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#209139 - 10/06/10 12:56 AM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
Mike_H Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 609
Loc: SE PA
I do a light of fire lighting in the winter with the scouts. I really like my firesteel ferro rod. PJ cotton balls work great as well as does the Tinder Qwik.

I also like to keep birch bark and/or fatwood on hand. Fatwood is really great. Shave off a bit. Light your tinder which lights this bad boy and you should be able to get a fire going pretty quickly! Never had a problem with the cold / snow / wet conditions...
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"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

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#209144 - 10/06/10 02:06 AM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
kevingg Offline
Addict

Registered: 10/21/05
Posts: 442
Loc: NH
carry a road flare. you will be able to get a fire going, thats for certain.

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#209151 - 10/06/10 04:36 AM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
GarlyDog Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Somewhere on the forum I remember reading and experimenting with a turning a cotton ball, aluminum foil and PJ into a candle.

Fold a PJ saturated cotton ball into a square piece of aluminum foil pulled from a kitchen roll. Fold it down to a 2" x 2" square with the lump of cotton ball in the middle.

Then back out a few folds and slit the aluminum foil down to the cotton ball at the top of the lump. Then pull a tuff of the cotton ball through the slit.

With a spark, you can light the tuff. It burns like a candle. When you are finished, you fold it back up. Works great.

I agree with Mike H, Fatwood is a good idea.
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#209167 - 10/06/10 12:17 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: Phaedrus]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
That's really good thinking! I wonder where to find a straw large enough?

McDonalds straws are wider than most. Don't ask why I know this. blush
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2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

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#209168 - 10/06/10 12:33 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: Mark_M]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
+100 (or whatever we're up to) on the cotton balls with petroleum jelly. Not only do they catch a spark easier than almost anything else that's quick and easy to deploy, they also burn longer for their size/weight. A little messy to carry and handle, though.

After dousing my cotton balls with petroleum jelly I like to roll them into cylindrical shaped tabs with an outer skin of tissue paper and trim in half. Each cotton ball yields two tabs the same size as a Tinder-Quik and the tissue paper wrapping makes them less messy to deal with. I store them and a Spark-Lite in small hinged-plastic box that originally held fishing sinkers.

I've used them to start a small fire while hiking backcountry in the winter. Either find a rock or make a base of HD aluminum foil or green wood so you're not directly on top of the snow. 1/2 a cotton ball will burn for about 5 minutes, which is more than enough time to get a good fire going.
_________________________
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

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#209175 - 10/06/10 02:19 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: kevingg]
Doug_SE_MI Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Michigan
A 15 minute fuzee isn't very bulky or heavy, is not difficult to ignite with half-frozen hands and will ignite wet wood. We were issued and carried a Mk 13 Mod 0 day night flare as Mountain Warfare (survival) instructors. Great way to get a fire going fast, as well to signal help.

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#209202 - 10/06/10 06:31 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: Doug_SE_MI]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1851
Loc: Great Plains
On the topic of unconventional fire starters you could also carry two vials, one with glycerine and one with potassiam permangantate. Mix the two, then stand back and wait for the fireworks.
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#209203 - 10/06/10 06:58 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: kevingg]
Basecamp Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PNW
Originally Posted By: kevingg
carry a road flare. you will be able to get a fire going, thats for certain.

In my mind, this is the only RIGHT answer so far (edit: just saw Doug_SE_MI's response above..., so there are now two:)). When in an EMERGENCY, you do not want a questionable way to start a fire or one that produces only a soft, delicate flame. I've started fires in the snow for several years, as I'm sure many of you have, but it is my experience that the easiest, surest, quickest way to get it going is to use a road flare. It only takes about 6" of the flare to get the selected wood going, so you can cut/break it off at about the length of a mini-mag flashlight, plug/close the end and wrap it up somehow (it is covered in wax). I carried two like that for years on SAR.

In CA, CHP will replace the road flares you needed to use for an emergency roadside event. The next time you see one who is not on a call and is in a safe area, tell him what you are doing and see if he can help in an emergency that hasn't happened yet:).

Caltrans also can contribute, if they are in a generous mood, with one or two of those 4 mil. orange plastic garbage bags. Those are great for your kit.

Of course, there is no substitution for practicing the skills you may need one day. Whatever you choose to carry, practice, practice, practice...


Edited by Basecamp (10/06/10 07:02 PM)

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#209208 - 10/06/10 07:31 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Where's a good place to purchase the type of flares mentioned here? I've never actually purchased a flare.
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#209210 - 10/06/10 07:48 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
Doug_SE_MI Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Michigan
Where to by road flares.

Try an automotive supply or the automotive department in your local big box. Some well stocked hardware stores will have them too.

Some auto "emergency kits" come with flares too.

Police, fire, railroad expend them by the case. I got some from my late father-in-law who got a case through railroad connections.

Signal flares sold in boating supply stores or outdoor will work to.

Remember, they work for their designed purpose, signaling, in an emergency too.

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