Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Hunter
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Canning wax from grocery store
Mickey D's waxed ketchup containers
Roll of "jute" string (hobby lobby, etc.)
Sawdust of your flavor.

Pix self explanatory:

Melt the wax.



I soak the jute strings in the melted wax to waterproof them.



Take waxed strings out and mix in the sawdust of your flavor.
Looks like oak here.



Spoon the sawdust porriage into the containers of your choice.
Here waxed ketchup containers. I also use tuna cans, make "flat cakes" of porriage/strings, and leave the strings alone for use by themselves.
Stick in the waxed jute strings to serve as a wick if that's what you're doing.



Viola, this is what you wind up with. Note different colors of porriage--some oak and some pine sawdust.
And it's all completely waterproof. I've not done it, but I bet one could put one in a fish tank for a week, then pull it out, unwind the twine and light it up w/a spark.



I've not used the "logs" yet, so I don't know how they'll work.

The Jute is a twine, so to ignite it (w/match/spark/etc.) just untwist it and you're good to go. One can ignite it w/o doing that, but due to more surface area, it ignites easier this way and is the way to ignite it with a spark.



Will burn for about 17 minutes.



and as you can see, a good wind will do nothing but increase the burn rate.



The strings themselves burn for about a minute.



I keep about 8 of them inside here in the strikeforce sparker thingie.




Easy to make. Experiment with it and see what works for you.
 

·
Hunter
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Becky.

A cotton ball...dipped in petroleum jelly
I've used them and they do ignite easier than this setup (not saying this is hard to ignite). I ditched those because:
1. I had to figure out a way to keep the vaselined cotton balls stored until I needed to use them. It seemed as no matter what i put them in (except hard cased), it broke and vaseline got on whatever they were in/around. Vaseline is a dirt/grime magnet. That strikeforce sparker I have, I have no place to put pre valaline'd cotton balls where I can pull out one at a time if need be.

2. Cotval balls burn pretty fast, something to consider when one can't find "tinder" that will readily burn an must use small twigs to get the fire going. And sometimes, one needs a "light" instead of a fire, one to carry around.
The waxed jute strings will burn long enough and hot enough to ignite small twigs, plus, I can carry it around with me. The latter is pretty valuable as I've been in places where I've had to spark ignite in one place, then move the flame to another where there was the base for the fire. And I didn't have any material to get a burn going and bring that, so I had to ignite it and carry it like a match. But unlike a match, this is pretty hard to blow out.

3. If one carries two components (vaseline and cotton balls), what does one carry the vaseline in? And the cotton balls? And how to keep the cotton dry? The strings I can put in that strikeforce sparker and have enough to light at least 8 fires, even if I throw the thing into a bucket of water right before. I just open it, pull one out, untwist it the end, hit it w/a spark, one blow and it's now a small, unbreakable candle.

4. The small ketchup ones can serve as a stand alone "fire". It'll burn for 17 min, and that may be all one needs to so something, even something like warm your hands, get your dark camp/cave organized, etc. I've also been places were there is nothing dry to burn.....and also, where there's nothing to burn at all but rocks/sand. Using the wax/sawdust thing, I have strings for ignition/emergency, ketchup for something bigger/longer, and finally the tuna can for a long, big burn. All from the same batch.

Not hard at all. Not messy either. Just dedicate a goodwill spoon and pan for it. Do it on something like a formica counter and once you're thru, scrap any solidifed wax off it w/a razor and toss into the trash can. Once they are hard, they are as messy as any solid....like a candle.

I've played with steel wool also. And various premixed pills.
For me, this works the best, is the most reliable, is the easiest to use/store, is the most flexible and certainly is the cheapest for doing all that.

I think of one would reduce the amount of sawdust in it and use more wax, it'd burn more like a candle, thus increase burn time and reduce burning BTUs. Mebbe someone here will do this and try that? I didn't because I'm not interested in a candle. I'm in CO and often at high altitudes and cold at night, snow flurries following a rain/sleeting in the summer are common. Packs can also fall of ledges, etc. I need good, reliable, easy and fast BTUs. ;)

Different experiences by different people in different areas = each person needs to try a number of different things in different ways and choose what works for them there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I think we've overlooked the most important point.

If you're in the backcountry, you need multiple, redundant fire-making systems in your pack and on your person at all times.

I would recommend at least two self-contained systems in separate compartments of your pack and/or separate systems carried by multiple people in your group. If you're solo, I would have multiple systems in your back and another on your person along with a backup lighter. Of course, all these systems should be in waterproof containers. Of course, they don't have to be that big. The "jute" string-wax solution with a backup mag-bar looks to be a great option. If you had one of those per day that it would take to hike out in an emergency, waterproof bag, I think you'd be sitting pretty on pretty much any outing.
 

·
Hunter
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think we've overlooked the most important point.

If you're in the backcountry, you need multiple, redundant fire-making systems in your pack and on your person at all times.
I agree and good point.
In my front pocket kit, I have matches and a sparker/steel. With those in that kit I have about 10 waxed jute strings. In my pack, I not only have a few jute strings, but a few of these ketchup thingies. There I also have a bic lighter and a strikeforce sparker.

Give me my kabar or KABAR and a means of fire and I'll make it.....
 

·
Be Prepared
Joined
·
448 Posts
Thanks Congo for this wonderful tip. I'm going to have to try some out soon. One thing I was wondering though is what would happen if you actually made wicks out of the jute twine. From what I understand, wicks are more than merely string. You actually have to do a few more steps to treat them. I am no candle expert, but assume this helps them burn longer yet. I hope someone who knows more on the subject will chime in.

Here is an article on how to make wicks: http://www.essortment.com/hobbies/candlemakingwi_sxlt.htm
 

·
.
Joined
·
3,649 Posts
that looks pretty good, congo. do you think the ketchup sized ones would work with an esbit stove or canteen cup stove? would they give off too much soot to make it worth while? is 17 miutes the adverage of several tested or just the one you burned for the photos? like you said sometimes you just can't find stuff to burn and need something now, and that looks like a great idea. i guess you could mold them in to just about any size or shape that you need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Thanks for the awesome article. I still use the petro/cottonballs, stuffed into a waterproof match container. I also carry multiple means of firestarting, including a striker stick, the petro/cottonballs, waterproof matches, lighters, and some military firestarters. Sometimes I think it's overkill, but in the end, as long as I end up with a nice fire, I'll deal with the small extra space they take up.

Now I'm going to have to try your method!
 

·
Hunter
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Congo for this wonderful tip. I'm going to have to try some out soon. One thing I was wondering though is what would happen if you actually made wicks out of the jute twine.
gratzi.
Do try this out and mix and match as to what works best for you.
Don't know about candles as I don't use them. For emergency situations in a house, kerosene lamps are pretty slick.
 

·
Hunter
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
do you think the ketchup sized ones would work with an esbit stove or canteen cup stove? would they give off too much soot to make it worth while?
if heat tabs work, I don't see why this wouldn't, tho I've never tried it.
I'd not worry about any soot because, well, one is camping/hiking. I've not had to cook with any of them as I've always had wood available. I just used these to start the fires.

The 17 minutes is the only time I actually timed it, but they all burn around that long. One time I tried to put one out by blowing on it and it just got brighter/hotter and hotter. I put a pan over a burning one and a little while took it off and it was still burning--don't recall how long that was covered as that was about 8 years ago and was my first go round making the wax/sawdust ones.

I think a lot depends upon what kind of wood one uses, the make up of it (shavings/dust/etc.), and the ratio of wax to sawdust.

i guess you could mold them in to just about any size or shape that you need.
someone else brought that up in another thread and I never realized it, but yeah, wherever hot wax can go and one can put in wax soaked sawdust, it'll work. That's why I did those flat, worm looking ones. I wanted to have something along the lines of a "fire ribbon". The problem with that tho may be containment of the flame. I've not set a match to any of those yet, so I'm just guessing. I don't do many of these on our porch. When we go fishing/hiking, I start all fires with these and a sparker.
 

·
Hunter
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I still use the petro/cottonballs, stuffed into a waterproof match container.
That's a good way to carry the cotval as it would be easy access and clean.
I don't use those containers because they are round. Round things never fit "right" and they are an inefficient use of space. This is why bee hives modify their "circular tubes". ;)

Now I'm going to have to try your method!
Do it in different variations/recipes and post back.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top