Best Material to Start a Fire With

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by Aneye4theshot, Jan 20, 2016.

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  1. Aneye4theshot

    Aneye4theshot Expert Member
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    When you're looking to start a fire, it is important to have the right material. Dry loose material such as straw, leaves, and dried grass make for a great starter. Cotton balls are an excellent source to start fires with especially if you add a dab of alcohol or oil to them to help accelerate your fire. They are lightweight to carry in any situation and make great accessories to any survival kit. Should you not have a survival kit, knowing how to build your fire is very important. Start small with your loose dry materials and get a fire burning. Oak and pine are both great woods for a fire. Gather fallen branches or look for dead branches you can knock down. Have medium sized burn sticks and twigs to go over your small fire once ready.
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    Be careful not to smother your flame by putting too many sticks on it to fast as the fire needs air in order for it to grow. Once your small sticks begin to catch you may start to add larger pieces of branches or logs. By this time, your fire will be going good, and the important thing will be to feed the fire or make sure to keep adding more material to prevent it from burning out. The fire you start can give you warmth, a good feeling, and safety when you need it most. Remember a few cotton balls can really make the difference. You can salvage cotton from pillows, jackets, or other items in an emergency, or buy some to keep on hand for the time when you need them most.
     
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  2. Gene

    Gene Moderator
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    To make simple homemade fire starters that I have used for years, you take dryer lent, wax from old candles, and cardboard egg crate. Melt the wax and dip a nice wad of dryer lent in the wax and place the wax/lent wad into the egg crate. Once cooled break the egg crate apart. I keep a few in a zip lock bag when I go hiking, no mess, no fuss, and very easy to light.
     
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  3. Triple D

    Triple D Active Member
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    I've also made those but instead of dryer lint i use saw dust or most recently cut cardboard strips about a 1/2" wide by about 12" rolled them up and placed them in the egg crate and covered in wax
     
  4. Paxxis

    Paxxis Active Member
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    Ok, I know this is going to sound odd, but bear with me. In my BOB, I keep about a dozen "Manpons", specifically for the purpose of starting fires. Regular tampons, kept sealed, and stored in a ziplock bag for added protection. To use, simply take one out, pull apart, fluff the cotton wadding inside, add spark, and you have fire. If I go camping, I always make sure to have them, and in a BO scenario, they are golden.
     
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  5. Gene

    Gene Moderator
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    Good idea on the cardboard Triple D. I will be out of lent when the dryer stops working. Also doing alot of wood working I always have alot of saw dust.
     
  6. VARGRWOLF

    VARGRWOLF Well-Known Member
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    One of the things I've done is when processing fat wood with my chop saw is save the sawdust (maya dust) mix with candle wax. Let it cool cut it like brownies to make small cubes.
     
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  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    wire wool and a lantern battery works well.
     
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  8. Jacpriest

    Jacpriest Active Member
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    Another great item to have with you is a few tampons, you can use them to start a fire, lift water and use as an emergency penetration wound.
     
  9. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Active Member
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    One thing that I do sitting around sometimes is cut plastic straws up then stuff them with cotton. I then melt the ends of the straw pieces with a lighter then press them together with pliers. They weigh nothing and you always have waterproof fire starters with you. I carry a empty pill bottle full of them.
     
  10. Dante848

    Dante848 New Member
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    Very helpful stuff. Thing I always did to get it going was just collect small dry sticks and leaves. They obviously start quicker than thicker logs and sticks, usually just a little in the beginning and then slowly add more on until I have a decent flame to lay larger sticks across, and then keep it going until those sticks have fully caught fire. Just build your way up to bigger wood basically.
     
  11. Lakeisha Brown

    Lakeisha Brown New Member
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    I never knew how valuable tampons could be lol. I have always used Firestarters, dry wood, and newspaper. I have learned a lot. Thank you!
     
  12. Tessa

    Tessa Member
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    I like the magnesium fire starters, my dad used to carry one when we camped out and taught me about magnesium being flammable when I was a kid. We put an old VW engine block on a bonfire once (don't do that in your back yard, seriously don't, it's something you should only do in a safe environment) and the results were pretty spectacular.
     
  13. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I just carry a disposable lighter all the time, I've got a stock of 150!!!!
    my best advice is: "keep it simple".
     
  14. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    You don't even have to spend time, money or effort trying to create a fire starter. One is right before your very eyes. Simply get a plastic can or any plastic material and smear it with some paraffin. Then strike a match and see the vigorous fire starter that this is. You can also roll nylon papers and smear them with paraffin and light. This saves the environment as it is an aspect of recycling.
     
  15. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    Mr. Cluckeyo is an A+ fire builder. He says that the best materials for building a fire are dried leaves and small dry twigs. He builds fire rings out of large stones. They have a narrow end with a wire grate for cooking, and a rounded wide end for camp fires. He places these leaves and twigs in the ring, lights them with his Bic lighter, and blows gently on them. Adding more slowly until it really catches on. We've had some roaring good fires over the years. Nothing like a huge campfire when your freezing cold!
     
  16. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member
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    I've also heard that cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly are great for starting fires. And they burn longer. So even if the wood you are using to build a fire isnlt all that dry, when using these petroleum jelly cotton balls it makes the whole process a lot easier. I've never used them but maybe someone who has might recommend them?
     
  17. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    I don't know why I didn't think of cotton swabs for starting a fire. They are so lightweight and easy to carry. I will put extra in my backpack. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  18. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    I have seen a demo of fire-making several times in the aeta's area inside the US naval base in Subic, Zambales. It is surprising to know that they make fire using fresh bamboo. A cylinder of bamboo that around 2 feet in length is the material. The aeta (a black pygmy) uses a knife to skin the bamboo. The skin is very think like flakes that can float on air. After the bamboo skin has piled up and can be used as fuel, a bamboo stick was used to scratch the bamboo cylinder. So it is all bamboo for the fire-making. And when the bamboo is overheated, the skin erupts with a good fire.

    For camping purpose, the demo guy said that you have to gather your real fuel like wood for cooking or dried leaves for bonfire. The bamboo skin is just the lighter that will light up the fuel.
     
  19. Coputere

    Coputere New Member
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    Water proof matches along side a handy butane lighter may be our main go to when it comes to generating a fire, but there are some pretty nifty alternatives that you can make with barely any effort. An invention by the Iroquois called the Pump Fire Drill will produce enough friction through the aid of a fly wheel, in turn giving way to sparks which becomes a flame in little to no time
     
  20. richj8am30

    richj8am30 Member
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    You won’t be able to find cattails (Typha latifolia) just anywhere even though they are popular in marsh land and fields. This plant will not be made readily available to you anytime you want to make a fire, due to the variety of landscapes that you will be traveling. If you should be so lucky as to find it then you will have a great conductor of fire on your hands. When you can find them in one particular spot, make it a habit of collecting them to assure preparedness in the event that you will be needing to make a fire. The feathery and extremely lightweight material that is often found inside of cattails burns as efficiently as paper or even cotton making it a highly flammable favorite among happy campers who happen to know the value of this plant’s unique capabilities when it comes to initiating a spark for warmth.
     
  21. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Heat dried tinder from your last fire!
     
  22. Christavia

    Christavia New Member
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    Very useful tips indeed. My boyfriend and I plan to go camping for a weekend and we want to try everything new. We don't want to bring too much of the luxuries from home, so we will definitely be trying to start a fire without a match. I will sneak one in my backpack of course as a precautionary measure, just in case me and hubby fail
     
  23. cyclistbabe

    cyclistbabe New Member
      3/23

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    I used to make firestarters! You take an egg carton and place laundry lint (the stuff you pull off of your dryer filter) in each of the little nodes. Then you drench em in melted wax and cut them into individual starters when they're dry! They are so handy and work beautifully.
     
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