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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious about some other ideas for fire starters/kindling besides the obvious ones most people know about. I shot the below video a few weeks ago showing the 3 ones that I like the best (cotton balls + petroleum jelly, dryer lint, and alcohol). What I am searching for are additional ideas that could be cheaply and easily stored for emergencies. I'm not talking about matches or magnesium sticks and sources of sparks but the medium that will accept the spark and turn it into a flame.

I also think in a disaster scenario in a suburban (or especially urban) scenario, starting a fire to keep warm will be a lot harder than people think after literally everyone around you is scrounging for the same firewood for a few days. I know in my neighborhood of 1500 or so homes in north Texas there are not a ton of mature trees and certainly not much dead wood laying around to be gathered up. I keep about 1/3 cord of wood in my back yard that I could turn to but are there any other cheap, readily available fuels besides wood, charcoal, and propane/kerosene/gasoline/any-other-ene that you guys would turn to?

 

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I have heard a lot of people talk about dryer lint as good fire starter, but my experience with it is less than desirable. I liked your other to options way better.

Pine sap or lighter knots as the old timers called them make good starters, if you have a flame to ignite them. A spark is not enough to get them lit.
 

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Good job OP.
Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly is my preferred method in a primitive situation. Charred Cotton Cloth works great for holding a flame, spark or ember. I also carry the Solo Stove and its so easy to start within the stove then you can transfer to a larger area for a campfire.
 

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Anything you bring from home will run out eventually. We have cotton rounds dipped in wax which work brilliantly (they'll burn for ten minutes or more, and provide anywhere from a 2-6" flame), and are amazingly small and compact. Not to mention a whole football field less messy than cotton and vaseline.

That being said, I'm partial to feather sticks and a sturdy knife. I'd give up nearly everything in my kit to have a good knife. These easily catch a spark from a steel, and so long as you prepped the rest of your kindling (how many times I've seen someone light something only to scramble because they have no kindling...) you're pretty much guaranteed to be cooking.

Plant Flower Wood Grass Terrestrial plant
 

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Anything you bring from home will run out eventually. We have cotton rounds dipped in wax which work brilliantly (they'll burn for ten minutes or more, and provide anywhere from a 2-6" flame), and are amazingly small and compact. Not to mention a whole football field less messy than cotton and vaseline.

That being said, I'm partial to feather sticks and a sturdy knife. I'd give up nearly everything in my kit to have a good knife. These easily catch a spark from a steel, and so long as you prepped the rest of your kindling (how many times I've seen someone light something only to scramble because they have no kindling...) you're pretty much guaranteed to be cooking.

View attachment 6546
That may be good idea in the Central East South West, but when Slippy finds himself in a tight spot, vaseline gets the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is how a video should be made short, well edited and the probably the best 3 fire starting methods.
Thanks!

Good ideas people. I can't believe I didn't think of cow dung. There is actually a field within half mile of my house. Hopefully no one sees hopping over the barbed wire fence to collect poop.
 

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there are lots of alt fire starting methods

atm my fav is vas + cotton ball wrapped in duct tape

I am tempted on drop torch fuel, but it only has 1 use, no other uses I can see (75% desial 25% petrol from memory)

there also is a bbq fire starter wrapped individually that I'm tempted to see if it lights off a spark, as that's what these things are about
 

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Not sure this method excites you or not but I have used it several times and it's quite effective. Also steel wool can be submerged in H20 and it drains dry pronto so its good from that perspective as well. Can you run out of batteries YES!!! just like you can run out of alcohol. Which I like as well. Just another idea worth knowing about or sharing...
 

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I like using hand cleaner gel and either a cotton ball, or pine straw, or whatever. Easy to keep in the car, jacket, purse, etc. the last time we roasted a pig I showed my son how to use toilet paper rolls wetted with hand cleaner to start heating charcoal briquets.
 
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Two of you already posted my two favorites. The steel wool and 9v battery, and the knife for shaving wood.
You can also go to your local newspaper, and get bundles of papers for free. (day old etc.) As part of prepping, you will spend time on some preps, like rolling newspapers into logs. I have heard that you can put the newspaper in a tub of water, then roll tight, tie it up, and allow to dry in the summer sun. You'll want to use several newspapers to make one log.
 

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Ok, I guess I'm lazy or something. I know they won't last forever, but I carry about a dozen packs of Trioxane fuel to start fire if it's wet or windy or a feather stick won't work. Plus if necessary, I can use it to cook with in a Triangular stove I made.
 

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dried tree sap is a natural way to get a fire going and burning hot. evergreens are an excellent source for flammable sap. fresh sap has too much water content so it must be dried out first.
 

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Nice video.
I like the cottonballs soaked with Vaseline, then rolled up tight and put into clear straws. Seal both ends and it will be waterproof and last forever.
Another straw peice with matches in it
You mentioned rubbing alcohol, I did a picture set on building an alcohol stove out of coke cans.
Welcome to the forum, and look forward to learning from and with you.
 
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