Top 5 fire starters

3:38 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,384 forum posts


top-5-fire-starters.jpg

Other things that work are :

Take a small bag of Fritos corn chips, each chip will burn for several minutes. 

Know more? Share them here...

6:20 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,597 reviewer rep
618 forum posts

Growing up we always saved the lint from the dryer, stuffed it in a baggie and brought it along on all camping trips. Lightweight, dry and something almost everyone has access to, that is if you own a drying machine.

10:18 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
11,737 reviewer rep
1,399 forum posts

Cottonballs infused with Vaseline make good firestarter. Of course, you need something to light it with.

11:20 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
BRAND REP
2,186 reviewer rep
493 forum posts

Some not yet mentioned:

Weber lighter cubes.

$3.29 for 24.

Something you're more likely to find in the BBQ accessories aisle, but dirt cheap and reliable, compared to their REI-sold counterparts: http://www.amazon.com/Weber-7417-FireStarters-Lighter-Cubes/dp/B001AN7RGG

Fatwood.

$3.49 for 4 lbs.

A little goes a long way. If you want to get all "UL" about it, chip off small pieces and pack some feathersticks and shavings into a small [waterproof] bag or container: http://www.menards.com/main/heating-cooling/fuel/4-lb-fatwood-firestarters/p-1331913-c-6855.htm

Birch bark, etc.

$0.00 - Free.

Anytime I find birch bark or the bark from dried/hanging vines, etc., I'll stop and scoop some up. Crumbling and forming it into a "Bird's Nest" shape, you can place a lit ember inside (making "Char Cloth" is an easy way to go about it) and use the oxygen in your breath to get it going. 

5:09 p.m. on April 28, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
273 forum posts

ive been making the egg carton/sawdust/wax ones for 35 years now....

guaranteed to start a fire....

last batch i made, back in september of 2011, i made 14 dozen...

so ill be set for a few years using one for every fire....

10:16 p.m. on April 28, 2014 (EDT)
1,030 reviewer rep
34 forum posts

My favorite fire starter is jute twine.   In its rolled state, it is compact and tucks away neatly in my fire kit.


IMG_2983.jpg

One strand and about a minute of unraveling reveals a nest of tinder that will take any spark and start kindling.


IMG_2987.jpg

it works every time, in every condition.  
 

10:32 p.m. on April 28, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
448 forum posts


IMG_0944.jpg
For natural materials, I'm partial to fatwood.  

12:31 a.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
1,747 reviewer rep
743 forum posts

I've heard of folks using propane torches...I wonder where it ranks? ...and how is a lighter number two?

7:14 a.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
2,780 reviewer rep
1,638 forum posts

In addition to all of the other methods I have found a piece of a sparkler(one of the good ones) to work wonders as an emergency fire starter. I use a 3in piece with a storm match taped to it. Will light even the wettest of materials.

I usually carry several method on me, many times because I am using a small wood stove to cook on.

1)bic lighter

2)ferro rod

3)Tinder for above devices-birch bark, fatwood, and jute twine.

Fatwood is some good stuff

8:38 a.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
11,737 reviewer rep
1,399 forum posts

jrenow said:

I've heard of folks using propane torches...I wonder where it ranks?

 I carry two...never hurts to have a spare.

12:08 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
BRAND REP
2,186 reviewer rep
493 forum posts

Definitely the "Two is Two, One is None" approach, Goose. :)

Forgot about the jute twine, PNW - great addition to the list.

5:49 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
11,737 reviewer rep
1,399 forum posts

Yep! Be prepared.

11:19 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
751 reviewer rep
44 forum posts

I like those flat, cotton cosmetic pads impregnated with paraffin. When dried, they harden into very packable flat discs. Tear 'em, light 'em, and they burn for several minutes.

http://www.laughingdog.com/2011/12/fire-starters.html


DSCF0652-1_edit-1.jpg

10:30 p.m. on April 30, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

I teach fire starting to Boy Scouts.  I've tried almost every fire starter listed so far.  The most popular one now among the Scouts is a cotton ball impregnated with hand sanitizer, then wrapped in aluminium foil.  To use, rip open the foil so the cotton can be seen.  It's almost like a can of Sterno once you get it lit.

11:11 p.m. on April 30, 2014 (EDT)
11,737 reviewer rep
1,399 forum posts

Jim Egan said:

I teach fire starting to Boy Scouts.  I've tried almost every fire starter listed so far.  The most popular one now among the Scouts is a cotton ball impregnated with hand sanitizer, then wrapped in aluminium foil.  To use, rip open the foil so the cotton can be seen.  It's almost like a can of Sterno once you get it lit.

 Welcome to TS, Jim! Are you a Scout leader or a merit badge counselor?

I'd love to see a pic of your technique.

4:11 a.m. on May 1, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

As an old coot I have used the paraffin with cotton balls, makeup pads or egg cartons. Though with the egg cartons I will fill the cartons with sawdust or similar materials then add the paraffin.   My thought on candles would be to use trick birthday candles, those that are difficult to blow out.  Hand Sanitizer must have alcohol or oil in its ingredients for flammability.  I quite like using sanitizer with cotton, jute or other cellulose material.

One method that deserves mentioning is the use of finely ground Potassium Permanganate  and glycerin or sugar.  The reaction creates an exothermic chemical result, that is heat is released - it can be hot enough to start a fire. 

As a matter of record I carry a few items every time I go out, several cotton cosmetic pads soaked in either sanitizer, wax, or petroleum jelly.  A couple trick birthday candles,  hand sanitizer itself plus ferrioceirum rod, bic lighter & matches.

A old coot I am and remain.  The woods are a second home, I miss sharing their life cycle.

8:17 a.m. on May 1, 2014 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,423 forum posts

The problem with several of these methods is they assume you have normal use of your hands.  If you become hypothermic you lose all gripping strength, no longer able to hold a match, use a flint and steel, or grasp and ignite a lighter.  Furthermore some of the tinder materials will not work if the get soaked.  the paraffin tinder variations are good, but they need a fire starter you can operate with "wooden" frozen hands.  A hurricane lighter is well suited for this purpose.

Ed

9:54 a.m. on May 1, 2014 (EDT)
108 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

Something that's been around for years (decades) is Mautz Fire Ribbon (there are other copies out as well).  This is a naptha paste (think of it as a form of napalm).  I started using this as an alternate to gasoline or alcohol for priming my stoves, especially when forced to cook in a tent.  It's advertized to light off wet wood -- and several times I ended up having to prove them right.  This is always in my emergency kit, along with drier lint.

11:40 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
2,695 reviewer rep
1,483 forum posts

@Ed: The reasoning in your last post is exactly why I want to try out the KMnO4/C3H8O3 combo...

Dump powdered contents of film canister on ground; squeeze the contents of a small bottle on top of it. Fire.

8:48 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
203 reviewer rep
6 forum posts

I used to always use either dryer lint or cotton balls and vasoline.  Lately, however, I've been using the sawdust left over after I clean out my chain saw - it burns longer than either of the above since it also has a touch of bar-chain oil soaked in.  I'd rather use it for for a fire starter than throw it away. 

3:07 p.m. on May 8, 2014 (EDT)
30 reviewer rep
39 forum posts

Wish I would have read that post earlier I just cut a large tree in the yards and got rid of a lot of good starter.

12:10 p.m. on May 10, 2014 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
6,518 reviewer rep
175 forum posts

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but a great source of dense cotton, and something that the ladies might be packing around with them anyways, are tampons. Lots of good demonstration videos online.

6:25 p.m. on May 11, 2014 (EDT)
1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Yellow Pine tree sap, makes a great fire starter as well as a few other uses.

11:18 a.m. on May 12, 2014 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
6,827 reviewer rep
1,682 forum posts

My stove has a push button lighter, when a lighter isn't handy I just light the stove then burn things with that.

6:48 p.m. on May 12, 2014 (EDT)
1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Jeff said:

"My stove has a push button lighter, when a lighter isn't handy I just light the stove then burn things with that."

 

Haha, yeah man!

I had a buddy of mine use his whisperlite to dry out some wet firewood once. He built a raised platform fire and put the stove under it. It actually worked pretty good.

6:51 p.m. on May 12, 2014 (EDT)
1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Ldog said:

I like those flat, cotton cosmetic pads impregnated with paraffin. When dried, they harden into very packable flat discs. Tear 'em, light 'em, and they burn for several minutes.

http://www.laughingdog.com/2011/12/fire-starters.html


DSCF0652-1_edit-1.jpg

 Thanks Bill, I can see why  they would pack well!

6:52 p.m. on May 12, 2014 (EDT)
1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Lah said:

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but a great source of dense cotton, and something that the ladies might be packing around with them anyways, are tampons. Lots of good demonstration videos online.

 Yep it works very well.

6:54 p.m. on May 12, 2014 (EDT)
1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

jrenow said:

I've heard of folks using propane torches...I wonder where it ranks? ...and how is a lighter number two?

 Yep I would rank a bic lighter number 1!

3:28 p.m. on May 13, 2014 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,423 forum posts

trouthunter said:

jrenow said:

I've heard of folks using propane torches...I wonder where it ranks? ...and how is a lighter number two?

 Yep I would rank a bic lighter number 1!

 +1 for the Bic.  I carry at least three.  Cheap insurance.  But I still take a hurricane lighter, just in case. 

Jrenow, why do you think a lighter should not place high on the list?

Ed

6:58 p.m. on May 14, 2014 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
6,916 reviewer rep
2,273 forum posts

absorbent firestarters (pick your poison - cotton balls, dryer lint, either of the above smeared with petroleum jelly, manufactured products) light easier with a small splash of white gas.  not too big a splash of course.

some kind of lighter is probably easiest and works best, esp. if you have limited use of your hands due to gloves, hypothermia.  i usually carry 2 different options, mostly waterproof matches and a fire steel - both work when it's wet.  

5:13 p.m. on June 30, 2014 (EDT)
16 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

I have seen several of the popular fire starters listed and discussed on here that I love and teach to my scouts. Each member of the unit that comes out on a backpacking trip must have an emergency survival kit as well as an individual first aid kit.(I love the trick birthday candles).

One method that has been used for centuries that I have not seen much about in here is Char Cloth. A single 4x4" piece of Char Cloth will hold a spark and help ignite your tinder nest.

I actually use a paint can from Home Depot that has never contained paint(meant for stripper) , and put my venthole in the top of that. I also use my charcoal grill with a nice level bed of coals. The Altoid tin is popular due to the flat shape as it makes it easier to flip and "cook" evenly.

One batch of Char Cloth can go a very long way.

Also love the 3" piece of spakler with a match attached to it that The Rambler mentioned.

www . practical survivor . com / charcloth

www . northwestjournal.ca/I1 .htm

 

 

  

7:30 a.m. on July 1, 2014 (EDT)
227 reviewer rep
20 forum posts

I see this went from a "firestarter" thread to a tinder thread. Both of which are very important topics. I picked up quite a few good methods for both. As far as Firestarter, there is always the sun, with an appropriately placed magnifying glass, or even an aluminum can ( polish the bottom with something waxy, such as a Hershey bar ) can magnify the suns rays to ignite most of the tinder that has been mentioned here. I would have to say although I love Birch bark, I always carry UST wet start. I think it's some form of a hex type fuel block.

 

I always carry a couple mini bics though. As fun as it is starting fire with a ferro rod, or a couple of sticks. Sometimes I just want fire and I want it now. Better living (and camping) thorough technology. :)

8:58 a.m. on July 1, 2014 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,384 forum posts

Justin Smith says: I always carry a couple mini bics though. As fun as it is starting fire with a ferro rod, or a couple of sticks. Sometimes I just want fire and I want it now. Better living (and camping) thorough technology. :)

I do the same thing. I cycle tour as you all know, and on tour often find lighters on the side of the road where someone has tossed it out after the fuel has been spent but the flint is still good for a while. A fire can be started using the flint alone for the spark.  Especially if one uses something like dryer lint soaked with vaseline or a little liquid fuel.

7:45 p.m. on July 1, 2014 (EDT)
253 reviewer rep
193 forum posts

Where do you get your potassium permanganate and glycerin?  I have seen it used to light a combination of powdered aluminum and iron oxide.

2:13 p.m. on July 2, 2014 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
3,976 forum posts

Kind of a broad question. One answer would be napalm, road flares, gasoline, kerosene or a drip torch. Another answer would be flint and steel, charcloth, magnesium stick, bic lighter or waterproof matches and a candle.

8:26 a.m. on July 3, 2014 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,384 forum posts

Once in Yosemite when I was in the high Sierra in the middle of the winter with deep snow all around and all the dead trees and limbs  were nothing but damp wood, I took my roll of toilet paper and soaked it with fuel from my white gas stove, put it in the bottom of the pit I had dug in the snow lined with ponderosa bark and piles the wet wood on top of. I lit the TP and it burned for half an hour and the wood dried and began to burn.

I kept the fir going late into the night and in the morning when I woke there was a 6 foot wide crater in the snow where I had dah the fire. It burned all the way down to the ground beneath the snow exposing the pine needles and pine cones. 

This was on top of El Capitan 3000 feet above Yosemite Valley. I made it my base camp for 3 weeks and put my TNF VE24 tent down inside the 6 foot snow crater to keep the wind away from the tetnt and make it warmer. I built another fore the next night like before tho I had stacked wood around the fire the night before to dry it. THat was one of my best base camp sites ever!

8:37 a.m. on July 3, 2014 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
3,976 forum posts

Good story Gary. I have had winter fires cave in lots of times. In a place like the Cascades in winter the snow is so deep you can't melt it down to the ground. A crater develops and gets unstable. The best solution is a lot of green material in the bottom of the fire pit that doesn't burn.

12:04 a.m. on July 6, 2014 (EDT)
111 reviewer rep
16 forum posts

I'm gonna agree with the Bic lighters. I carry 2-3 anytime I go out. Although it's not the best, because the fluid evaps, my "lucky charm" is my fathers old NAVY Zippo. After he died, I started carrying it with me anytime I went off the beaten path. It never leaves my pack until camp, then stays in my pocket, always have a back-up.

But, I digress, the problem is, as some have stated, what if you're hands are frozen and you can't grip lighters. I have to second the hurricane/storm matches. I've lit them in 40-50mph winds and they still flame up great for about 30 seconds. Long enough to start dry grass and twigs anyway. And the tried and true cotton balls/lint with vaseline is always in my pack as well, just in case we get those famous "out of the blue" PNW rainshowers.

1:56 p.m. on July 7, 2014 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
1,747 reviewer rep
743 forum posts

This is a really late reply. Ed...I was being sarcastic with my response above...like Mike...I would argue a lighter is my number one choice in all but the most extreme circumstances.

8:55 a.m. on July 8, 2014 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,384 forum posts

I keep my Bic lighter(s) in a ziploc bag to keep them dry,inside my MSR quart cook pot with my spork and plastic pot scrubby.

Wooden matches with paraffin dipped over the tip work well also. I used to carry them in X-pill bottles. I have stuck to using Bic lighters for the last 30 years, as long as they stay dry. I usually put one in my pocket the night before to keep it warm as they work better warm than cold I have found.

12:06 p.m. on July 10, 2014 (EDT)
BRAND REP
0 reviewer rep
51 forum posts

i've been using a beeswax impregnated cotton fabric for multiple applications and find that it comes in handy for camping and around the bbq. it makes for great food storage, and as a waterproof wrap for fire making essentials. this combination of wax and cloth has been used throughout history in clothing and sails, the only problem being that it could be a fire hazard... which is only a feature for our purposes. wrapping some around a stick provides for a makeshift torch. snake some around your charcoal briquettes gives one better control of the placement of the fuel additive than when using flammable liquid and cumbersome waxes.

disclosure time: having found a demand for this multiple purpose product, i have embarked on developing new products to take to market through my startup torchcloth.com (website is still in its infancy stages)

that being said, waxed fabrics are available on the web as well as several ideas for those so inclined to make some for themselves.

11:37 a.m. on July 14, 2014 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

My vote for even windy weather is an IMCO lighter (made in Austria... not the Chinese knockoff). Then to get things roaring mini buddy burners made w/ empty tea light aluminum (roll up cardboard inside and pour in melted paraffin) or boyscout "firebugs" (rolled newspaper tied in multiple locations then cut into 2-3" sections and dipped in paraffin)

9:54 a.m. on July 18, 2014 (EDT)
11,737 reviewer rep
1,399 forum posts

shapeshifter said:

disclosure time: having found a demand for this multiple purpose product, i have embarked on developing new products to take to market through my startup torchcloth.com (website is still in its infancy stages)

 Hey shapeshifter, the link is not working at all. I'd be interested in seeing what you have--I LOVE cottage industry vendors.

12:42 p.m. on July 21, 2014 (EDT)
BRAND REP
0 reviewer rep
51 forum posts

sorry Goose, here's the link:

http://www.torchcloth.com/

...there really isn't much on the site right now but that is soon to change.

 

November 20, 2019
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: SONIC'S "PLATY" JUG Newer: Flapjack bread
All forums: Older: 21 Days to Yellow Creek Mountain Newer: No more Trailspace Cap?