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#209617 - 10/13/10 08:06 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
That's a good idea about picking up tinder. However, for the problem here (snowboarding off piste), I won't be doing that.

I like the idea of the pre-made fat wood. I've never used fat wood. I think I'll buy some to put in a plastic bag in a jacket pocket.

I'm putting together a survival kit that will go around my neck. I'll post a pic when I'm satisfied with the combination of gear.
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#209624 - 10/13/10 09:57 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6083
Loc: southern Cal
Live near any pine forests? Just find a suitably decomposed log with intact, very pitchy knots (before the snow flies). That's free fatwood - very effective, almost explosive in starting a fire.
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#209647 - 10/14/10 04:47 AM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: xbanker]
MichaelJ07 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/06
Posts: 101
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: xbanker
[quote=Paul810]

Current method: heat golf ball-size chunk of PJ in microwave at half-power 30 seconds or so until liquid; submerge cotton balls, then squeeze one-at-a-time in garlic press to remove excess PJ. Good saturation; not messy; finished cotton balls nicely compressed; easy ignition with ferro rod (after 'fluffing' to expose fibers); good burn time.



I must have crappy microwave. 4 minutes and no melty melty!
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#209652 - 10/14/10 08:40 AM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: MichaelJ07]
Phaedrus Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2043
Loc: Great Plains
Originally Posted By: MichaelJ07
Originally Posted By: xbanker
[quote=Paul810]

Current method: heat golf ball-size chunk of PJ in microwave at half-power 30 seconds or so until liquid; submerge cotton balls, then squeeze one-at-a-time in garlic press to remove excess PJ. Good saturation; not messy; finished cotton balls nicely compressed; easy ignition with ferro rod (after 'fluffing' to expose fibers); good burn time.



I must have crappy microwave. 4 minutes and no melty melty!


My zoomy-wagon is 1000 watts and it takes over 4 minutes to melt PJ in mine, too. Maybe we're using too much PJ?
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#209668 - 10/14/10 04:30 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: EMPnotImplyNuclear]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: EMPnotImplyNuclear
Originally Posted By: Brangdon
Use wax from good quality candles, not cheap tea-lights.

Why?
What do you consider a good quality candle?
I don't think it will make a difference.
Different candles use different kinds of wax. Cheap tea-lights are made to be, well, cheap. I wouldn't rely on one in a life-and-death situation. A "kitchen candle" will put out three or four times as much light. It'll have a strong, hot flame.

Originally Posted By: Brangdon
Wax is less messy than jelly.
laugh
I'd say that wax is more solid than jelly, and jelly is more sticky than wax, but the messiness is entirely dependent upon storage/handling. If you keep the jelly/cotton balls contained (bag, vial), and you fish them out using your kindling (twig, paper), your hands will remain jelly free. [/quote]The messiness can be managed, but it's still messy. Why bother? What benefit does jelly have over wax?
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#209672 - 10/14/10 05:15 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: MichaelJ07]
DesertFox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 338
Loc: New York, NY
I just use an old coffee can on the stove top. Takes very little heat to melt the stuff. Don't heat it too much. Just enough to melt it.

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#209673 - 10/14/10 05:35 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: Brangdon]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Brangdon
The messiness can be managed, but it's still messy. Why bother? What benefit does jelly have over wax?


I appreciate your tip about wax. However, since you asked, Vaseline does have some advantages:
-It can be used for other things, for example, first aid, temporary relief of chap lips, etc.
-It can be applied to cotton balls without heating and while you're out there.
-It allows you to keep your cotton balls dry until you want to apply Vaseline. The cotton balls may then be used for other things, like first aid.

I personally am not irritated by the so-called messiness of Vaseline. If I have a little extra on my fingers, I rub the extra on dry patches of skin. It comes off well enough and soothes the dry skin. Also, I have yet to test the wax side-by-side Vaseline. If wax is a better fuel, then I will make it my primary.
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#209684 - 10/14/10 11:24 PM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
Phaedrus Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2043
Loc: Great Plains
I'm not sure the quality of the wax makes much difference. I've used the wax from very cheap tea lights and somewhat more expensive ones and never notices any differences. Sure, as actual candles it makes a big difference, but I attribute that mostly to the wicks being very thin and poorly situated and attached. I've timed cottonballs dipped in cheap wax as burning very strongly for over 9 minutes before they start to really drop off. Maybe I'll repeat my tests with more expensive candles but I'm not sure what difference I could expect. Better may the notion of mixing 1 part PJ to 2 or 3 parts wax.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#209695 - 10/15/10 02:46 AM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: ireckon]
Fyrediver Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 46
I'm a big fan of the Blastmatch and his little brother Sparkie. Both are ferro rods with built in sparking strips. What sets them apart is that they are used one handed so you can still use them if you've got an injury to an arm.

Can't say enough about the cotton ball and petroleum jelly tinder. Like the idea about the aluminum square, I'm going to try that.

I also carry a clear Bic type lighter (without childproofing), lifeboat matches in an orange waterproof case, and a magnesium/ferro rod bar. Guess I just like to make sure I'm going to get that fire started. However, since getting it, I've never needed anything other than the Blastmatch and PJ cotton ball.


Edited by Fyrediver (10/15/10 02:46 AM)

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#209702 - 10/15/10 05:40 AM Re: Fire Starters in FREEZING CONDITIONS [Re: Fyrediver]
ChicagoCraig Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 113
Originally Posted By: Fyrediver
I'm a big fan of the Blastmatch and his little brother Sparkie. Both are ferro rods with built in sparking strips. What sets them apart is that they are used one handed so you can still use them if you've got an injury to an arm.


I love my Sparkie although he and his big brother are not needed for one handed fire starting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6ql8yt_wHo


Edited by ChicagoCraig (10/15/10 02:42 PM)
Edit Reason: incorrect youtube url.

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