Today’s post is on homemade fire starters. In the past I have experimented with different ones, but in my opinion this one stands out above the others, for ease of use and manufacture..
It is cotton balls and Vaseline. Simply impregnate the cotton balls with Vaseline. This can be done easy by rolling the cotton ball in warm Vaseline. By warm, I mean set it out in the sun to warm, I do not recommend liquefying the Vaseline on a stove; this can be a fire hazard.
For years, I have carried these in my bug out bag by stuffing them in a 35 mm film can. You can squeeze quite a few in one. But with the advent of digital cameras, film cans are no longer easy to obtain. Pill bottles work quite well, but I was talking to a friend who has been individually wrapping his in aluminum foil. To use them he cuts an x in the foil package and pulls a small amount of cotton out and lights it.
Both methods work quite well, a cotton ball if properly impregnated with Vaseline will burn for almost 10 minutes, with a good hot flame. The foil wrapped cotton ball will burn for a longer period. Both can be ignited with a match or a fire starter (spark producing device).
Using damp wood from my yard, it was easy to start a fire using either device.
I have in the past made other types, but have never found any that worked any better or were easier to make. There are many natural fire starters that are available in the wilds and we will cover some of these in the near future.
Fire starting is an art that needs to be practiced, there is a learning curve and you never know when you might need to start one on a cold windy, rainy night.