1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

DIY fire starting gel?

Discussion in 'Survival Forum' started by scatter, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. scatter

    scatter NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    601
    Location:
    Roanoke VA
    Maybe not a true survival topic, but maybe the best place to ask this, I hope.

    Our primary heat source for the house is an outside wood-fired boiler.

    Every once in a while the fire goes out overnight, either because of the logs "bridging" or creosote building up on the blower port. We wake up to a cold house, and of course those are usually the mornings when it's freezing outside and the wind is howling. So I have to go out there and try to relight the thing in arctic conditions. I have solid fire starters, lots of kindling, a torch, etc., everything you need to get a fire going but on those occasions I would be very happy to have an instant fire.

    I was camping with some folks several years ago and saw a guy put a bunch of sticks in the fire pit, pour a few ounces of gel on them, toss a match, and voila. So bottom line, I am looking for a way to make a safe and effective fire gel. There is stuff available online but it's really expensive for what I assume is in it. Any tried and true recipes out there?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019

  2. bbarer

    bbarer NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,615
    Likes Received:
    392
    Location:
    Sandwich, MA
  3. SERE

    SERE NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    2,068
    Location:
    North of Boston
    No shit, cotton balls covered in Vaseline. That's all it takes. Try it tonight.

    It is what I would give to students having trouble starting an 'emergency fire' to build their confidence. Almost fool proof.

     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    Yazz, xtry51 and HorizontalHunter like this.
  4. scatter

    scatter NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    601
    Location:
    Roanoke VA
    Thanks. I came across that in a previous search. But based on the picture, it's more like a candle flame than a "whoomph" that would instantly start a wood fire. Trying to figure out something that's less dangerous than gasoline but with the same effect, and also gel vs. liquid (e.g., lighter fluid) for some staying power. But what the hell, I will try it and see how it works. Thanks again.
     
  5. SERE

    SERE NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    2,068
    Location:
    North of Boston
    That is dangerous. It indicates that there are gases, and they can settle anywhere until they ignite. Not good at all.

    You see people pour gas/diesel on stacked fires wood, light it, and the wood is not on fire after the gas burns off. The Vaseline burns longer and gets the wood to burn.


    If you don't want to spend money on processed logs, warm some Vaseline/petroleum jelly until it liquefies and then soak some rags in it. Take the rags out and let them harden, roll them up and put them in wax paper. You have relatively inexpensive large fire starters.

    If you just want to an easy way to be a pyro just wait until everyone gets home from work. Check in later. [laugh]

    Good luck. Matt
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    garandman, scatter and mu2bdriver like this.
  6. scatter

    scatter NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    601
    Location:
    Roanoke VA
    Ha. Thank you sir. I've had some of those in my BOB for years and they are indeed awesome. My problem is, when those blizzard mornings come and my fire is out, I don't want to be out there adding finger-sized sticks on cotton balls to try and get the fire going. I want to be able to stack and ignite wrist-sized stuff, and immediately pile arm-sized stuff on top of it, and walk away for a while before I come back and add the big logs. Maybe what I'm looking for is not available in a safe form.
     
  7. Brucewillis4316

    Brucewillis4316 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    331
    Location:
    Central MA
    Hand sanitizers are generally very flammable and work well to begin a blaze.
     
  8. CoastieRon

    CoastieRon NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    6,303
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Location:
    The Gate City
    Not make yourself, but available at home Depot:

    15470720673372515886558067984564.jpg

    My pellet stove is old school, so I use this...
     
    cockpitbob and JayMcB like this.
  9. pastera

    pastera

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,693
    Likes Received:
    1,408
    Location:
    Taunton
  10. robjax

    robjax NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    12,564
    Likes Received:
    4,708
    sterno won't work?

    I make my own fire starters out of cardboard egg cartons, dryer lint and melted wax. I stuff the cups of the egg cartons with the lint and pour the melted wax over the lint. Each cup if stuffed full enough burns between 10 and 15 minutes. If you burned the whole dozen together or a few of them the fire would last more than long enough to catch firewood on fire. I use them in my firepit and have found no residual wax after the fire has burned out.

    I also use them to start fires in the burn barrels at the gun club and I use them on the beach in the summer as they do not allow accelerants for beach fires.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    ToddDubya, JayMcB and SERE like this.
  11. sigfanboy13

    sigfanboy13 NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Greater Boston Area
    Throwflame.com :)
     
  12. qqac

    qqac

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Quincy
    It takes a lot of energy to ignite wrist sized sticks of wood that themselves are at freezing temperatures. Have you thought about using egg cartons as starter "logs"? You fill each egg cup with your fuel soaked lint or cotton balls, and can break off however many cup segments you need, or use the whole carton. (Edit: just saw I got beaten on the posting) Have you tried charcoal chimneys--the kind you stuff with newspaper and charcoal briquettes to light grills? Those get hot fast, and the windier the better.

    Here's a sawdust and diesel method: Wood Stove Fire Starter | Simple Steps to Make Your Own | Original Homesteading
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    cockpitbob and robjax like this.
  13. arsco

    arsco NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    272
    Sawdust mixed with fryolator grease. Mix it in a bucket till it's thick like peanut butter
     
    xtry51 likes this.
  14. Fritz the Cat

    Fritz the Cat NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2018
    Messages:
    948
    Likes Received:
    710
    Location:
    South Berkshire County
    dissolving Ivory bar soap in kerosene makes great napalm, I mean fire starting gell. I used to make this when I was a kid. It was my father's recipe.
     
    mibro and qqac like this.
  15. W.E.C

    W.E.C NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    7,497
    Likes Received:
    3,422
    Location:
    Boston
    Split the logs smaller?

    Mix in a few bio bricks before bed.
     
  16. scatter

    scatter NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    601
    Location:
    Roanoke VA
    Going to try this out. Thank you. Wifey just happened to be at WalMart when I re-read this, and I asked her to pick up a big jar of Vaseline. Had to do some explaining, but it's all good now. ;)
     
    RLBreton likes this.
  17. whatluck

    whatluck

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    7,137
    Likes Received:
    1,837
    Location:
    Braintree, MA
    Here's my recipe that goes in my BOB

    4 parts vasoline
    2 parts sawdust
    1 part acetone

    the acetone will thicken the vasoline. The stuff is thick and applies like peanut butter, it melts and pools and makes a candle that burns for a long time. I keep this in a jar along with some birch bark and a flint. I've started fires in the rain with this stuff.
     
  18. SERE

    SERE NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    2,068
    Location:
    North of Boston
    Please remember that once you light the Vaseline it will again be a liquid and seek the low spot. You don't want to set any carpets, or such, on fire.
     
  19. scatter

    scatter NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    601
    Location:
    Roanoke VA
    Roger. It's an outside boiler, so no problems there.
     
  20. miniion

    miniion

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    180
    Location:
    Lake Wallenpaupack,PA
    I use a spray bottle with diesel. Works like a charm.
     
  21. Gator9329

    Gator9329 That Guy NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    786
    Location:
    Burlington
    Tiki torch oil does a good job. Soak it into your wood for a minute and it will light up and burn clean with no smoke.
    Cheap this time of year
     
    mass likes this.
  22. Fixxah

    Fixxah NES Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    26,894
    Likes Received:
    5,659
    Location:
    Norwood mostly.
    Get a boiler insiide and be done with it.
     
  23. Billy2

    Billy2 Instructor NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,094
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Ma
    [​IMG]

    Honestly this with a little bit of dryer lint and some fat wood. Super ez!
     
  24. qqac

    qqac

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Quincy
    Fritz the Cat likes this.
  25. xtry51

    xtry51 NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    18,992
    Likes Received:
    6,162
    Location:
    NH (CT Escapee)
    Dryer lint + vaseline + egg carton. Four egg section of carton with this will start a fire. Just fill the base of the egg carton level (half the size of an egg) in each location.

    I also like the idea of adding charcoal briquettes. I bet half a briquette on each pile of lint/vaseline in a four egg section will start a fire at -10F no problem.
     
    garandman likes this.
  26. mibro

    mibro NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    10,605
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    Location:
    Mass.
    If you want sticky, long-burning and full of energy, make your own Napalm-B.

    Keep all the styrofoam packaging that comes into the house - you need a lot - and dissolve it in 87 octane gasoline until all the liquid gas is gone.

    This would definitely do the job but I'd keep it outside.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  27. Golddiggie

    Golddiggie NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    12,408
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Location:
    Pelham, NH
    Glycerine (Glycerol, 1,2,3-propantriol) is mixed with potassium permanganate (KMnO4). Self-Igniting High Temperature Reaction

    Easy to get both items for when you don't want to risk lighting yourself on fire... It also burns hot enough to light thermite... ;)
     
  28. xtry51

    xtry51 NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    18,992
    Likes Received:
    6,162
    Location:
    NH (CT Escapee)
    I prefer magnesium strips for lighting my thermite, but a solid option.
     
  29. Golddiggie

    Golddiggie NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    12,408
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Location:
    Pelham, NH
    I have both on hand...
     
  30. a73elkyss

    a73elkyss NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,225
    Likes Received:
    356
    Location:
    Central People's Republic of Massachusetts
    This. Throw some hand sanitizer along with the fat wood for that extra speedy "oomph" on a windy day and you will be back inside real quick.

    Jay
     
    Billy2 likes this.

Share This Page