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DIY fire starting gel?

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

  1. 44marty

    44marty NES Member

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    Be careful where you store that. It sounds like it would make your local bears constipated and cranky
    lol
     

  2. Choctaw

    Choctaw NES Life Member NES Member

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    Keep some feather sticks handy. Also if you have some way to induce oxygen with a blower to speed things along. (hair dryer, leaf blower, etc.)

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    And rolled in Trail Boss powder... [smile]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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    We buy the biggest cotton balls (“Jumbo”) available and dip them in melted Vaseline. They will burn 4-5 minutes.

    One will start a fire in our wood stove no problem, you might use two unless you have kindling.

    We have a name for them: “Flaming balls of death.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  5. mass

    mass NES Member

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    This is my preferred way to start a camp fire
     
  6. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    Paper plates, fat wood, and the penny trader.
     
  7. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    When my father discovered another camper using Firewax,
    he committed to it.

    [​IMG]

    Shake the can, squirt out spoo that quickly dries to something that looks like soft wax,
    but still smells like petroleum spirits, and lights easily with a match.

    Apparently they don't make it any more, sigh.
     
  8. CTsupra

    CTsupra NES Member

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    Ive found that just rolling 10 or so cottonballs around in a zip lock bag with a handful of vaseline vs. completely soaking them gets the fibers to catch much faster on a windy day. FWIW.
     
  9. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    I'd be afraid that Vaseline eats hell out of Ziploc plastic.
     
  10. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    That would be my dilemma, I would want to store the fire starter in some kind of sealed container that could withstand temp changes etc sitting in a BOB in a car, without offgassing or causing some other kind of issue like that. I would guess the vaseline balls are pretty stable in that regard?

    -Mike
     
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  11. Picton

    Picton NES Member

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    I did a two-day familiarization course with some combat engineers in 1998. When we got there on the first morning, they had a mysterious 55-gallon drum off to one side. “That?” they told us. “That’s the fougasse!”

    They had chunks of styrofoam swimming in gasoline, and from time to time over the next two days they just gave it a stir and threw in more styrofoam. By COB on the second day, it was a thick stinky jelly... napalm, basically. They sealed up the drum, stood us back, angled it in a makeshift wooden frame, put a fuse into the bottom of the drum, and HOLY SHIT.

    Might not be useful for the OP, but if singed eyebrows are your thing, gasoline and styrofoam will get you there.
     
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  12. whatluck

    whatluck

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    You can thicken Vaseline with acetone and sawdust, and make near a solid with it. Takes a spark from a flint super easy. I get the stuff to a consistency of semi-cured wood glue and cut it into cubes, it burns really hot for a really long time even in the rain, and burns slow enough you can extinguish and reuse a 1/2x1/2" cube a few times.
     
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  13. whatluck

    whatluck

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    I should experiment with wax instead of sawdust, I bet this recipe is petroleum jelly wax+acetone
     
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  14. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    I foolishly imagine that glass jar/metal cap,
    or metal/metal container (cigar tube?)
    would not make a mess.

    It's just petroleum + plastic that gives me the willies.

    I mightn't even have thought of this if I hadn't seen
    the 1960's artificial lures from my tackle box eat right
    through the plastic tray.
    Must have been the fake worms' plasticizers.
    Which ain't Vaseline, but let that go.

    OTOH, as I may have commented elsewhere,
    I once fabricated a field-expedient Tecumseh snowblower
    carb needle valve seat from a disc leather-punched out of the cap of
    a spare Castrol motor oil bottle cap.

    [​IMG]

    (Nothing sucks like realizing after 6PM on a Sunday
    that the blower won't start because
    it's leaking gasoline like the Exxon Valdez,
    and Snowmageddon will hit
    before you can buy a replacement).

    I figured if Castrol bottle plastic could hold oil indefinitely,
    then gasoline wouldn't melt it in the amount of time it took me to plow out
    from the blizzard and get to the Sears warehouse after the storm.

    Mind you, a quart Castrol bottle of Vaseline-imbued cotton balls
    may be overkill for a bug-out bag.
     
  15. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    Does some of the performance depend upon the acetone sticking around?
    If so, I'd be afraid of it drying out during indefinite storage.
     
  16. whatluck

    whatluck

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    No, the acetone evaporates fast and thickens the mix. I put it away almost all the way cured. It's pretty dry and hard as I mix it, I store it in a nalgene jar and haven't had any noticeable degradation, my oldest batch is a year old and still looks ok. Could always rewet with a little more Vaseline. I can cut out a slab and use it like a hexamine cube, or spread it right on my kindling and let it dry.
     
  17. xtry51

    xtry51 NES Member

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    Old chew cans or metal shoe polish cans make great holders for vaseline balls long term.
     
  18. Palladin

    Palladin NES Member

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  19. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    I store cotton balls soaked in liquefied Vaseline and then dried on a paper plate in... brown medicine bottles. (which I seem to have a lot of these days...)
    The container is unaffected.

    [​IMG]
    Tall containers like the one above can hold 25+ "VaseBalls", and last me a whole week's worth of camping fire-starting...
     
  20. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Hmm, I have a medicine cabinet full of these things, just have to peel the labels off... [rofl]
     
  21. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    Lol. Some of the ones I get are huge! I use them for all sorts of storage too.
    The tall ones hold: .22 lr ammo, (about 250 rounds ea.) Cleaning patches, (each sized and labeled by caliber) Hell, I even have one that stores a nice small tactical flashlight (no batteries installed) and some CR123 batteries in a ziplock in case of battery weep.

    Another bottle is about the size of a Silver American Eagle coin and holds about 20 pieces...
     
  22. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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    We usually melt out all the Vaseline, then use the jar it came into store them.

    You can definitely put too much on.

    We heat the Vaseline to liquid state, use needle nose pliers to dunk the cotton ball 1/2 way, briefly, then flip it over and put it on a tray to cool.

    If they are so saturated there’s no fibers left, they are more difficult to light.
     
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  23. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    I've also heard of cutting up egg cartons (paper) and dipping those into melted Vaseline. I guess they would be much more stackable if space is an issue...
     
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  24. ToddDubya

    ToddDubya NES Member

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    Not a gel, but in a pinch you can eat them, too. A couple of these bad boys light up quick and burn long enough to get your fire going.

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

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    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
    LOL

    One of our hunter ed instructors would use Fritos as a teaching tool. A Frito burns like an oil lamp wick. It shows "food is fuel"....and it's a fire starter!
     
  26. Sprocket

    Sprocket

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    toilet roll tube + dryer lint + bacon fat = fire
    I'll let you figure out the recipe - it's not hard...
     
  27. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    I used to use gel or sometimes "Super Cedar", but last couple of winters I've relied on a MAP torch. The yellow bottle thingy for plumbing.

    Thanks to the recent "save the dolphins" bull, I always have plenty of paper bags on hand to add a little easily caught material into the stove, which also helps.
     

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