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#38026 - 02/26/05 01:04 AM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Yea, you only need a enough to make it feel very slightly greasy if sqeezed, it shouldn't be messy and you shouldn't see any vasoline at all.

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#38027 - 02/28/05 05:36 PM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
MMULLINS Offline
CRUMP
Newbie

Registered: 02/25/05
Posts: 33
Loc: GREAT FALLS, MT
I appreciate all the posts and advice. Thanks for the welcome too!
_________________________
19+ years US Air Force. Heavy and Special Equipment Mechanic.

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#38028 - 02/28/05 08:11 PM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2009
Loc: NE Illinois
The goal is to put as much Vaseline on the outside of the cotton ball as possible while keeping a "dry" core inside the puff. I found putting a handfull of cotton ball in a Ziplok bag along with a big glob of Vaseline seem to work find. That prevents me from overworking the balls - which would force too much Vaseline inside. I just leave them stored in the Ziplok bag, or if space is tight I transfer them to a snack-sized bag.

When you want to light them, pull the ball apart a bit and apply the spark to the dry core. It usually lights very easily. The Vaseline will make it burn a fairly long time.

I've also been known to smear some of the Vaseline on the adjacent wood tinder under the theory that it would help it light. I'm not sure if it really helps much though.

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#38029 - 02/28/05 11:55 PM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
That sounds pretty simple and should work great. FWIW, I don't have any problem sparking up cotton balls that I've soaked in melted vaseline and squeezed out all the excess. YMMV. The dry ones ARE easier to light until you get the hang of it and I have noticed some folks have a little more trouble with vaseline soaked ones in sub-freezing temps. Your wet 'n dry technique should work great for those cases.

Tom

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#38030 - 03/01/05 12:54 AM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
Anonymous
Unregistered


I too was having problems with vaseline soaked cotton balls.

After reading this post, i realized that the problem was the cotton was not 100% cotton and i had too much vaseline.

Last night i used 100% cotton with lightly glazed vaseline and it worked like a champ.

Thanks guys

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#38031 - 04/01/05 11:29 PM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
MMULLINS Offline
CRUMP
Newbie

Registered: 02/25/05
Posts: 33
Loc: GREAT FALLS, MT
I know this is an old thread but I was finally able to get on here and read a little bit. I did some searching today and found the awesome pill boxes from sunshine Products. I wonder if anyone knows how long the military lifeboat matches are? I was thinking one of the large pill boxes would make a fine container for some of those matches...but I don't know what length to buy...
they are spendy, but I love machined, tough items like that...spoiled i guess...
_________________________
19+ years US Air Force. Heavy and Special Equipment Mechanic.

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#38032 - 04/02/05 01:03 AM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi MMullins.

The random match I pulled and measured was just under 2" (it was 1" and 15/16ths). There is some irregularity consider how big the head is and how long the stick is.

Mine are also NOT strike anywhere, so you'll have to remember to leave room for the striker too. I use a matchsafe built by K&M industries. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> They fit the criteria (tough, machined and cool).

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#38033 - 04/02/05 06:28 PM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
MMULLINS Offline
CRUMP
Newbie

Registered: 02/25/05
Posts: 33
Loc: GREAT FALLS, MT
I just went to the K&M site and don't see any matchsafe stuff listed. There are looks like 2 different companies, one is a manufacturing outfit, the other a source for outdoor gear...which do I use and do you have a link to that?
_________________________
19+ years US Air Force. Heavy and Special Equipment Mechanic.

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#38034 - 04/03/05 02:11 AM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Here is a little fire making story for you...some years ago, a buddy and I decided we needed to try out more of the things we had accumulated for various survival applications. A prime one being firemaking articles. We each had a collection of magical tinder products guaranteed to light a fire in any condition, and so on. Well we headed up to a nice cool pine forest in the mountains away from the masses and prodceded to leave all the comfort items in the vehicle and walked off with our packs stuffed with "emergency" gear only. Well, it was raining and when we set up a nice tarp shelter and began the process of cooking, we of course needed a fire, having no stove with us. We gathered the driest wood we could find, tinder, kindling and so on. Then we tried tablets, tinder dry products, fire ribbon that had been stored maybe too long and so forth. We were after a point considering hiking back to the car to get a stove, since nothing we had worked, no method was able to get a fire going despite any earned experience we applied. Then in a last ditch attempt I lit a little Starburst candy wrapper from my pocket, I had been chewing on them all day. Like magic, after adding one or two more starburst wrappers we had the start of a nice hot fire in the rain, with soaked wood. Starbusrt wrappers are nothing more than wax paper about 2 inches square. With some more testing it was found that a dry cotton ball could be lit within a strike or two by a metal match and a wax paper ball would burn hot enough and long enough to start most damp kindling, without much effort there was fire. The nice thing about the plain cotton balls and wax paper balls is they are cheap, cheap and can be carried in a 35mm film canister and they never go bad over time, they always work, every time you use them. To this day, I carry a film canister with about 5 or 6 cotton balls and a like number of wax paper balls made by tearing off about a 6in piece of waxpaper from a standard roll and wadding it up and stuffing it in with the cotton balls, alternating one to one. I do not count on any miracle product that can dry out over time or have the chemical evaporate out if it and will not work when needed in an emergency. Same reason I do not soak cotton balls in vaseline, they can dry out and fail when needed. Cheers!
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#38035 - 04/03/05 02:48 PM Re: FIRE STARTING TINDER IDEAS
MMULLINS Offline
CRUMP
Newbie

Registered: 02/25/05
Posts: 33
Loc: GREAT FALLS, MT
Widget, thanks for that story...sometimes ya have to improvise and overcome..I too had some troubles starting afire last winter here in AK. It was not a situation or anything, me and a buddy went on a short 4-wheeler ride and there ended up being a LOT of snow..we had stopped and wanted to make a fire, warm up and roast some hotdogs..we had extra gas, an axe, plenty of wood, etc. We ended up using an entire 1.5 gallon can of gas but that wood was not going to lite. Never did get it going, so we decided we were screwed out of hotdogs and headed home. Lesson well learned...sometimes the best laid plans don't go right. I still can't figure why that wood never did catch....the snow burned with the gas sort of, but didn't touch the wood...the wood came from a tree that had fallen during the winter..maybe it had sap up in it yet. At any rate, if that had been a tough situation for me, I would still be frozen right there......except that I could have walked back to the road...we weren't but 5 or 6 miles off the main road.
_________________________
19+ years US Air Force. Heavy and Special Equipment Mechanic.

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