Favorite Firestarter?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by sci, Feb 25, 2007.


  1. sci

    sci Monkey+++

    What is your favorite firestarter?

    In my BOB, I keep a magnesium stick and about a hundred waterproof matches, but everyday I carry my favorite: The Hot-Spark.

    I got it from a Boy Scout's website for around $1.40, and I put it on a chain to wear it around my neck at all times. The striker (a rough piece of metal) loses its effectiveness quickly, so I just keep the flint on the necklace and use the reamer on my Swiss Army knife as a striker (since I am NEVER without my knife).

    The reamer helps make a bigger spark, and I've had no problems starting a fire.
     
  2. GaryBrun

    GaryBrun Monkey+++

    I have a strong binocular lens. (The eye piece) I had different ones always ever since I was a kid
     
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Thermite
     
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    [clp] [bow]
     
  5. Paradoc

    Paradoc Retired Combat Medic

    Magnesium stick and steel.
     
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I used to talk about the fancy ones like the Blastmatch. Seemed cool and made a lot of sparks in my garage.

    One cold, wet night changed my opinion and after it broke, it worked fine as a basic flint and steel.

    I know have (many) of the magnesium blocks with a flint stuck to the side and always a knife in the pocket.

    Oh yeah, favorite all time is a bic ;)
     
  7. ChemicalGal

    ChemicalGal Monkey+++

    My favorites a Bic too, after you take the child proof thing off, kills my thumb and can't light it with it on.
    CG
     
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I smoke so I always have 2 Zippos in my pocket, a card of flints in my wallet and 2 Tobasco sauce bottles from MREs in my pocket filled with lighter fluid, each one holds enouph to fill a Zippo once or to put on damp tender to make it light better. My Zippos would be my first choice but I also have a couple of the flint blocks and keep about a 4" piece of old hacksaw blade on the key chain with them as it works better than anything else I have found as a striker.

    I also keep a few 'Strike-a-fire' fire starters along with a book of matches in my BOB. They are basicly the chipped wood and parafin fire starters that are 1/4"x1 1/2"x5" and have the stuff on the end like a match. You strike them like a match and they burn for about 10-15 minutes to get a fire going. We use them at home in the wood stove a lot too.
     
  9. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Bic, Ferro rods and vaseline soaked cotton in old film containers.....

    Thermite beats what I carry....[LMAO]
     
  10. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    I don't smoke but I try to keep a bic handy.

    In my BOB I have the magnesium blocks. Just after I got it I figured I better learn how to use it so I wasn't trying to figure it out during a SHTF moment. I was sure glad I did that!! Everybody else made it sound soooo easy to use it. It is now, but if I was under stress and pressure to use one when I first got it I may have gone postal LOL.

    I need to get some of the cotton balls w/ Vaseline together. Would drier lint work instead of cotton balls? I get plenty of lint everyweek.

    Ryan
     
  11. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    "I need to get some of the cotton balls w/ Vaseline together. Would drier lint work instead of cotton balls? I get plenty of lint everyweek."

    I've heard it works great... only thing is that sythetics that may be in there..... but shouldn't be a problem if you're out in the open and well ventilated... purists I know only use lint from cotton loads in the dryer....

    I've also tried dryer lint in cardboard egg cartons filled with wax.... waterproof, you get 12 firestarters that last a while... only thing is their a bit bulky....
     
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You can also carry dry cotton balls (or drier lint) and a can of Bag Balm. The bag balm will work just like the vasoline for the fire starting but is also THE best thing I have found for burns (I used just that on 2nd and 3rd degree steam burns for 2 or 3 weeks and wound up with NO scar) and is also good for scrapes and minor cuts and such.
     
  13. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Bag Balm is good stuff... I'd repackage it though... has a nasty habit of getting messy and leaking if you leave it for too long..... so if you're gonna put it in a BOB and forget it.... put it in another container....

    I gotta try that with cotton balls.... good suggestion....
     
  14. andrew414

    andrew414 Howdy.

    A fist-sized wad of dryer lint. It crushes down 10:1 into a any size tupperware container. Apply light diesel fuel for reliability. (You could use fruity lamp oil if you don't like the diesel). I carry at least 5 bic lighters in my pack anytime I'm in the field. Multiply x10 for the big B.O.B.

    Andrew
     
  15. Joe Dan

    Joe Dan Monkey+++

    My favorite was a highly modified Gerber Strike Force. I removed the ferrocerium rod and the steel striker from the plastic handle it came in and I drilled out some some antler tines (shed) I found. I epoxied the rod in one and the striker in the other and then I drilled a small hole in each and connected them with a leather thong. I loved that fire starter. I started many fires with it. My wife borrowed it to teach her Girl Scout troop fire starting and evidently, one of the Girl Scouts loved my fire starter more than I did...

    As far as usefulness goes I like Crickets - kinda like a Bic but with a safety feature. I LIKE the feature because it keeps the lighter from accidently discharging while in storage.

    I have a good friend who says, "If Daniel Boone had had a Bic - he would have used it"

    Vaselined cotton balls work very well. You can even put one on the end of a long twig and use it as a "super match".

    Lint. The reason you want cotton as opposed to synthetic lint has little to do with any fumes. It is simply that cotton burns while sythetics don't - they melt instead.

    We save our dryer lint (we wear almost no synthetcis so it's all cotton or wool for the most part) as we pull it off the screen and when we get enough I make egg fire starters. Rip the top off a cardboard egg carton and throw it away. Stuff the bottom "eggs" with lint and set the thing on a piece of aluminum foil (to avoid mess). Melt old wax in a double boiler (I use a veggie can with a coat hanger handle suspended in a pot of boiling water; I use old candle stubs and the melted wax for wax) and pour the melted wax over the lint.

    Some will seep through - that's why you have foil under it so your wife doesn't get mad.

    Use a double boiler - if you try to melt wax directly it can burst into flame.

    Once it cools I just toss them in the back of my vehicles or into my camp boxes. When you want to start a fire, rip off an "egg" and light the edge.

    It burns hot and long.
     
  16. JC Refuge

    JC Refuge Crisis Preparedness Provider Vendor

    Nothing like Birch bark to get a fire going in a hurry, IMO.
     
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Paper birch especially. Nice, fat flame, but needs more shielding from wind than vasilene soaked cotton. Birch is good tinder for flint and steel ignition.
     
  18. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    You have inspired me to try something(s) new:

    The empty spindles from TP can be folded at one end (like a shipping/plan tube) and filled with dryer lint. Vaseline center, more lint and close the other end. I've left them on the desk for a few days to make sure that they'll stay closed without any adhesive (seems to be working). I think they'll store better than an egg carton, due to size (about half-length of original) and ability to cram into smaller spaces.
     
  19. Joe Dan

    Joe Dan Monkey+++

    Well no one said you had to store a whole egg carton... :)

    So? How does your contraption work?
    Honestly, I don't think it will work too well.
    The wax or vaseline is what burns - the lint acts like a wick. If you vaseline is in the center...
    I don't get it.
     
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