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#110473 - 10/29/07 12:35 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: Raspy]
Westwindmike Offline

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 48
Loc: Middle Tennessee
I take the PJ balls and stuff them into the finger of a latex glove. I twist and tie off the finger, then cut it off the glove. Waterproof and stores well in the tin.

#110475 - 10/29/07 12:37 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: Westwindmike]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Plastic straws are a great way to store PJ cotton balls. You can cut them to length and tie a string around the middle before stuffing them to aid in their removal. They seal up real easy too.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#110490 - 10/29/07 01:40 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: Shadow_oo00]
bmo Offline

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 40
How about a match case (the "o" ring variety)? They are waterproof and leakproof in case the PJ starts to melt and get runny. Most of them are about a buck and even have a real small flint embedded in the bottom.

#110563 - 10/29/07 05:09 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: bmo]

All cool ideas but my favorite is to fold the cotton ball up in a piece of foil. When you need it you just cut a slit in the foil and pull a bit of the cotton out. It's now like a candle that you can set on nearly any surface without risk of fire. If you leave a bit of excess foil on either side you can even blow out the flame, fold over the slit and reuse it another day.

#110576 - 10/29/07 07:05 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: ]
miner Offline

Registered: 09/05/03
Posts: 74
Loc: Layton, Utah
I got these at REI for $0.40 and they work very well:

1/4 oz container

Snap top, waterproof, and wider than tall (I have fat hands and have a hard time getting stuff out of something like a film canister). If this is not big enough, they also carry a 1 ounce and a 2 ounce size.

I'm in the process of making myself a fishing kit for backpacking using these.

#110579 - 10/29/07 08:40 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: miner]
DFW Offline

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 80
In case Raspy and anyone else is interested:

You can get very handy little heavy-duty zip bags at craft stores. I got mine at Michael's, in the beading section (they might have them on line). 200-count box available in two sizes - 3"x5" and 2"x3" - for a couple of dollars a box. I use them for everything.

#110580 - 10/29/07 08:45 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: miner]
thtimster Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 45
The little plastic containers that diabetic people get their testing strips in are very similar to camera film containers & water-tight. One added feature is that there is a built-into-the-lid water absorber (like the packets or tiny capsules in vitamin bottles.) The containers are good for holding all sorts of small items. Matches would have to have a little bit of their ends cut off in order to fit, but the water absorber might keep them longer.


#110582 - 10/29/07 08:49 PM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: thtimster]

Why are you guys trying to keep a PJ soaked cotton ball dry? Once you get the Vaseline in there water won't be a problem...you just need to contain the mess.

#110625 - 10/30/07 01:23 AM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: ]
Tirec Offline

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 48
Loc: Rocky Mountain West
I picked up some Boy Scout "Hot Spark Fire Starters" (Item#: 01167) at a Scout Shop recently for about $2.50 each. Being only a Ferrocerium rod, it's very small, waterproof, and kosher with the TSA. Add a 2 piece of an old hacksaw blade (teeth ground off), and instant fire.

I was testing it out this weekend with my kids and tried it first with some kleenex, but didn't get it going. I then switched to cotton balls. Took a couple of strikes and voila. I then tested with PJ massaged into the ball and it only took one or two strikes to get a nice flame.

Since I was testing it in the sink to put out the fire quickly, I had the idea to take the PJ soaked ball and run it under water and try it. One or two strikes and it lit. I tried running the rod under water and found that it had to be dried first. Finally, I had the PJ soaked ball floating on water, and it also only took one or two strikes to light and burned well until we extinguished it.

Some of the testing was done with only 1/4 of a ball and it lit just fine

Great little addition to the hunting and SAR survival kits, and one is now on my keyring with a piece of hacksaw blade in the wallet.


I agree with Hacksaw, keeping the PJ mess out of other stuff is your main concern.

Edited by Tirec (10/30/07 01:24 AM)

#110627 - 10/30/07 01:30 AM Re: OK I give up/ Question about cotton balls [Re: benjammin]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
+1 on the firestraws. Crimp the ends, and they last forever without fuss or muss.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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