DIY: Fire Starting Fluid?

2:09 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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So on my last hike, as i finished up my setup routine, i spotted a small Nalgene bottle (about 1 oz) hanging on a branch next to my tent. I grabbed it, and noticed there was about half an ounce of a dark red, almost black, solution. Not thinking it all the way through, I open the bottle and immediately sniff the substance to see what it was. It REEKED of Isopropyl, but was thick like that of Two Stroke Engine Oil. Thinking to myself, I realized it must have been some sort of fuel/fire starter. So I placed a small amount in the fire pit, put a match to it. Immediately it ignited, and burned for a good minute or so. There was very little smoke, if at all from the liquid. And it didnt smell like any Petrol compunds. Seemed to burn very clean.

My question is... Does anyone here make their own firestarting fluid, or know of a brand sold that resembles what I just decribed? I would like to make or buy some as it worked so well when I decided to use it to start my fire that night. Just a small squirt got a bundle of damp kindling going in no time.

2:54 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Was it heating oil that would be my guess or possibly a liquid for a tekie torch.

3:05 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I dont think it was heating oil because thats generally just a diesel fuel... And tiki torch oil is generally lamp oil. Good ideas though. This just reeked of Isopropyl though. When I was a kid I burned many different flammable liquids to see what burned the biggest (kids...) so Ive come across a lot of flammable liquids, but none like this. Thats what lead me to believe it might be home made? Keep the ideas coming guys!

6:15 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Ok what about alcohol and automatic transmission fluid (ATF) mixture maybe synthetic ATF.

7:25 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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thats what I was thinking, the long burning would have to be an oil of some kind w/ the alcohol to get it going. well, try it and see how long they burn in comparison, just wear ya goggles!

7:34 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Bad Moonshine!

 

How about Marvel Mystery Oil as the compound in suspect, red, oily, flammable, I don't remember it containing alcohol though.

12:44 a.m. on June 6, 2009 (EDT)
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I can't help you much on what it was you found, but if you're looking for a good firestarter to carry with you, get an empty film canister (from back when cameras had film in them :D), coat some cotton balls really well with vaseline, and pack the canister full of 'em.

When you're ready for fire, the cotton balls will stick, even to the underside of wood. If you thoroughly saturated the cotton, it will burn for quite a long time.

12:01 p.m. on June 8, 2009 (EDT)
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I figured it out... turns out my dad had the exact stuff at his house! Its a firestarting gel, smokeless, "odorless", ha! I forget the brand but ill go look at the bottle in a bit here. But it looks like the stuff i found had been in the sun for a few days. I tried a sample of mine, put it in the same bottle, in the sun over the weekend and sure enough, it turned from its natural pink color, to a dark red. Smells exactly the same too! Good ideas and guesses though guys! Thanks!

1:50 p.m. on June 8, 2009 (EDT)
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3:54 p.m. on June 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Sounds like the cotton balls and vasaline would probably be the an inexpensive and convienent route to take - how long will they burn? do they burn hot enough and long enough to start damp wood?

6:12 p.m. on June 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Ok ok I know its cheating but I use these LOL.

http://www.coleman.com/coleman/ColemanCom/detail.asp?CategoryID=5300&product_id=2000001607

You get a pack of 12 of them and I brake each stick into 4 pieces and put a few (depending on how long my trip is) in a Ziploc bag. They work awesome for fire starters and they light very easy and burn long enough to get a nice fire going.

7:46 p.m. on June 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Alright! The mystery is solved. It seems that I saw someone start a fire in a fire place with something similar when I was a kid.

9:52 p.m. on June 8, 2009 (EDT)
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I can't help you much on what it was you found, but if you're looking for a good firestarter to carry with you, get an empty film canister (from back when cameras had film in them :D), coat some cotton balls really well with vaseline, and pack the canister full of 'em.

When you're ready for fire, the cotton balls will stick, even to the underside of wood. If you thoroughly saturated the cotton, it will burn for quite a long time.

 

Awesome idea East_Stingray! now I gotta go to a camera store...

11:50 p.m. on June 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Make your own...

 

See Napalm....

 

poached from Wikipedia:

Napalm is the name given to any of a number of flammable liquids used in warfare, often jellied gasoline. Napalm is actually the thickener in such liquids, which when mixed with gasoline makes a sticky incendiary gel. Developed by the U.S. in World War II by a team of Harvard chemists led by Louis Fieser, its name is a portmanteau of the names of its original ingredients, coprecipitated aluminium salts of [b]na[/b]phthenic and [b]palm[/b]itic acids. These were added to the flammable substance to cause it to gel.[1]

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