it gets wet you can usually just wipe it off then light it with a match. I never tried to light one with a spark, but I wouldn't expect it to work very quickly.

I've heard of using cotton balls soaked in Vaseline as part of an emergency kit. 35mm film containers are popular to store them in.

On my first campout with the Scouts we tried to use paint thinner early one morning. The results were, well, impressive, although we still didn't get the darned fire lit. (Nobody was hurt, fortunately.)

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Postby Eunice » Tue May 27, 2008 10:18 am

I make up and use the eggcarton with lint dipped in parifin. I also put used dryer sheets in eggcartons. I have pine cones and fir cones dipped in parifin. work great. I use it in the charcoal starter container and the coals are ready super quick.
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Postby CAJUN LADY » Tue May 27, 2008 10:46 am

My son makes the ones you use with cardboard egg cartons too. He fills each one with lint and then pours some parafin in each one. He likes that it smells fresh when lit.

I got lucky last winter and bought a case of fire starter on clearance. It's compressed wood/wood products shaped in long cubes. One thing I found out is that I had to keep it in a sealed container in the garage because roaches like to eat it. Damn bugs.

When we lived in Idaho in 1985, we used to buy this stuff called Uinta (not sure if the spelling is correct). It looked like caramel and was soft like that and you put the bag on top of the logs and lit it. The wax dripped down the logs and began to burn...worked great.
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Postby onemanbander » Tue May 27, 2008 11:25 am

I've heard of a camper who got lost and in an emergency only situation used balls of duct tape to get the fire started and dry out the only available (wet) wood going.
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Postby 1849 » Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm

We made some in boy scouts a while back with the egg cartons and parafin, and put empty pistachio shells inside. Works great, and you get to eat the pistachios while making the fire starters.

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Postby 1849 » Tue May 27, 2008 2:24 pm

....sorry about that, don't know what happened.
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Postby madjack » Tue May 27, 2008 2:31 pm

1849 wrote:....sorry about that, don't know what happened.


...I cleaned it up for ya...when clicking the submit button, don't click it but one time only...the post will go thru each time you click it...even if it doesn't show at the time.......
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Postby TheBizMan » Tue May 27, 2008 2:31 pm

We use the egg carton idea, but use paper from the paper shredder and pour wax over that. Then we stick a half a self strike match in the middle.(with the tip up :).) That way we don't have to hunt for a match.
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Postby Hinermad » Tue May 27, 2008 3:44 pm

TheBizMan wrote: Then we stick a half a self strike match in the middle.(with the tip up :).) That way we don't have to hunt for a match.


Now that's just plain sensible. I wish I had thought of that.

By "self-strike" do you mean a strike-anywhere match? If so, where do you get them? I can't find them anywhere except online, and then there's a hazmat transport fee added to the shipping.

I just remembered a fire starter a friend of mine used to use - fatwood sticks. http://olsonfirewood.com/firestarters/ He used them in his fireplace. We took them camping a few times and they worked as advertised, but until they completely burned away anything cooked over the fire tended to taste like paint.

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Postby bobhenry » Wed May 28, 2008 7:33 am

TheBizMan wrote:We use the egg carton idea, but use paper from the paper shredder and pour wax over that. Then we stick a half a self strike match in the middle.(with the tip up :).) That way we don't have to hunt for a match.


Man I wish I had had that plan in place 2 weeks ago at our Brown County blowout. Crawled out of the tear at 4:30 to greet the dawn after a nice clearing rain storm during the night. A couple fragile coal left it the drenched campfire. I attempted to revive them with a paper towel bribe but they expired. Spent 30 minutes looking for either of the 2 books of matches we had brought. Found one on the picnic table rather water logged. Tried to quietly dig thru the galley ,to avoid waking the neighbors , while looking for the 2nd book. The search was to no avail. Finally located the 2nd book under the propane cook top which was left on the picnic table all night in the rain also. The book was in the shelter of the leg and under the body of the cooktop and was not quite as drenched. On the next to the last very damp match it lit and I was ready with a paper towel and some charcoal lighter fluid. Had a roaring fire by breakfast but I learned a lesson stach some extra matches somewhere that stays dry.
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