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Thread: Practical Firestarters

  1. #1
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    Default Practical Firestarters

    Up here, a firestarter is one of the most important pieces to a survival kit. There's so many "ideas", but not all are practical, or actually work when you need them to.

    I like to have things that work. Here's a couple of things that I've found to be relevant in this area.

    Over the past few days I experimented with vaseline soaked cotton balls. I had heard about them only a few weeks ago, and set about melting vaseline in the microwave to drench cotton balls with. What I found, though, was that although they burn well for a very long time when completely soaked, they are very hard to light with a "flint and steel" type striker, for example. This is an easy fix, though- don't soak them all the way through. The dry cotton lights very easily when fluffed up a bit, so simply coat the outsides with vaseline, and when you need them, fluff the dry stuff out to catch a spark.

    Also great are lifeboat matches. They're the waterproof, windproof type that come in a plastic bottle. There's other windproof types out there, but I know that at least one brand don't like to actually light when it's below freezing temps.

    Any other practacal, working ideas?
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    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Smile slightly different

    I have been all through years and years of flint and steel survival type fire starters. In my career as a naval aviator i finally figured out that it was time to quit bringing a knife to a gun fight. I started carrying extra day night flares. You can start anything going with that. I recommend a highway flare if you are serious. Sounds extreme but works every time.

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    Member smwwoody's Avatar
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    Flares are great I carry them on my wheeler. One practical fire starter that everyone forgets about is very small and works well can be used one handed. Mini Bic lighter. once it is out of fuel it is also a one handed flint and steel.

    Woody

  4. #4

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    I also carry flares for starting fires. Bic lighters also work well, but I never put my faith in them as they quit when the temps get down below zero. A good old fashioned zippo works much better.

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    Member DanC's Avatar
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    Default Fire starters and other items

    Try this link http://www.equipped.org/devices28.htm for a comprehensive look at making fires. The site has lots of other informative reviews that would be of interest to all readers of this forum.

    Dan

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    I carry a lighter, which often doesn't work. For those times I carry a Blast Match.

    http://www.gearbuyer.com/products/bl...e_starter.html

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    A note about vaseline cotton balls......you're supposed to pick them out a bit with your fingernails or the point of your knife before putting the sparks to them.

    Mine catch 1st or 2nd strike even in the rain or down to 40 below

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    For your cotton balls try jellied alcohol fire starter that you can buy at a fireplace store or at Lowe's in the fireplace section.

  9. #9
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
    ....I recommend a highway flare if you are serious. Sounds extreme but works every time.
    They even work underwater.

    They're also handy in the dark if a bear visits.

  10. #10
    Member smwwoody's Avatar
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    I carry a Zippo and a bic all the time. I was not promoting a bic as your only fire starter. they are small and easy to pack. they make up PART of a great fire starting kit.

    Woody

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    Default Pitch

    Pitch balls off of Spruce trees burn pretty well. They light farelly easily even when wet. Easy to find too, just lean against any Spruce tree!

  12. #12
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Don't know how practical, but it is cool (and a firestarter) - Firestarter

    You have to watch the video to get the full effect.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    I found that a magnesium block fire starter will fit in my Leatherman Wave sheath behind the tool. I put the block with the whole down and looped the ball chain through the hole and back around so it stays in when I pull out the Wave. It closes great and is no inconvenience to me, but adds a good reliable fire starter to the kit.

    Now I am never without it whenever an emergency should happen.

  14. #14
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default chap stick

    I like to use cotton balls and a little bit of chap stick, just work the chap stick into the cotton balls and then pull the cotton ball apart and hit it with you metal match. The plus side is the chap stick stays flexible at -40 and is great for your lips and face to protect against the cold. Vaseline get pretty tough to do much with if it gets too cold.

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    a good firestarter ive seen is dryer lint dipped in hot wax. cheap,easy and works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    A note about vaseline cotton balls......you're supposed to pick them out a bit with your fingernails or the point of your knife before putting the sparks to them.

    Mine catch 1st or 2nd strike even in the rain or down to 40 below
    I tried "fluffing" the cotton balls a bit, but without scraping a bunch of the magnesium onto them, or using at least some cotton, still couldn't get them to light. Is there something I'm missing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I carry a lighter, which often doesn't work. For those times I carry a Blast Match.

    http://www.gearbuyer.com/products/bl...e_starter.html
    How big is the blastmatch? I've heard of them, but never used 'em. I'm mostly a backpacker/hunter type, so flares are a little big to put in a day pack to hike with. Is the blastmatch much of an improvement over a regular sparker?
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    It's a little bigger than a Bic. The magnesium stick extends out, you squeeze the side of the BlastMatch and push it down against the extended mag stick. The result is a shower of burning magnesium in the foot print of the BlastMatch. Very effective and you only need one hand. Spark it on an Esbit fuel tablet and you can light a fire in just about any weather conditions you can imagine.

  19. #19
    Member aufevermike's Avatar
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    Default fire piston

    Has anyone used a Fire Piston? I think they are a neat novelty and will work wet.

  20. #20

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    I carry a firepiston the TSA didn't know what it is so they never took it, Works well.

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