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I heard this one from a friend. You will need:

Cotton Balls
Vasoline (hehe)
35 mm Film canister

Dip the cotton ball in the vasoline and squish it around until it saturates the whole cotton ball. Very Important, squeeze out any excess vasoline so the cotton ball is damp with vasoline but not over saturated. Repeat this until you have a 35 mm film canister full of them.

When ready to use, just pull out a ball, pull it apart a bit to fluff it up, and WHOOF! up it goes with a spark or match. Very handy, waterproof and it might make a good wound dressing too!
 

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This method is very informational. Thank you for posting it, I am sure I never would have thought of something so simple yet so important. What about alcohol and cotton balls? Does that work and have the same effect?
 

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watching for zombies
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i've never heard of that one...thanks...i'll give it a try...another good one is to take about 15 or 20 matches...tie them together in a bundle...then dip them in wax...repeating until they are well coated...the wax waterproofs them as well as makes them burn...then to use them you just scratch off then end and light them...it is a very hot fire and lasts for a few mins...its nice in damp conditions...i store them in a old plastic peanut butter jar...makes them easy to store lots of them on the shelf...you can use the strike anywhere matches as well...then you just scrape off the end and strike it on a rock or whatever...
 

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Hi Pottsworth

Just one quick question.

Vasoline seems kind of thick to “soak" into a cotton ball:

Do you heat up your Vasoline first, and then add the cotton balls?
 

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When working the cotten balls in the Vasoline its like it "soaks" in. Just don't be affraid to be a little messy, get a bunch on it. Then like Pottsworth said, make sure to get the excess Vasoline off. The flame dosn't seem to like tons of extra Vasoline on the cotton when trying to light it.
 

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Alcohol would evaporate too quickly to store unless you had it in a container sealed better than a film canister. If you had alcohol in one container, covered tightly, and a bag of cotton balls, that would work.
 

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I have used these a few times to start fires and it always works great. I keep a film can with 3or 4 cotton balls in my hunting pack for "just in case".

Basically smear the vasoline all over the cotton and cram as many as you can into a film can. Then wrap a layer of electircal tape around the lid to waterprrof the contents. I fold the end of the tape for an easy pull tab in case I'm frozen and can't manipulate the end of the tape to remove it.
 

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When I make them, I put a handful of cotton balls in a ziplock type baggie, add a few thick fingerfulls of vaseline, and squish it around. I put the baggie in my pants pocket and continue on whatever i need to do around the house or yard for a while. That heats stuff up a little bit, and the motion kneads everything together. Then I just repackage into film cans.
 

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When I make them, I put a handful of cotton balls in a ziplock type baggie, add a few thick fingerfulls of vaseline, and squish it around. I put the baggie in my pants pocket and continue on whatever i need to do around the house or yard for a while. That heats stuff up a little bit, and the motion kneads everything together. Then I just repackage into film cans.

This will work a whole lot better than the way we usally do it-messy and yucky!
 

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Hi resq854

You said.........
“When I make them, I put a handful of cotton balls in a ziplock type baggie, add a few thick fingerfulls of vaseline, and squish it around. I put the baggie in my pants pocket and continue on whatever i need to do around the house or yard for a while. That heats stuff up a little bit, and the motion kneads everything together. Then I just repackage into film cans.”
I guess, the cotton balls, end up being about the size of a small marble?
 

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Not to mention that Vaseline has so many additional applications. I keep mine in old medicine bottles. Better lid than an old 35mm film container. Never thought about taping the top as mentioned above. Also I also put a large amount of Vaseline on there. Burns like a candle. Love it.
 

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I just use cotton string, it's like yarn, but is cotton. I shred it with my fingernails until it looks like cattail fluff. It goes up very easily with a firesteel. I carry about 30 yards of it rolled up. It is lightweight and with practice you can make a fire from an inch long piece.

The cotton balls and alcohol gel in the 2 oz squeeze bottles are good if you are too cold to tear the string. I keep the alcohol gel to clean m hands with anyways, so it has several uses. I squeeze a dime sized puddle on the cotton ball, mash it together, tear up the cotton ball. It will burn for about 2-3 mins.
 

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Coleman makes fire starter sticks, but I think they're basically sawdust + wax. When I go camping with my family, I often try to build campfires with locally-scrounged kindling -- and just a single match. Using newspaper, fire starters, etc. is "cheating". So the job is to find dry leaves, grasses, bark, etc. and build a "nest". Then you progressively surround it by twigs, small branches, and then larger pieces of wood.

The biggest challenge, of course, is when everything is wet...
 

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Vasoline & Cotton balls are great. I put 'em in a zip lock bag too. ( I love zip lock bags for lots of things. Waterproof,.. flat.. cheap,.. good for collecting water, bait, etc. ) Try some dryer lint too. It's free! lol I carry a few cheap butane lighters too.
 

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I found a place that carried 1 inch cotton rope and bought myself 3 feet of it. I unwound a few lays and carry a piece of it in a film cannister. I scorched the end of it and stepped on it to extinguish it. To use it I cut off the scorched end and place it on my tinder and hit it with my fire steel-the burnt cotton takes the spark immediately. Once the fire is going I light and extinguish the rope for the next time I want to use it.

DD
 

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I heard this one from a friend. You will need:

Cotton Balls
Vasoline (hehe)
35 mm Film canister

Dip the cotton ball in the vasoline and squish it around until it saturates the whole cotton ball. Very Important, squeeze out any excess vasoline so the cotton ball is damp with vasoline but not over saturated. Repeat this until you have a 35 mm film canister full of them.

When ready to use, just pull out a ball, pull it apart a bit to fluff it up, and WHOOF! up it goes with a spark or match. Very handy, waterproof and it might make a good wound dressing too!
Yeah I remember I was so excited when I tried this out while camping in vermont. I laughed when two months later Les Stroud used the same method on an Suvivorman episode.

I actually used the containers that hold the mini M&Ms, its a bit tight but you can fit a decent amount in there.
 
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