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#85970 - 02/18/07 09:02 PM The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
In an attempt to add another tool to my preps today, I got some petroleum jelly, cotton balls and a zip lock bag. Then I looked at them and wondered how to do this without making a mess? Then I thought one step further and wondered how do you actually use them without making more of a mess? So, is there a way to make and use these that I'm not seeing, or is this just a messy way to make fire?
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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

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#85971 - 02/18/07 09:42 PM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
aloha Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1047
Loc: Hawaii, USA
Aloha Malpaso,

Check out my "fire candy." I think this is a link to it: http://www.equipped.org/ubbthreads/showf...amp;amp;fpart=1
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#85972 - 02/18/07 09:45 PM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1752
Somehow i have never found PJballs to be too messy, so you get a little vaseline on your hand. Can't heart, it keeps our hand smooth. Maybe it's just a state of mind.
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#85973 - 02/18/07 11:55 PM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
tfisher Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 186
Loc: Illinois, USA
Just to pass along a tip that I picked up from the late Gene Ward.

A cotton ball saturated in petroleum jelly then wrapped in foil like a small raviola. When ready to use make a couple small cuts in an X over the cotton ball pull a few cotton fibers out and light. leave the cotton ball in the foil case. The one I tested burned well over 40 minutes.
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#85974 - 02/19/07 02:31 AM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2027
Loc: NE Illinois
I put a handful of cotton balls in a ziplok bag, then use two fingers to scoop out a good sized glob of PJ and smear it inside the bag. I use a paper towel to wipe off my hands (after applying some to my lips to reduce chapping). Zip up the bag and start massaging.

I leave it all in the bag until needed. When I pull out a cotton ball and fluff it up for starting a fire, yes the tips of my finger get some PJ on them, but not much, and I just spread it on my hands. Its not so bad.

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#85975 - 02/19/07 05:53 AM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
They can be kind of messy to make, but not all that messy to use.

You can use Ken's way, and do it inside the bag. I like to make sure I'm doing it right <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> so I just grab a smallish gob of petroleum jelly and a cotton ball and wirk them together. I don't usually make a large number of them, so I do them one at a time. A fairly light smearing will produce a ball that burns for about 30 seconds. A little more and it will burn for 2 minutes. If you add a cotton ball to a large glob of jelly, it will probably burn for several minutes or more. Cotton is the wick, petroleum jelly is the fuel.

Leave them wadded together and put them into your container. When you get one out and fluff it up, it just gets your fingertips a little greasy, so just rub into your skin or wipe them on your pants <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />.

Tip: don't wad them tightly into a tiny container. If you can't get your finger in far enough to grab the cotton, you're going to have a real problem when you're shivering from cold or fear and can't feel your fingertips.

They're cheap, quick, simple. You don't need to use the whole bag of cotton balls. Experiment with some of them and you'll know how much jelly to add the next time you make them, or for your other BOBs.

Sue

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#85976 - 02/19/07 06:38 AM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1838
Loc: MINNESOTA

they are a mess..just because something works does not
mean it's ok to use when there are much cleaner and
faster fire lighters..heat tabs to candle stubs and back--
it's like the 9 volt battery and steel wool..it works but it's
a gimmick..

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#85977 - 02/19/07 12:51 PM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
Quote:
A cotton ball saturated in petroleum jelly then wrapped in foil like a small raviola.

Neat idea. Made up a half dozen of those last night and added them to the truck bag.
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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

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#85978 - 02/19/07 01:46 PM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
bubbajoe Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/29/05
Posts: 72
Loc: PA. USA
i use a chapstick instead of PJ. i keep a few dry cottonballs in my wallet and kits and i always have a chapstick on me .it works and i find it easy to use

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#85979 - 02/19/07 03:42 PM Re: The mess that is PJ and cotton balls
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
One of these days I have to try something I have been planning for a while. Make up a few PJ&balls, then stuff them down inside an empty chapstick tube. If all goes according to plan, you could remove the cap and crank up one ball at a time. Maybe tape the cap on and the little twisty knob to help prevent leakage, or maybe drip some candle wax on the seams. I know for a fact that you can get at least four dry cotton balls inside of the tube...
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