New idea for fire starting

9:52 a.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Well I thought I had my fire kit pretty well nailed down. Then I met a guy with a newer idea, to me at least. He carries a couple ounces of white gas in a little metal bottle, lots of people do this, but he goes one step further. He has a sewing thimble he uses, he puts a tiny amount of fuel in the thimble, then builds his fire around it. The thimble keeps the fuel from escaping or absorbing into the ground. I watched him start a fire with flint and steel in almost no time. He says he started it as a way to dry damp tinder, but it works so well he uses it all the time. Im gonna have to get a thimble, why not they weigh nothing. Anyway, it seems like a pretty good idea to me, we all need every advantage when a fire could be the diff between livin or dyin.

3:48 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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There are a few issues with using a liquid fuel, one  is dexterity concerns. If your using this method under "normal" conditions its a tried and true method to get things going rapidly. However, when it comes to one of those rarer situations such as when your well on your way to subcumbing to the cold, and your hands are a trembling mess or you just simple can not feel them at all. Then trying to pour any amount of liquid fuel , much less getting the top off the container is going to be an challenging experience. You would be more likely to douse yourself with fuel, or accidentally spill all of the fuel all over the place in a similar fashion.

If your personally "ok", and your just trying to start a fire under adverse conditions, then it should work fine. I just wouldn't rely on it as your sole "emergency fire starter"

The other major point to consider:

Do not handle liquid fuel, such as gasoline. At cold temperatures, fuel can drop below its freezing point yet remain in liquid form. If it touches your skin, it will evaporate immediately and can lead to instant frostbite.

Read more: Frostbite

I will stick to other means for my fire starting personally. Though since I always have a white gas stove in the winter, it is always an option at my disposal.

5:16 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Seems a like a lot of work to me.  And we don't usually make a fire anyway, even where it is allowed.


Lots of our destinations are above the campfire limit anyway. 

5:31 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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I was thinkin that I always have the white gas stove in winter too, so the only addition would be a tiny metal cup. In a survival situation, I would pour plenty of gas on anything that would burn, period. I was thinking about rainy days in the shoulder seasons, when its hard to start a fire, before I get hypothermic. Im in nh, with snow cover in the winter,usually, there is always a dead hemlock or pine around, I would break up and douse one with gas, to survive. I try to plan ahead, so I havent been shaking cold too often. This is more of a convenience than a survival tool, I carry several fire making options.

11:45 a.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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you could also crumple a piece of toilet paper or carry a small piece of sponge, sprinkle a little white gas on it (which you could do even with shaking hands), and fire it up.  will burn for a while. 



1:13 p.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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I once used the liquid fuel method but with this twist. I was winter camping in the high Sierra in 1980. I could not find any wood or tinder that was dry enough to light. I took a small roll of Toilet Paper completely doused it with the white gas from my MSR stove, placed it in the bottom of a snow pit, built the usual fire wood pile above it and lit the gas soaked TP. The TP burned for 30 minutes drying out enough wet wood to get the fire going.

4:21 p.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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When i go primitive no gas is allowed period, no matches or lighters either, and i don't wast black powder even if my rifle is loaded and I happen to be lazy and use the lock to start fire.

I can't stand to camp near modern people who use charcoal light fluid either. Just hate that stuff and anything cooked on coals that was lit with it.

Only once have i used coleman fuel for starting a fire but that was also in anger. I about blew up the fire pit too. I did blow up 2 cans of canned ravioli in that fire too, on purpose. I was some riled....

In the 18th century I pack 3 maybe 4 flint and steel sets, so i always have one handy if not all 4. Each set is in a tight tin, and each set has a glass assorted threads and twines which can be threads or tinder and each contains bits of birch bark and assorted fungus, some charred some that just catches sparks. Usually there is candle stubs, and assorted other small items like brass fish hooks and a coil of line.

In fair weather Buck Skinners race flint and steel for fire, and we often have about 3 books of matches worth of fire in one hand or the other in under 3 seconds time. These races can earn a little cash if you win sometimes.

No Moon metals here, and so far i see the modern moon metals as a pain I have no wish to bother with.

If you carry tinder you always have dry tinder, and in NH you can make more dry tinder any time you like.

It indeed would be a cold day in Hell to not be able to find pretty dry tinder in NH for me.

I wouldn't carry fuel to start fire, but if I were going modern I might use fuel if it were some emergency, but I don't believe in emergencies much.

A time came for me going up the Lowes path in winter where I thought someone was going to have an emergency, as I found a plastic typical prescription bottle in the trail and picked it up with out any study.

Bad Move.

Never again.

It had gasoline for a car in it and it was leaking badly... i got gas stink all over my mitten shell, and that got me riled too. I never did find the owner which was good for them... Burned that mess all of every bit with wood added to just get rid of it... smack dead center in the trail in a wood raft so I could be sure to burn it ALL.

A bit more up the hill and i came on a Jiffy Pop pop corn thing already to get cooked up, and i took that too.


A wood raft is just that, a raft made of wood on ice and snow with fire in top. A few carboned sticks are not going to bother anything as much as gasoline and damn plastic in the wrong places.

Over nights going primitive i always build fires on raft on top of the snow and will go to fair labor to build the rafts of the wettest dead logs i can find. The point there is i don't want the raft to burn at all or allow heat to melt the snow under it.

A fire 4 to 5 feet down in a snow hole is useless.

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