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Old 06-28-2007, 07:41 AM
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Default How to build a fire with cotton balls and Vaseline



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How to build a fire with cotton balls and Vaseline.

While making this video, I forgot to tear the cotton ball in half. The vaseline will not ignite with sparks off the swiss fire starter. So, tear the cotton ball in half, or where you can get sparks to the fibers inside the ball. Once the fibers ignite, then the vaseline will burn for several minutes.

With the hand sanitizer, the flame was hard to see because it was almost clear.

I might have been able to use the flame from the hand sanitizer to ignite the cotton ball dipped in vaseline.

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Last edited by kev; 06-28-2007 at 05:39 PM..
Old 06-28-2007, 11:33 AM
shawn shawn is offline
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Hey Kev did you put just a couple of drops of the sanitizer or like half the bottle. I'm going to show the kids that trick tonight.
Old 06-28-2007, 12:18 PM
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I just used a little bit, say about a 1/2 dollar size amount spread out over the piece of bark.

It might work better if you pour the sanitizer on the cotton ball, then lite the whole thing. The cotton ball would be like a wick for a lantern.

If you try this, please post how everything comes out.
Old 06-28-2007, 02:52 PM
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For a "free" replacement to the cotton, use dryer lint.....
benifits include....
Your wife thinks that you are helping around the house and,
you generate more "fluff" daily than even an economy bag of cotton contains.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:49 AM
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Kev,
I tried the vasaline and cotton fire starter lastnight. I had never thought about it, but after watching the video you put up it made since. I used cotton balls and petroleum jelly from the dollar store. I made my first one, took it outside and broke it open and lit it with a flint fire starter. One strike with the fire starter and it was off. That one cotton ball burned for about four minutes, plenty of time to get a fire started. After the test run I made a bunch of them. Great job Kev, Love the videos.

Tbull
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:45 PM
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This looked pretty cool. Use the cotton ball over and over. Just use it to get a flame. Fold it closed, once tinder is lit.

http://zombiehunters.org/zss/?p=54
Old 12-31-2007, 09:38 PM
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May I give a suggestion? The way I do them is:
  • Tear a cotton ball in half
  • take a pea sized dab of Vaseline, and put it in the middle of the cotton ball half
  • fold the cotton ball half around the Vaseline, and push it into the pill bottle.

I can get 10 whole cotton balls, or 20 half cotton balls in one small pill bottle. If you put the Vaseline in the middle of the ball, and then wrap it around the Vaseline, the outer areas will still be dry cotton, and catch a spark very well.
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:45 PM
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also, let me tell you that the Vaseline will not light with the sparks. The cotton ball will light with the most infantesimal spark. That's why you want a dab of Vaseline inside the ball. The dry cotton will light, but the soaked part will not.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:24 PM
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100 % cotton balls work the best, stretching them out where there is small pockets to get a good air mixture. The vaseline just makes it burn more intense. A few scrapes of magnesium powder added into the combination and it will ignite even when damp. In a real pinch just take a knife and scrape the pants leg of you wranglers or levi's . This will produce lint tinder that will ignite very easy also just like the dryer lint that kev82abn posted about.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:59 PM
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What works even better and is a real fast burn are cat-o nine tails. Ill make a video on that some time. Make sure you break the cat-o nine tail apart and spread the fluff. All it needs is one spark and it burns like gas.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:12 PM
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Hi Kev, I thought the first part of the video was funny, when you were talking to your wife. Nice colour cotton balls, they'll look very macho in your survival kit.:D

A tip for the fire lighter.
Keep your right hand still (the hand that holds the scraper).
Pull your left hand back to cause the sparks.
This way you can't knock your tinder with your right hand.

If you have a knife like the Fallkniven F1, which has an aggressive flat spine (the back part of the blade) you can use it as a scraper to throw sparks, mines like a flame thrower! It was designed to do this technique and it just eats a ferro rod up.

By the way, when is Mrs Kev going to do a video?

YB.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:39 PM
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I took some vaseline and melted it over a LOW heat on the oven in a small pan. When it was melted, I took my cotton balls and saturated them in the vaseline. I then stuffed the soaked cotton balls into film canisters.
I keep a canister in my truck,one in my BOB bag, and my go to gear.
When you light these things they will burn for several minutes with a pretty high flame.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:46 PM
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I always have cotton balls and Vaseline in my fire kit. Works great. The long burn time helps get damp stuff going.
Old 01-30-2008, 02:09 PM
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Kev i went out and tryed this and it worked a treat,I also keep some strips of old rubber inertube for lighting fires in wet conditions you need to use a lighter or all weather matches, Sparks dont work.
Old 01-30-2008, 09:19 PM
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kev, pull firesteel AWAY from your hand and keep alot of downward pressure on the steel/knife, this way you arent risking pushing your tinder bundle out/away.
jamie
Old 02-01-2008, 11:12 AM
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why does it say i have been banned.

and why does it say im limetid
Old 02-04-2008, 12:27 AM
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I'd have to disagree with those that say the saturated cotton will not light with just a spark. My cotton balls are completely saturated and stored in a pill bottle. To use them I fluff them out by pulling in a few directions and looking for thin strands to start seperating. For lighting I use a BSA Hotspark. I've never had a cotton ball take more than 2 strikes to light.

I guess it's just all in how you fluff it out.

On a side note, I use a pair of latex gloves to knead the vaseline into the cotton balls.

Last edited by carpus; 02-04-2008 at 12:33 AM..
Old 03-17-2008, 07:12 PM
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pretty cool
Old 03-17-2008, 09:23 PM
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Talking

i showed my brother this trick the other day when he tilled the garden! Today he comes by to do some stuff and till again and asked me for some of my cottonballs and flint and steel to start a fire to burn off some crappy wood he obtained. (he thought it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen)..lol
he got it started alright!
crap..i just remembered he never gave me my flint back
Old 03-18-2008, 11:15 AM
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kev, have you ever considered doing standup?

Playing around last night with a couple - at 3 1/2 minutes it started burning out - when I went to push it out of the way it rolled over & burst back into flames because their was vasoline on bottom that hadn't burned - over 4 minutes total burn time. With my ziplock bag of 10 that is 40 minutes!

This could be a lifesaver if it had been raining for days on end and you were stuck with damp wood.
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