Drinking Straw Fire Starters

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by chelloveck, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Here is a simple and inexpensive way of making fire starters that are portable, water proof, compact, and reliable. These fire starters can be manufactured from found raw materials such as discarded drinking straws, char cloth, jute string, and cooking fat. (if cotton balls and petroleum jelly aren't available) These fire starters make good economical 'good will' trade goods.

    Heating the crimping tool might make a tidier crimp and be less liable to prematurely ignite the fire starter than exposing the straw to an open flame. This technique works best with plastic straws...with waxed paper straws YMMV. [reddevil]

    A bunch of these may save your life, or at the very least...a cold miserable night.

    Drinking straws as containers have other uses too....

    labelling / coding the straws would help in using the right commodity for the right purpose without guess work and nasty surprises.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  2. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Get the colored straws regular and/or fat and no need to worry about labels or ink coming off. I have grandkids so I know these "valuable" things.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    That is so easy and very compact idea. I have colored straws so I can make lots of these. Great things to have in our bags.
    chelloveck, Sgt Nambu and Aeason like this.
  4. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    Thanks for sharing
    chelloveck likes this.
  5. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I keep different sized metal straws in my edc they fit inside one another.
    There are various uses for straws ,and having a selection provides more options.
    If your a mechanic ,you can understand all the uses tubing can fill .
    oldawg and chelloveck like this.
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    I would have been interested in his solution for a striker with the matches, and I know, I've figured out a few myself. Just would like to see the vids solution.
    chelloveck likes this.
  7. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    oldawg and chelloveck like this.
  8. DuxDawg

    DuxDawg Monkey++

    Melting straws for fire starters is not worth the time. BTDT. Do use them for .22lr shells, salt, etc when only a small amount is desired. Such as dayhikes.

    I carry a matchsafe filled with CBs (aka cottonballs) and a Chapstick style click stick that, once emptied, was filled with PJ (aka Petroleum Jelly aka Vaseline). Matchsafes are waterproof so no muss, no fuss. Keeping the cotton clean, dry and separate allows it to be used for many things. Same with the PJ.

    Then again, start most of my fires (and light my pipe) with F&S. Have a Bic and a ferro (in separate places) as backup. Only use the CB and PJ to show kids 'n noobs.

    Happy Trails Y'all.
    chelloveck likes this.
  9. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I keep a 35mm canister with cotton and PJ as well as a small Altoids tin with char cloth .
    Bow drill is easy enough to make, if I have the time , ferro rod is simple enough , Use a file on the end rather then scraping off the side . It lasts much longer. the file is also useful in sharpening the ax .(Old school)
    If there's wood to burn, then making curls and fine fibers is not all that difficult, and I don't have to carry it around, if there is none, then there is no fire to be made.
    Small wood fibers added to the char box and cooked prep for the next event.
    See the lines on the side of the drill ,these are made using a serrated edge , and boost the friction of the string reducing slippage.
    Notice I put a hole on the side of the hearth in stead of the usual notch .
    This helps prevent the drill from popping out unexpectedly, and maintains more heat and friction in that area .
    This wood is Poplar and very pithy ,almost no pitch. very soft wood. it happened to take so well even the drill lit up. DSCN4428.JPG
    While it is nice to have tools for making fire quickly , it best to have the skills for making fire when those tools are not available.
    I tend to use the materials that are more expendable first and save the easier forms for emergencies .
  10. DuxDawg

    DuxDawg Monkey++

    Sound thinking Arleigh.

    Nice move with the hole in the hearthboard!!! A new one to me. Makes a lot of sense.
    Sgt Nambu and chelloveck like this.
  11. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    It's funny , much as I dislike change , I am the author of a great many inventions and innovations my self.
    There is always a better way to do something, (usually) it's usually being willing to make the investment in experimentation .
    on another board that are guys the experiment with hand drills making fire, using weeds believe it or not. (Bushcraft forum)
    DuxDawg, Sgt Nambu and chelloveck like this.
  12. DuxDawg

    DuxDawg Monkey++

    "Weeds"... Such as Goldenrod, Velvetleaf, Horseweed, etc? They work very well. Though unless we find exceptionally thick stems, they are better as plugs or hand drill spindles.

    There are hundreds of species that work for friction fire ignition. Just as hundreds of types of rocks, dozens of types of steel, dozens of every day objects, etc work with F&S. The key (after becoming proficient at generating embers) with FF is the combinations. Not all will work. Seems to me they need to be almost, yet not quite, as hard as each other.

    Totally agree that serendipity is our friend. Just keep plugging away trying new things, perfecting old ones, etc. Occasionally are pleasantly surprised. Know that feeling well.
    Sgt Nambu and Motomom34 like this.
  13. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    As you say, there are an infinite number of ways to do things! I enjoy figuring them out too! Thanks for sharing yours with us!
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