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#128262 - 02/06/10 02:03 PM Making Vaseline filled cotton balls??
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
How do you saturate cotton balls with Vaseline for making fire starters? Do you melt the Vaseline & then dunk the cotton balls in?

I'm having not much luck daubing the Vaseline on the balls & it only gets on the outside of the balls.

My previous fire starters were 1" thick rolls of newspaper (tied with cotton string at 1" intervals & cut in 1" widths W/ a hacksaw) & then soaked in melted pariffin wax. But I like the light weight of cotton ball fire starters and my Fire Steel sparks seem to like 'em too.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#128266 - 02/06/10 02:17 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: 300winmag]
ohiohiker Offline
member

Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 127
Loc: Ohio
Knead the cotton balls like dough, recoating with vaseline often.

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#128276 - 02/06/10 03:56 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: ohiohiker]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Originally Posted By ohiohiker
Knead the cotton balls like dough, recoating with vaseline often.


That's it. Remember, you don't need a lot. If you put too much on, it can actually make them harder to light.
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#128278 - 02/06/10 04:36 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: 300winmag]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Winny
are you saying that you can light vaseline with a firesteel? Does it work in a wind? Do they take a while to get going, etc?
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#128286 - 02/06/10 06:38 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: 300winmag]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
I don't saturate them. Dry cotton balls light instantly with one stroke of a fire steel. I carry a 1 oz. tube of petroeum jelly and sqeeze a little dab on the cotton ball. Hit it with the fire steel and you'll have a nice blaze, especially when the jelly catches. That way you'll have jelly you can put on wood tinder, or cloth/paper, whatever.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#128287 - 02/06/10 06:53 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Dryer]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Maybe obvious, but you need real 100% cotton not the synthetic kind...
Franco

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#128294 - 02/06/10 08:53 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Franco]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Yep Franco, I bought real cotton. Maybe if I get some real cotton dental rolls I can dip them in melted Vaseline and have the same effect as the larger cotton balls. (?)

Back to playing with fire...

Eric
Hmmm... a thought occured to me (rare, I know) that maybe, over time, the Vaseline will be absorbed deeper into the cotton.
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#128295 - 02/06/10 09:35 PM fire starter [Re: 300winmag]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Waxed card board from the grocery store works very well for fire starter and its free.

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#128297 - 02/06/10 10:40 PM Re: fire starter [Re: chimpac]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
My favorite fire starters are the foil packets used to heat military meals (mres).

I think it is called trioxine. Starts instantly and burns long enough to get kindling started. Foil packet keeps them from drying out.

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#128318 - 02/07/10 04:18 AM Re: fire starter [Re: DJ2]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
Or pieces of eggcrate (recycled paper/cardboard, all "natural"),fully dipped in melted candlewax.
I make my own 'firestarter stips", about the size of a finger, by recycling eggcrate material (like making paper), then dip them thoroughly(sp.?), so they are the right size for a small wood stove.

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#128322 - 02/07/10 10:07 AM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Dryer]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Originally Posted By Dryer
I don't saturate them. Dry cotton balls light instantly with one stroke of a fire steel. I carry a 1 oz. tube of petroeum jelly and sqeeze a little dab on the cotton ball. Hit it with the fire steel and you'll have a nice blaze, especially when the jelly catches. That way you'll have jelly you can put on wood tinder, or cloth/paper, whatever.


I like this idea. I've been carrying cotton balls that I saturated in melted Vaseline. Once lit, they produce a great flame...in testing in my fireplace, I've got a 6" flame that's lasted over five minutes. But I kinda like the idea of carrying 'clean' cotton balls (making them available for dual use) and the small tube of Vaseline...

So, where do I find these small tubes...pharmacy section beside the larger jars of Vaseline?

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#128324 - 02/07/10 10:55 AM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Fiddleback]
korea Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Illinois


Edited by korea (02/07/10 10:56 AM)

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#128332 - 02/07/10 01:46 PM Re: fire starter [Re: DJ2]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dj2
I tend to carry trioxane also if I'm going out in wet and cold and want a campfire, but since I so rarely light a fire and do not depend on them, I rarely carry anything but a BIC. Fires are completely legal where I live and I'm sort of thinking next time out I may light a fire only I'd want my sawvivor and an axe. Of course my axe and chainsaw are in the back of my off road vehicle. I bet trioxane can be lit with a firesteel, but with 3-5 BIC lighters spread around my gear, why bother? If I carry chains along with my extreme off road tires I can drive to places as remote and forested as I can hike to. heck I could plug a microwave into the inverter in my truck to heat my coffee or melt snow.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#128334 - 02/07/10 02:12 PM Re: fire starter [Re: frenchie]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I do these (eggcrate) a fair bit. I have a supply made for winte - basically a cardboard egg carton, with the lid chopped up into the cups, then filled with wax. They are rather large and heavy, but they will get pretty much anything going in any kind of weather. I typically carry a couple in the winter and a bag of dryer lint. I put a blob of dryer lint on top, light it with a small firesteel and away it goes.

I don't bother carrying such things outside of winter. usually just a couple of tealights that can be an emergency firestarter if needed, and a couple of bic lighters. I use the firesteel in the winter because I can use it with gloves on. other than that a bic lighter is foolproof while fallible, so I carry two little ones wink


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My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
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#128337 - 02/07/10 03:22 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Fiddleback]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Quote:
So, where do I find these small tubes...pharmacy section beside the larger jars of Vaseline?


Two places. 1) pharmacy section of your drugstore.
2) I clean out those sample size toothpaste tubes and refill with Vaseline. Use an old dental irrigation syringe or fill from a bigger tube.

Yes, it makes dual purpose of both the cotton and the vaseline.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#128540 - 02/10/10 10:57 AM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Dryer]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
My WalMart Super Center and Walgreens didn't have anything smaller than a bit more than two ounces. Light enough perhaps but not the convenient, small tube I was envisioning... I'll keep looking.

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#128547 - 02/10/10 12:30 PM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Fiddleback]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Fiddleback, I didn't see the 1oz. tube at Walmart either. I bought mine at an Albertson's grocery pharmacy baby stuff department. The toothpaste tubes work great too.

Another option...simply spoon a glob of the stuff into a zip-lock baggie, film capsule, pill bottle, etc. and dig out a dab with a stick. Smear it on the cotton and burn the stick too.
I hate getting Vaseline on my fingers when camping...ick.

_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#128613 - 02/11/10 11:55 AM Re: Making Vaseline filled cotton balls?? [Re: Dryer]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Thanks!

I've got an Albertsons that's convenient...hopefully I'll remember to stop in next week.

This idea seems so much more comfortable than what I've been doing...carrying pre-soaked cotton balls in a 35mm film canister...

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#130451 - 03/10/10 01:38 PM Re: fire starter [Re: frenchie]
routemaster Offline
member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 23
Loc: Concord, CA
Lots of great ideas here. Thanks.

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