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#294273 - 11/25/19 02:13 PM Fire starter
Janysboy Offline

Registered: 03/20/19
Posts: 58
Is there any benefit to mixing petroleum jelly with alcohol hand sanitizer? Seems it would catch a spark more quickly and vould be carried in a squirt bottle. I don't get out in the woods much, so wondered if those with more experience had an opinion?

#294274 - 11/25/19 06:04 PM Re: Fire starter [Re: Janysboy]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3360
Loc: USA
I use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to remove petroleum product residue from my hands, so I think that they probably wouldn’t work as well together as one or the other. But I haven’t tried it.

When I’ve started fires with hand sanitizer, it burns quickly and hot. Petroleum jelly in a cotton ball burns more slowly and not as hot. Usually I prefer the latter.

#294275 - 11/25/19 07:13 PM Re: Fire starter [Re: Janysboy]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5333
Okay I haven’t tried this but here it is.

Vikings Used a Gross Survival Firestarter. Here’s How to Make It

... To start fires, the Vikings would use a type of fungus called Fomes fomentariuswhich is found in Europe, North America, and Asia.

It is better known by the names Tinder Fungus, Hoof Fungus, Touchwood, or False Tinder Fungus.

Now, a lot of fungi make great tinder for starting fires with sparks. But the Vikings didn’t just carry around the Tinder Fungus. They transformed it into something even more ignitable.

First the Vikings would prepare the Tinder Fungus by cutting away the exterior pieces. The interior pieces were cut into thin slices.

The fungus slices were beaten until they started to become soft, flexible, and resemble felt.

The fungi “felt” was charred in the same way that char cloth is made – by burning it in an oxygen-less container. Making char cloth isn’t anything new to survivalists. But the Vikings took it a step further.

They boiled their fungus char cloth in urine!

Urine contains sodium nitrate, which has very similar chemical properties as potassium nitrate (the “saltpeter” found in gunpowder”). ...

#294276 - 11/25/19 09:29 PM Re: Fire starter [Re: Janysboy]
Janysboy Offline

Registered: 03/20/19
Posts: 58
My thinking was the alcohol would burn hot and the petroleum jelly would continue to burn for several minutes. With a squirt bottle, you wouldn't have to remove your gloves to shred the cotton ball.

#294285 - 11/26/19 01:50 PM Re: Fire starter [Re: Janysboy]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7292
Loc: southern Cal
Hand sanitizer alone is a perfectly decent firestarter and it works as fuel. I have used Purell (62% alcohol) quite well in a trangia stove.

PJ/cotton is a well recommended firestarter
Geezer in Chief

#294327 - 12/07/19 01:23 PM Re: Fire starter [Re: hikermor]
Chisel Offline

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1269
Have you tried mixing methanol (yellow heat) with propyl alcohol (medical alcohol) to get a fuel that is average between the super-hot methanol that is too easy to evaporate, and the propyl alcohol that has more BTU but doesn't burn cleanly?? Does the resulting fire equal that of ethyl alcohol which can be considered as the 'chemical average' of the two ??

#294328 - 12/07/19 05:11 PM Re: Fire starter [Re: Janysboy]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7292
Loc: southern Cal
IANAC (I am not a chemist). I have just used Purell hand sanitizer as a fire starter and fuel on occasion. It's a bit on the pricey side, but it works.. Purell is around 62-70 per cent ethyl alcohol, I believe. Some of the other ingredients must be flammable as well, because it burns very nicely.

I prefer alcohol to Boy Scout Fire Starter (white gas), but either will work if you absolutely, positively need to have a fire.
Geezer in Chief


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