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#26801 - 04/14/04 01:19 PM Re: fire starting

The bars I have are scored twice to break easier but can be broken into smaller pieces with a little more effort or scoring with a knife.
Have not tried shaving one. Really no need to . They ignite easily with a sparlite striker or ferro rod or match.
If you have not used them before, one word of caution, they burn with a clear flame and can "get you" if you're not paying attention.
They change color a bit when lit, that's when I know to move my fingers back and "not touch it again", because they do not extinguish easily.

#26802 - 04/14/04 07:16 PM Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made

With Trioxane, if the foil gets broken, oxidation will degrade the fuel, not optimal.

Hexamine will also oxidize over time if not sealed, and it is not waterproof, the copressed bar/lozenge breaks up...

I find that I choose Pitchwood or Fatwood for it's solid and water-resistant form. Alternately, cotton balls soaked in white petrolatum(vaseline) are a good tinder, though if you get too much white petrolatum in there, you will have to get the excess out before it will light easily, but then again, the excess makes for better water resistance.

#26803 - 04/15/04 02:59 AM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made

Gee, good thing I vacuum pack the bar in my kit.
By the way, how long does trioxane have to exposed in order to deteriorate beyond the point of usefullness?

#26804 - 04/15/04 03:44 PM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made

I do not now how long it takes to be oxidized into unreliability.

But, my mindset is this...

My kit will get wet.
My kit will be mangled
The contents of my kit will be wet.
The contents of my kit will be mangled.
Thus, the items in my kit, must, in every instance possible, be reasonably durable and reasonably water-resistant.

Trioxane does not meet these requirements. So, I do not carry it.

Also, I feel that proper knowledge and technigue of fire-starting is really the key, with what understanding I have, which is shallow compared to the guys with real dirt-time, I am able to get a fire going with a metal match and fatwood in nearly any circumstances. Of course, once you have the fire started, the need for an axe can become quite acute.

#26805 - 04/15/04 10:45 PM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made

I see what you mean.
My experience is limited to jungle survival school in South America, cold weather training in Norway, and desert training in Arizona.
So I guess you just gotta go with what your guts tell ya.

#26806 - 04/15/04 11:59 PM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
Why does the axe have to be cute as long as it cuts?


#26807 - 04/16/04 03:16 AM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Just a convenient location to stick my 2 cents and not really a "reply" to your post:

Trioxane is ok - I carry 3 small bars and replace them by "consumption" that works out to about two replacements a year for various reasons. The big bars are ok but not really neccessary most of the time. Been using them since sometime in the seventies; I know them, know what to expect from them, and they are kind of a "security blanket" for me w.r.t. starting a fire.

They do deteriorate - even sealed up - which is a well-documented fact and not simply my experience. But sealed up they are fine as long as you break one of your stock out for inspection, oh, say annually and replace the lot with fresh when the deterioration becomes obvious.

Even old ones seem to be trivial to ignite with a BSA hotspark, but that's just my experience. I did have a rotten time once with a really old one, but it lit on about the 4th try.

I could do as well with an equivalent amount of gasoline or stove fuel in a sealed squirt bottle. In fact, I've done that on a few trips... but I still routinely carry 3 trioxanes anyway.

But if other methods work for other folks, drive on. I like cotton balls with vasoline for routine use and I like fatwood when I have it - haven't tried spark-lighting fatwood dust myself and guess I should try that out. Char cloth works fine with a "birds nest" for me and I start fires that way just often enough to keep it a skill instead of a memory. And so on, point being that if a person has something reliable that works for them, I'm not gonna knock it.

Now if y'all will excuse me, I'm gonna go play with some fatwood dust in my fireplace...



#26808 - 04/16/04 03:19 PM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made


: )

#26809 - 04/17/04 02:44 AM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made

worth every penny

#26810 - 04/18/04 08:55 PM Re: Tinder, Chemical v Natural v Home-Made
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Hmm, someone mentioned char cloth above. I love that stuff. Good char cloth can hold a spark made from the spine of my knife against a hard rock. If I was really in a survival situation where I didn't have any tools with me, that would probibly be my big want. As long as it is dry it can catch the smallest spark. I try to carry a small tin of it and some natural fiber rope if I plan on going out into the woods, it works real nice for regular fires, while the cotton/p-jelly stays as a quick and easy back up for if it starts raining or something.

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