What is your preferred method of fire lighting.

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by sticks65, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    the beauty of the cotton balls is they burn as long if cot longer and you get a hundred Cheaper. I use them all the time they never let me down yet.
    I'm not familiar with what your talking about, but flares in my backpack sounds like it might be "A PAIN IN THE BUTT."

    That was a joke by the way! lol
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2013
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  2. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Greek Fire
  3. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Roman Candle!
    Bear likes this.
  4. Leigh

    Leigh Monkey

    Greek fire! I like that one.

    Actually, the Orion yellow flares are about 1/2 the size of those highway versions you find in the automotive department.
    While not as lightweight as most other methods, they have always ignited for me.

    I'm guessing they weigh in at about 4-6 ounces each. I use a USAF/USN pilot's survival vest as a basis for my wilderness survival kit and the added weight has not proven unbearable yet, though I choose to carry only one to supplement matches, lighter, tinder, ferro rod, etc.

    For a belt pouch type kit, they may prove too much extra weight but keep in mind, they not only ignite tinder but are highly visable from a long distance.

    For any larger BOB/survival kit (i.e. car, truck, boat), I would ditch a well-sealed highway flare only before a fixed blade knife.

    Take care of course when handling them, especially when the ground is covered with dry leaves.

    I've had good luck with vaseline-covered cotton balls but for pure heat in a hurry, highway flares are tough to beat.

    The Orion brand also cite an expiration date on each flare.
    I don't know of the 'outer' igniter part or the powdered 'inner' part degrades first but I would stress keeping them as water-resistant as possible.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2013
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  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    The old version of "old spice stick deodorant,"used to burn quite merrily, and was a part of my Boy Scout kit, but the new stuff would not burn with a blowtorch added. Rub a line on anything you wanted to burn, and it was a very easy light. I haven't found any version that now lights.

    I have used road flares, with wet wood, I have no complaints, it works well.
    Motomom34 and Bear like this.
  6. Leigh

    Leigh Monkey

    While on the subject, and I apologize if 'fire-starting gear' has been bludgeoned to death like the proverbial equine, I'm a new primate to this group but I'll share my own experience(s) with 30+ years of fire-starting gear that worked well and some that did not. if I mention brand names, it is not because I either prefer one over the other, it's just what I recall using at the time.

    Magnesium bar w/flint. I think "Doan" was the first brand name of such an item and USGI issue at some point.
    Highly water-resistant but scraping off a dime-sized pile of magnesium in -18 degrees with cold fingers and the wind howling is a real PITA (BTDT)! Having a small square of duct tape to catch the tiny shavings really helps but if you prefer magnesium, purchase it already ground/shaved and stored in a VERY stable container (i.e. all-plastic match safe) to avoid ANY sparks until you need it. Also, unless your scraping device (knife) has a very squared spine, it can easily dull the heck out of your main cutting edge.

    Gerber's very large "strike force" (or simlar named product, avaialble in black or orange). Bulky, bulky, and bulky. trunk kit, great. Otherwise, no thanks. The worst part were the foil-wrapped tinder cubes. If the foil ever gets torn and the tinder exposed to air, they dry up horribly. I learned this the hard way.

    Small (also USGI, I think ) flint striker (comes in either OD green or orange) with the 'cottony' tinder rectangles. Works well as long as the tinder remains dry. Striker is very small and compact (great for Altoid-sized kit) but a mini-Bic lighter offers both sparks and fuel (at least for awhile).

    One-handed flint type striker (cannot recall brand, usually orange in color). Can be used if one hand/arm is compromised. Must be kept at an angle or it will not create sparks. The tinder reminds me of the Gerber brand above (they also suck if the foil package is compromised).

    Coghlan's waxy-looking rectangular tinder...my #1 favorite. VERY weather-resistant. Inexpensive. Compact. Require no foil covering.
    My go-to tinder cubes for the last 15+ years and from a company known for some pretty crappy gear (no offense, Coghlan's).

    Same with Coghlan's brand ferro-type rod (green handle, I think and likely China-made). $4-5 each at Dick's/Dunham's and surprisingly durable. I generally swap out most of a ferro rod's 'strikers' for a short length of hacksaw blade as dulling my primary fixed-blade is not high on my list!

    'Light my Fire' brand are excellent EXCEPT their 'mini' version as I've snapped one in half due their small circumference. The standard sized and thicker military types have proven very good. Their 'Maya Dust' or whatever that sawdust is called, really sucked...maybe the container I purchased was old or compromised but it was completely useless at catching ANY sparks from ANY ferro rod I tried. Want good natural pine tinder (fatwood), go to Wally World and pay 9 bucks for more than you will ever use.

    Chinese-made ferro rod that is housed inside an black aluminum knurled cylinder with liquid-filled compass on the end and comes with ball-chain attachment? Heavy and the compass is complete junk. The ferro rid by itself works quite well (I was surprised). They sell them on Ebay I think, maybe 4-5 bucks each.

    Aurora brand ferro rod (silver or black anodized, I think). Never owned or used one but a friend with one told me it worked very well but that it was not $20-22 superior to some others costing 1/2 as much.

    Again, sorry if this is dated info but these have been my experiences and I would love to hear similar (or opposing) views.

    I 'borrowed' my father's Mitchum stick back in the day and it performed like napalm, as well!
    I'm guessing that back then (before the FDA/EPA's Nazis took over), there was more alcohol in a stick of deodorant than in some bottles of booze.

    Looking back, 'borrowing' my father's deodorant to set ablaze was about as funny to him as when I decided to detail-strip his *Remington Nylon 66!

    *If you have ever owned one, you will understand completely.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2013
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  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I knew we should have saved those images on the server. All broken now
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

  9. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Light my wood stove at the house with a propane torch...
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  10. DomC

    DomC Monkey

    My favorite fire making method is F&S/charcloth, followed by Ferro rod/PJCBs/monkey hair, BIC lighter. I keep the lighter as a last ditch resource as it is a surefire method. I also carry matches (stormproof) w/striker strips in waterproof container.

    Dom :) ;)
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  11. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Preferred method is with an extended barbeque lighter and some nice dry newspaper. Most satisfying method is with flint I knocked off the big piece in the garden border and a striker and char cloth that I made. I've probably started more fires with an almost worn through GI ferro rod, the back of a pocket knife and a wad of dryer lint than anything else. Lots of practice in that fireplace, even with snow on the hearth.

  12. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    just an FYI i have found strike anywere matches in Kroger and dollar store in TX
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  13. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    my favorite is diesel fuel in a pump sprayer a bic lighter and a leaf blower
  14. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey+

    Please tell me what that is, where to get it, and why it's a good way to go. TIA.

    William Warren
  15. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey+

    Good point: one of my friends used to teach survival skills to skiers, and he told me the best thing to have is a candle.

    William Warren
  16. DomC

    DomC Monkey

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2015
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Both materials are readily available. Now, not to dissuade you overly, but you MUST look into the chemistry before you'll know what the "good way to go" really is. In other words, you are dealing with potentially high hazard materials.

    Stick with BIC.
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  18. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    It is NOT something that one should use, WITHOUT significant preparation, and experience. What it does is spontaneous Combust. The Ignition time is determined by the temperature of the glycerine. During WWII this was used in Time Fuses to initiate a Primary Energetic, which then caused the Main Charge to Detonate. The Glycerine was in a fragile Glass container, surrounded by the Potassium Permanganate, and the Primary. All that was in a Sealed Plastic Tube. You crashed the Glass, by bending the Tube, and then you shoved the plastic Tube into the Main Charge. Just a little history, so you will TAKE THE ABOVE WARNING, seriously..... ......
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  19. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    It works, but there is a fairly narrow window between works and "oscar sierra". Plenty of primitive and easy ways to make fire without this method. listen to ghrit and BT.
  20. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    them butaine lighters were on sale at HEB in Texas and they work pretty dam good ...
    LOL call me crazy.
    oldawg likes this.
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