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04/23/2023 08:29AM  
What is your favorite homemade fire starter?

-CV
 
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04/23/2023 10:50AM  
Cedar pet bedding in a paper egg carton with melted paraffin poured over the cedar chips. Let cool, break into 12 fire starters. Work over newspaper in case one of the cells leaks, and use a double boiler or similar to safely melt the paraffin.

TZ
 
BigPaul
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04/23/2023 11:40AM  
Dryer lint with a little dab of petroleum jelly. I stuff it into an old pill bottle and take out enough to get the twigs going.
 
04/23/2023 12:17PM  
Candle wax melted down with a good size glob of vaseline mixed in, then fully submerge a round cotton ladies make up remover and let dry. I get around 10 minutes burn time and it can be broken open to expose the cotton to light with a fire steel.
 
HowardSprague
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04/23/2023 01:33PM  
Dryer lint stuffed inside a cardboard toilet paper roll.
 
04/23/2023 03:30PM  
BigPaul: "Dryer lint with a little dab of petroleum jelly. I stuff it into an old pill bottle and take out enough to get the twigs going."


Same, though I just have it stashed in the PFD for emergencies.
 
TuscaroraBorealis
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04/23/2023 04:43PM  
sns: "
BigPaul: "Dryer lint with a little dab of petroleum jelly. I stuff it into an old pill bottle and take out enough to get the twigs going."



Same, though I just have it stashed in the PFD for emergencies."


Same.
 
YetiJedi
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04/23/2023 04:51PM  
This thread is heating up!

For canoe tripping, I prefer the wide straw stuffed with a weather-proof match, dryer lint, and petroleum jelly. Melt (very carefully!) the ends of the straw to seal it. Easy to break it open and hit it with a spark.
 
RetiredDave
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04/23/2023 05:43PM  
Cotten balls soaked in Vaseline and stuffed in a baggie. I've never had to use them - so much birch bark!

Dave
 
NikonF5user
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04/23/2023 06:30PM  
YetiJedi: "This thread is heating up!


Ugh
 
scottiebaldwin
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04/23/2023 06:32PM  
It won’t be a popular answer but it’s fatwood. The BWCA is literally puking fatwood everywhere. I love me some birch bark but my favorite is still fatwood. It’s got natural turpentine in it. There is something about knowing I lit a fire with a flint and steel onto fatwood that is very satisfying.
 
04/23/2023 09:07PM  
For lightweight starter, I use Vaseline cotton balls. They light beautifully with a stricter stick, match, etc. a great way to get it started.

For getting a good fire roaring using wood that’s too large, the egg carton with sawdust or pet bedding with wax poured over it is hard to beat. You can get soy wax online for candle making that works well. I’ll often carry a couple of these on a trip, just in case of rain and such.

 
04/24/2023 04:26AM  
HowardSprague: "Dryer lint stuffed inside a cardboard toilet paper roll."


...and dipped in melted candle wax.
 
04/24/2023 07:24AM  
I just made the cotton rounds with wax, the wax and lighter fluid, the wax and vasoline. All burn about 6ish minutes. Being it is compact and waterproof, I’m all in.
 
IndyCanoe
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04/24/2023 09:37AM  
My preference is the cotton rounds dipped in wax. We also bring cotton balls with Vaseline but I typically reach for the cotton rounds.
 
04/24/2023 09:44AM  
scottiebaldwin: "It won’t be a popular answer but it’s fatwood. The BWCA is literally puking fatwood everywhere.... "


I stumbled onto some fatwood years ago. As you say, it was satisfying to use as fire starter.

What tips do you have for locating fatwood?
 
04/24/2023 09:45AM  
My go to is dryer lint and sawdust in an egg carton and melted candle wax. I like sawdust on bottom to soak up most of the wax but a little dryer lint on top that is free of wax to catch a spark. A cotton ball on top of the sawdust layer would work just as well.
 
04/24/2023 12:55PM  
Cotton ball and petroleum jelly. Fire starter, lip balm, blister and burn soother and moisturizer all rolled into one.
I don't use dryer lint because of synthetic fibers and hair from my constantly shedding yellow lab; gotta love the smell of burning dog hair in the morning
Alcohol pads or paper towel with chap stick rubbed on it make good emergency fire starters.
 
04/24/2023 01:59PM  
Dryer lint and the the paraffin wax on those little Babybel cheeses. I keep the wax coating, roll it into an ever-growing ball, and then when it's time to prep I'll tear off chunks, grab a tuft of dryer lint, and then roll them together into marble-sized balls, which all go into a ziplock.

Plus, the cheeses taken on the trip can be turned into more firestarters as needed.
 
scottiebaldwin
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04/24/2023 02:13PM  
There are a plethora of great videos on YouTube about finding good fatwood. Specifically, pine trees that have downed limbs. You can usually find it at the base of the limb. Just keep gravity in mind and you’ll do well. It’s going to collect at the base of the tree and the base of the limbs. As an aside, I’ve really turned my love of fishing into a love of wood processing while on BWCA trips. I found that as a solo paddler I have to catch fish at the right time to come back, clean them, and cook them. I don’t plan meals around fish anymore. I’m enjoying my Gransfors Bruk Outdoor Axe and Council Tools 24” Pack Axe way more. Plus, the fact that I wood gnome the next inhabitants of that campsite a bunch of great firewood is icing on the cake.

Try your luck at “Fatwood Fishing.” Maybe you’ll like it!

PS) I’m giving full credit to Adam & Erik of the ‘Tumblehome Podcast’ full credit for the term “wood gnoming.” Better to be a wood gnome than a “wood goblin!”
 
Savage Voyageur
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04/24/2023 04:31PM  
Egg carton, wax and sawdust.
 
RedLakePaddler
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04/24/2023 04:53PM  
Birthday candles help with fire starting. Burn longer than matches and you can add the remaining wax to help it get going.
Carl
 
04/25/2023 04:35AM  
Round cotton pads smeared with petroleum jelly. Empty Copenhagen "tin" makes a perfect container.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
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04/25/2023 03:14PM  
Now, how about... what is everyone bringing to actually light these super creative firestarters?? Matches, waterproof matches, Bic lighter, flint and striker, ferro rod??
 
04/25/2023 03:26PM  
2 bic/ 2 fire steels
 
04/25/2023 07:00PM  
I like the cotton balls soaked in Vaseline as well. Makes it easier to light it and get it in the center of all the tinder because you can just impale it on the end of a stick and light it and sneak it in wherever you want.

and I use a Bic lighter. I tend to sneak one into every pack, every life jacket, every med kit, every cook kit, and in various shirt/pant pockets... Can never have too many bics around... :)

I also remove the child safety guard from all my bics. Makes it pretty easy to dry out the striking surface if they get wet and get them working again.
 
YetiJedi
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04/25/2023 07:19PM  
To light fires, I bring 3 bics (one in my pfd, one in my cook kit, and one in the first aid kit), one ferro rod, and a couple of dozen weather-proof matches.
 
MississippiDan
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04/26/2023 09:39PM  
Small pieces of birch bark. Bundle of fatwood wrapped in wax paper. Candle stub. Small Bic lighter. Charcoal lighter fluid in small shot bottle. Fire hose. Not a fancy one, just a 36 inch long by 3/8 " OD latex hose.
 
04/27/2023 06:38AM  
When the wood is soaked through, Road Flare. It will start anything on fire.

 
justpaddlin
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04/27/2023 07:13PM  
ABB's (Aged Beaver Bites). I don't make them; they're made by experts.
 
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