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  Best ever firestarter for kayakers
  Posted by: old_user on Oct-21-09 10:51 AM (EST)

The absolute best ever fire starter

Cut plastic drinking straws into 3 inch lengths
(The best are the large diameter ones for use in cold coffee beverages)
Pinch one end with needle nose pliers and melt closed with a lighter
Stuff petroleum jelly soaked cotton ball into the opened end.
Pinch that end with the pliers and melt closed.
These fire starters are super compact, will stay water proof even when submerged for an extended period of time, and never leak petroleum jelly on your gear.
To use, simply slice it lengthwise, pry it open, and light. (I use a magnesium fire starter)
You can also simply light one end if using a match or lighter.
I found the burn time to be approximately 4 minutes.
What are you best fire starter ideas?

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Messages in this Topic


  The fire starter sticks sold in ziplock
  Posted by: YakOfSteel on Oct-21-09 2:01 PM (EST)
bags, Target or Walmart, I forget which. They're cheap, need only a quick lighter to start, burn for a good 5-10 minutes, and never fail. I can't imagine going to any trouble to save the couple of bucks these things cost, and they're as compact as any home remedy.

  Posted by: old_user on Feb-11-11 12:25 AM (EST)
Those sticks are definitely the best firestarters for the money and no hassle.
  Same idea different package...
  Posted by: old_user on Oct-21-09 3:10 PM (EST)
cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly...add a dollop of petroleum jelly on top, then ....wrap in small 1 inch square packages of aluminum foil.

To light: cut a small "X" in one side of the foil packet...pull or pry a small tuft of cotton out through the "X" and light....will burn for a long time...firestarter or as a candle......
  Cotton Balls and petro jelly
  Posted by: winsum44 on Feb-07-11 11:38 AM (EST)
My choice, but put the balls in 35mm film container(s). Can put 7 or 8 balls in per.
  Posted by: paddletothesea on Oct-21-09 6:37 PM (EST)
I use "liquid boyscout" never failed me yet.
thanks for the tip
  Fire starters
  Posted by: old_user on Oct-22-09 12:07 PM (EST)
plastic bags are "just ok" to guarantee waterproofness. film containers pop open when crushed.
The 3 in section of straw sealed at both ends will with-stand very long durations of wetness and submersion.
I keep a few in the PFD pocket with a magnesium starter. wetness is never an issue with this concept.
Even a film container is to big in the pockets of my PFD. We paddled last weekend temp mid 40's windy. Sure was nce to not worry about getting a fire going at end of the day

  I Like That Idea
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Oct-23-09 3:08 AM (EST)
As you said, can't get much more compact than that. Perfect for PFD pocket. Excellent tip! WW
  Yukon indian fire starter....
  Posted by: old_user on Oct-24-09 4:30 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-24-09 4:32 PM EST --

gasoline...sprinkle liberally..lite with match.
can also use stove fuel for same results

  fire starter
  Posted by: old_user on Oct-28-09 12:37 PM (EST)
Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. Stuff them in plastic film canisters. Fluff them up when starting a fire. The plastic film canisters float, resuable, compact, and you can stuff about 10 cotton balls in 1 canister. I only use 1 or 2 cotton balls each time.
  A Sharp Knife, Good Matches
  Posted by: SupremelyArrogant on Oct-29-09 11:34 PM (EST)
And a knowledge of the vegetation always works for me.

The trick to building a fire is to have your wood ready to add as the fire grows. Don't waste time trying to build a big teepee or cabin style fire to start. Start small and then build it up.

If you gotta carrying something try taffy wrapped in waxpaper. Eat the taffy of course. The paper is thin and lights easy. Twisted it can be stacked like small twigs.

I like to have a little juniper with me. The shavings start very easily. Above 7,500' in the west sub-alpine fir is the best. It's so loaded with pitch it doesn't take much to get it going.

The last time I built a fire was two days ago. Built one the week before and the week before. I'm teaching my daughter about life in the back country. Fire is part of the training.
  No no no
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-30-09 9:11 AM (EST)
the gasoline vapors are heavier than air and sink..depending on your topography they can collect.

Even if you are fifteen feet from the fire in that case you can find yourself in the middle of an explosion.

A friend did that and suffered second degree burns. It could have cost him his life. He was several hundred miles from any town and had to be airlifted out
  Yeah, my kids were impressed
  Posted by: ezwater on Oct-14-10 4:27 PM (EST)
watching the flame front advance along the wet ground, before it burned the hair off my calves.
  Thanks for that tip
  Posted by: pikabike on Oct-30-09 1:14 PM (EST)
I have used Esbit firestarter cubes. They work great and burn very hot. Unfortunately, they stink like fishy oil, even when double-wrapped in plastic.

Your idea is simple, cheap, and pretty much odorless.
  Posted by: devilssoninlaw on Oct-31-09 6:18 AM (EST)
they don't burn long or hot but as practical as steel wool and a 9 volt.
  Cotton and wax
  Posted by: mr_canoehead on Dec-06-09 10:59 PM (EST)
I soak strips of cotton t-shirt in paraffin wax and place them in a baggie in my pfd with a lighter. They are handy if it is raining and I ever need a fire in a hurry. I don't actually use them much, but they do work.
  duct tape
  Posted by: markk on Dec-07-09 12:49 PM (EST)
Roll it into like a cigarette, but narrower and light. Burns pretty long.
Also, in some places burning this or plastic (straws) might not be legal.
  Posted by: jjmish on Dec-07-09 6:43 PM (EST)
Keep a small can of sterno in my pack with cigarette lighter. Also some candles with matches in a film canister.

Don't overlook fritos and other such oil saturated chips. See the dem o photo. Some chips are more flamable than others. These burned for about 2 minutes, one vatiety hotter than the other.

Polypro rope burns real well and is good for hull repairs.

  Merely stating the obvious
  Posted by: Jsaults on Dec-09-09 8:08 AM (EST)
The easiest way to start a kayaker on fire is to saturate him or her with Coleman fuel and flip a match.

  Would you believe
  Posted by: Hataryoneh on Dec-09-09 12:22 PM (EST)
I use Fritos. Light them with a match or lighter and they burn just fine. Good to eat if you need to too!
  puffy cheeze-doodles
  Posted by: grakenverb on Jan-31-10 8:05 AM (EST)
I stopped eating these things after seeing how vigorously they burn. I think they are made of JP4 and food coloring.
  Alternative to Fritos
  Posted by: Hataryoneh on Dec-18-09 5:21 AM (EST)
I also carry a flint and steel fire starter with char cloth and/or Tinder Fungus. Char cloth is light weight catches the sparks from the flint and steel and burns with a vengence. Tinder Fungus does too. Add fine tinder such as shredded cedar bark or tow, a couple of good puffs of breath and you have a fire. A reference to tinder fungus is at the following link.
  Dryer Lint
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-13-10 1:22 PM (EST)
I've used the lint from the dryer to start camp fires. Get a spark on it and it lights great.
  Seriously though
  Posted by: Jsaults on Feb-01-10 1:19 PM (EST)
Richland mentioned carrying a "magnesium starter". I assume that is a Firesteel or similar unit.

Does anyone carry an actual piece of magnesium to shave and then strike with a firesteel?

  A magnesium . . .
  Posted by: old_user on Feb-01-10 9:14 PM (EST)
. . . starter has a block of magnesium plus a striker to make sparks.
  Cannot find it now
  Posted by: Jsaults on Feb-02-10 7:44 AM (EST)
but I had a link to a site where they sold magnesium rods of different sizes. I will try to relocate it.

  Posted by: ScottFree on Feb-05-10 3:09 PM (EST)
Thermite fire starters:
  Posted by: Skerray on Feb-06-10 11:52 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Feb-06-10 11:56 AM EST --

I use several different types depending on what I'm planning. All are interchangeable. I take the lint from the dryer and stuff empty cardboard egg cartons. I then recycle the left over Yankee candle wax after the candle has served it's useful life and melt it into the cartons leaving them to cool. After, I cut the carton up, and place them in a ziplock. I then have starters that will burn for 10 or 15 minutes. I usually keep a magnesium / flint block in a dry bag when I paddle and between the two I'm never without a warm fire.

  I've got one of these...
  Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on Feb-11-10 11:35 AM (EST)

  Two sticks
  Posted by: old_user on Feb-11-10 12:18 PM (EST)
Unless you can start a fire when it really matters (w/ nothing but what you can find in the wild) I'm not very impressed. I Carry two Bic lighters, they haven't let me down yet.
  Bic lighters . . .
  Posted by: old_user on Feb-11-10 2:00 PM (EST)
. . . don't work when wet. Anyone who can make fire with two stick can probably shoot lightning bolts out of his ass.
  And more to peruse....
  Posted by: Tebpac on Feb-11-10 2:44 PM (EST)

Testing different types........about a quarter of the way down the thread....
  a pocket knife...
  Posted by: old_user on Apr-07-10 12:57 PM (EST)
or buck knife and match sticks or lighter. Whittle a stick to make tinder. If you really want high pitch, bring a 6 inch block of SPF 2x4, and you have yourself 2 weeks worth of high pitch tinder.
  Firesteel & a knife along with...
  Posted by: coffeeII on Apr-09-10 8:35 AM (EST)
Good tinder.

That's all you need. Why waste time with anything else. Maybe a firepiston is cool too, but there are much more reliable ways.

Don't get into the "gadgetry"... it will only make you cold & broke.

Paddle easy,

  Bring From Home - Find Along The Way
  Posted by: old_user on May-10-10 12:56 PM (EST)
You can use dryer lint with the petroleum jelly. Then there are those magneseum flint things:

For myself, I try and find dry brush, like dead leaves & small branches to use as tinder, and pile them under the wood. It works great.

This is a special topic for me. I love to start a good hot burning fire just before sunset and stay up late w/my dog in my lap. She loves a good campfire too! I enjoy collecting firewood if I know I'll be in a place I can do it. If I'm in a state park that is clean of wood, I kayak to another beach and get it there to bring back, as I can really load up my sit on top.

  native materials
  Posted by: kayamedic on May-10-10 1:25 PM (EST)
in my area balsam trees are easy to find. The blisters on the trunk are filled with highly combustible sap.

Just puncture some with a small twig.

Dead spruce boughs in the understory..even when its raining.

Birchbark.. I have quite a bit in my yard.
  When you absolutely got to have fire...
  Posted by: sweeper on May-11-10 2:19 AM (EST)
You can talk all you want about handy-dandy fire starters and one match fires, but when it's GOT to get lit there's one sure way to get even wet wood going.

Flame On!
  fire jelly
  Posted by: old_user on May-19-10 7:01 AM (EST)
i saw some canadian who had a squeeze bottle of av claer jell that worked well.
  better fire starters
  Posted by: joebliss34 on May-20-10 9:14 AM (EST)
the best fire starter i have is ripped wood with a chain saw and a light coating of wax. i like ash. store in a plastic bag or alunimun foil. i use this idea to start my woodstove all winter. the alunimun foil pack it like a foil meal. i save it for winter camping
  I start with kayakers having high fat
  Posted by: ezwater on May-20-10 11:48 AM (EST)
content, and then I cut them into flaps like salmon filets, and dry them thoroughly on a rack.

I learned this at the Burning Man festival.
  paraffin and sawdust
  Posted by: dave54 on Jun-02-10 11:29 PM (EST)
Molded to whatever size and shape you want. Doesn't matter if it gets wet or breaks apart in storage. Wrap in paper tape (painting or masking tape).

One method is to pour the melted wax/sawdust mixture into a cardboard egg carton. When hard, break off the individual egg sized chunks. Lights with a match. I find the round chunks uncomfortable to keep in my PFD pocket with the rest of the survival items, so I make the chunks in the bottom of paper cups, resulting in wafers about 1/4 - 3/8" thick.
  If you want a fire
  Posted by: Beaverjack on Jun-09-10 9:28 PM (EST)
start with some dead pine bows. Break a dead branch off a pine tree and light it in your hand with a Bic or whatever. Get it going good and lay it under some sticks. The pitch in the dead needles is oil, and it will get your fire going as good as anything you stuff in a can. I've started a fire with sticks. It takes patience and a good preparation of tinder, kindling, etc. A Bic lighter will work fine even after a swim. It will dry much faster than most people can start a fire with a can of goo and a steel. I carry a Scout Fire Steel and a Bic lighter in my PFD.
  dryer lint
  Posted by: oldtownpaddler on Jun-11-10 7:45 PM (EST)
The best thing to use is the lint out of a dryer.I carry one in my survival kit.
  Hong Kong flints and strikers
  Posted by: old_user on Jul-05-10 3:14 PM (EST)
on e-bay for 4$ free shipping got mine in 2 weeks and better than any other i have seen. i keep it on my knife sheath and a pill bottle of dryer lint in my pfd.
  walmart water proof match holder 2$
  Posted by: old_user on Jul-26-10 7:50 PM (EST)
it will hold lint,bark or matches. cool thing it has a small but very usable flint attached to the bottom.
  Blast Match
  Posted by: old_user on Aug-12-10 1:14 PM (EST)
and Wetfire tinder here.....

  All natural firestarter........
  Posted by: old_user on Aug-25-10 10:03 AM (EST)
Birch bark is the best all-natural fire starter! It works whether wet or dry, and burns for a decent amount of time. Dryer lint is great also, especially since it packs really well.
  old - old - old
  Posted by: onepaddlejunkie on Oct-04-10 5:16 PM (EST)
You guys are so “Old School”. WetFire™ Tinder. Throw it in a puddle of water, sink it, then pull it out and light it with anything. Burns long enough and hot enough to start a fire anywhere anytime, and it weighs 0.2 oz. I have never tried anything that works as well or weighs less.
  Yes, but...
  Posted by: CoffeeII on Oct-07-10 10:15 AM (EST)
You have to "pay" for yours. Ours is free, abundant & will never run out if the "market" dries up.

What do you light your Wetfire with? A lighter? Matches? If you have one or both of those, why have the Wetfire? Or whateer it is called...

Learn some skills son, that way you don't have to "spend" money on something that nature already provides you for free! Why pack "another" item? Why spend "more" money? Do you complain about your pack weight?

Paddle easy,

  just curious...
  Posted by: dave54 on Dec-01-10 12:05 AM (EST)
How many practice making a fire with a bow drill?

About once per year or so I make one from materials scrounged from the woods. Never had to do it 'for real', but I figure it is a god skill to have anyway.
  I "practice" with...
  Posted by: CoffeeII on Dec-01-10 8:52 AM (EST)
Every type of ignition system that I can. I mainly use a flint & steel, but I try every trip a different way to start my "country oven".

Bow & drill
magnifying glass
flint & steel
hand drill

I love building all my shelters, starting fires, etc differently every time.

It is a good way to test & achieve skills needed in reality.

Paddle easy,

  My favorite trick
  Posted by: old_user on Jan-30-11 6:54 PM (EST)
is to rub 2 dry campfire girls together
  Just ordered a fire piston!!...
  Posted by: CoffeeII on Feb-07-11 3:51 PM (EST)
Looking forward to it's arrival:

Paddle easy,

  Posted by: old_user on Feb-21-11 3:33 PM (EST)
...and in the morning.

It smells like

  old boy scout trick....
  Posted by: old_user on Mar-03-11 9:25 AM (EST)
ok.. so I am with the natural guys in that you should use what ever is at hand if possible, but for really wet/rainy days we would take strips of newspaper and dip them in parfin wax and roll them up.. Super light, you can take your pick of any container to keep them in.. just like the cotton balls, and never fail... But i like the cotton balls too, just don't burn as long, and the straw thing is genious!
  U.S.T. Strike Force
  Posted by: old_user on Mar-18-11 12:23 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Mar-18-11 12:24 AM EST --

I think Ultimate Survival Technologies' Strike Force Fire Starter is incredible, used in conjunction with Wet fire Cubs and you have the ability to make fire even in wet, cold conditions.

  My Favorite Firestarter
  Posted by: oldtownpaddler on Mar-19-11 6:01 PM (EST)
The best firestarter I have found is taking dryer lint and igniting it.


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