Steel Wool as a Tender

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Steel Wool as a Tender

Postby SkipperSue » Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:32 pm

This is something I learned in the Boy Scouts many years ago and have used it many many times. Just get some plain steel wool, don't use the kind with soap stuff in it. Take about a half a piece and set it on the ground where you want to start your fire. Get plenty of twigs and small wood ready, light the corner of the steel wool and blow on it. It will begin to glow a bright orange and get very hot. Start adding a few twigs and continue to blow on it. Soon you will have the beginings of a small fire. This works even in the rain! I keep some steel wool in one of those "mini M&M's" watertight containers. You can even use an empty lighter as long as it will still throw a spark, just hold it close to the wool and spark it. :)
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Postby Gerdo » Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:37 pm

You can also start the steel wool burning by touching a 9v battery to it.
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Postby SkipperSue » Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:20 pm

Cool! I didn't know that trick! :R Thanks. :twisted: :thumbsup:
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Postby WarPony » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:33 pm

Gerdo wrote:You can also start the steel wool burning by touching a 9v battery to it.


The steel wool trick works great! Get the "000" or "0000" grade wool for the best results. I have a mountain survival tape that showed how to use a Mini Mag AA flashlight to start a fire with the 0000 steel wool. You have to unscrew the lens cap and remove the light bulb. Take two pieces of paperclip or hard wire and stick each into the sockets left from the light bulb and make a "Y" shape so the wires don't touch. Turn the light on and stick it into the steel wool, the wool will start to instantly glow red hot. Your tinder should be ready to go before you even stick the flashlight into the wool so you can start blowing on it to get the fire to roll.

All this does is just short out the batteries so as long as the wires don't touch, it's not going to blow up on you when you turn on the power. This is more of a survival technique because shorting out the the batteries REALLY drains them.
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Postby Nitetimes » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:36 pm

WarPony wrote:
This is more of a survival technique because shorting out the the batteries REALLY drains them.


Very true, but, if you're lost, cold and it's getting dark, any way to get a fire started will do. You won't need the flashlite in the morning anyway. 8)
Rich


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Postby Denny Unfried » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:11 pm

Since I use the small propane bottles for my burners I take a soldering tip that screws onto the same propane bottles and quickly starts a fire.

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Postby BILLYL » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Now the new thing with Boy Scouts is to use Hand Santizer. It will start a fire fast - alcohol based product. Woop - a couple of squirts and away you go!


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Postby Laredo » Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:35 pm

yep.

Here's an "old-fashioned" fire starter trick:

Soak 6 or 7 q-tips (paper stem!) in 70% or stronger rubbing alcohol overnite, then lay out on wax paper and let dry.
Cut stems in half & store in an empty plastic film canister

These things flare up fast so don't throw sparks onto them until you have your tinder ready.
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Headlight reflector

Postby gyroguy » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:56 pm

One neat way to start a fire is with a reflector from a headlight. Use the kind that allows you to replace the bulb, not a sealed beam unit.

Rub some steel wool into a small cylinder about 1/8" diameter, then fluff the end. Put it where the filaments would be if the bulb were in the reflector.

Point it at the sun, watch for smoke, use the steel wool cylinder to start your fire.

I have about 2 dozen more firestarting ideas if you want.
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Re: Headlight reflector

Postby PaulC » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:04 am

gyroguy wrote:
I have about 2 dozen more firestarting ideas if you want.


Maybe we should start calling you "pyroguy" :lol:

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Re: Headlight reflector

Postby gyroguy » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:38 am

PaulC wrote:Maybe we should start calling you "pyroguy" :lol:


Too late, it's been done.

Took my Boy Scouts to winter camp last year. Before this they complained that propane stove took too long to cook on in cold weather.

Built a stove using a gas water heater burner. No regulator.

It made a bluish-yellowish flame three feet high when lit, sounded like a jet engine!

Got a spare burner if you don't need dem eyebrows!
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Re: Headlight reflector

Postby NightCap » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:47 am

gyroguy wrote:your fire.

I have about 2 dozen more firestarting ideas if you want.


Yep, I'll take those ideas. Never know when they will come in handy. Thanks :)
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Postby sdtripper2 » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:57 am

Speak ...The words of Fire~ *

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One who knows the true meaning of BURN~*


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Starting A Fire Without Matches

Postby gyroguy » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:57 pm

NightCap wrote:Yep, I'll take those ideas. Never know when they will come in handy. Thanks :)


Starting A Fire Without Matches:
-- Flint and steel with charcloth
-- Magnifying glass and tinder
-- 9-volt transistor battery and #0000 steel wool
-- Magnifying glass and #0000 steel wool
-- Bow drill and fireboard
-- Fire piston (pressure ignition)
-- Iron pyrite and quartz-bearing rock
-- Bamboo saw
-- Coke can and chocolate (parabolic reflector)
-- Glass gallon bottle full of water, and tinder
-- Big flashlight reflector w/tinder where bulb was
-- Bottom of a bottle, cracked off
-- Fire plow
-- Plastic/Saran “pocket” filled with water to make magnifying lens
-- Binoculars held the “wrong way” with eyepiece towards tinder
-- Fresnel lens from overhead projector
-- Broken transparent light bulb with water in it
-- Stainless steel dish used as parabolic reflector

Potential Darwin Awards:
Under the category of "this could be real hazardous to your health if you're dumb enough to try it":

1. Spontaneous combustion:
-- Kitty litter and Crisco oil
-- Potassium permanganate and glycerine
-- Pool chlorine tabs and brake fluid

2. You might lose your eyebrows when it lights:
-- Gasoline in metal hubcap and 12-volt car battery spark
-- Gasoline/acetone and spark striker
-- Calcium carbide, water, and sparker

3. Deer hunter's delight:
-- Shotgun shell with shot removed, filled with cloth, fired
-- Rifle cartridge, empty powder, fire cartridge at tinder

That's 26.

TIP: Have an ABC fire extinguisher next to you when you practice these. And don't depend on ANY of them to work in the woods, even if you practice. Carry matches and a BIC lighter to start your fires.

--Kerry Cartier, Scoutmaster
Troop 469, Wills Point TX

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Postby Podunkfla » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:10 am

Funny... I guess I'm just old fashoned? I just use a Bic. 8)
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