Vaseline Petroleum Jelly as a Tinder...
according to http://www.scoutmastercg.com/
"This fire starter is easy to make and cost next to nothing, it has the extra benefit of being nearly waterproof.
1. Simply place a small amount of Vaseline in a microwave safe dish and melt on medium heat only until it begins to run.
2. Place 6-10 cotton balls in the melted Vaseline and saturate them completely.
3. Allow the mixture to cool and place the cotton balls in a used film container.
When you need to use them, take several cotton balls out of the film container and pull them apart. Place the Vaseline cotton ball fire starter under your tinder and light. The cotton ball acts like a wick for the Vaseline and will burn intensely for several minutes."
While searching for information on this topic, I also
came across another interesting article on the Vaseline balls
"When it comes to starting fires in the wild, I can’t think of any options as cheap, light-weight, and fool-proof as homemade Vaseline cotton balls. Vaseline cotton balls almost guarantee you a fire, even in adverse conditions. Here’s how to make and use them.
Searching for a Fire Starter I’ve had a long search
for a foolproof fire starter I could keep in my
survival kits – a tinder almost guaranteed to produce and hold a durable flame, even in rain or wind, and to produce it from a spark. I always check out the stuff on the store shelves. I’ve never found anything worth mentioning – they’re always expensive, usually bulky, and most require a match or lighter to get them going.
I also scoured the Internet for homemade options. One idea I liked was corrugated cardboard rolled into cylinders and soaked in paraffin. I made a few batches, and they worked pretty well. My complaint was that they couldn’t take a spark from a fire steel and they tended to be heavier and bulkier than I wanted. Enter the Vaseline Cotton Ball.......
Then I stumbled across a suggestion that a cotton ball impregnated with Vaseline makes an
outstanding fire starter. I was intrigued. Unlike my cardboard/paraffin units, a Vaseline cotton ball only takes about 30 seconds to make, it’s almost
weightless, and it fits great even in a pocket survival kit. So I made a few Vaseline cotton balls and took them out for some tests. I put a Vaseline-filled cotton ball down, threw some sparks on it, and almost instantly had a tall, strong flame; and that flame kept going … and going … and going. The longer it burned, the more impressed I grew. I ran a few more tests, including water and wind tests. In the end, I was so impressed at their performance that I replaced every fire starter in my survival kits with Vaseline cotton balls. I’ve used nothing else since.
Performance of Vaseline Cotton Balls
In my tests, a typical cotton ball slathered in Vaseline will burn strong for about four minutes. That’s four minutes of good, hot flame from a tiny, lightweight fire starter you can make for pennies.
But it gets better. Because Vaseline is oil-based, the Vaseline cotton balls are waterproof. I dropped a
Vaseline cotton ball in a glass of water, then I
took it out, pulled it apart to expose the dry fibers inside, threw some sparks on it, and had a
flame. Once the Vaseline starts burning, it doesn’t want to stop, making these Vaseline cotton balls fairly resistant to wind. Strong gusts will blow one out, but even a little wind break is enough to protect your fire. Maybe my favorite thing about these Vaseline cotton ball fire starters is
their size. You can stuff about ten of them into a film canister (remember those?). I often just carry a dozen of them in a snack-sized ziplock bag. It
takes up no space at all, weighs nothing, but has enough emergency fire-starting potential for almost two weeks of fires.
How Do Vaseline Cotton Ball Fire Starters Work?
You already know how well fine cotton burns. One good strike from a fire steel is all it takes to set a
cotton ball on fire. The problem is, a cotton ball burns out in about 30 seconds.
Enter the Vaseline. Vaseline is petroleum jelly – the same petroleum that’s used in oil-based products. In the form of jelly, it’s still flammable, but doesn’t evaporate or run everywhere. When you light the cotton ball, the Vaseline melts and burns. At that point, you essentially have a candle. The
Vaseline is burning and the cotton ball is acting as a wick. You’ll notice that the cotton ball doesn’t seem to burn at all until the Vaseline begins to run
out. The more Vaseline you get into your cotton ball, the longer it will burn. Once the Vaseline is expended, the cotton ball will finally burn up.
How Do I Make Vaseline Cotton Ball Fire Starters?
To make your fire starters, you just need two ingredients – petroleum jelly and cotton balls. Any brand of petroleum jelly will work, just make sure it’s 100% pure petroleum jelly. For the cotton balls, get jumbo-sized cotton balls and check the package to be sure they’re 100% cotton. Artificial fibers won’t take a spark. Rubbing the Vaseline into a cotton ball is messy work. The fibers of the
cotton ball pull apart some, and the Vaseline gets everywhere. The cleanest, easiest method
I’ve found is to put a scoop of Vaseline into a snack-sized ziplock bag, toss some cotton balls in, zip it up, then knead the Vaseline into the cotton
balls. You want to get as much Vaseline in the cotton ball as you can without completely saturating the cotton ball. It’s very important to have some
dry fibers available to take the flame, especially if you use a fire steel or magnesium rod.
How Do I Start a Fire with a Vaseline Cotton Ball?
Your cotton ball is the first stage of your fire – the tinder. It takes your flame or spark, then gets your pencil-sized kindling burning. I usually have a good supply of toothpick and pencil-sized, very dry
kindling available. I pull my cotton ball open to expose the dry fibers inside, then light them with my fire steel. Once the Vaseline cotton ball is burning, I’ll build a teepee or log cabinet around it with pencil-sized sticks, with some smaller ones mixed in for good measure. In no time at all, the kindling’s burning and you’re ready for bigger wood.
Vaseline Cotton Balls Are Perfect for Scouts.
Scouts love the feeling of starting a fire without matches, but most of them haven’t mastered making nests or using char cloth. A Vaseline
cotton ball is an excellent option for them. Just hand them the Vaseline cotton ball and a fire steel. They’ll still have to work a bit at getting the fire
going, but it teaches them the principle of going from fine tinder to small kindling to larger kindling, and it gives them the satisfaction of doing it
Vaseline cotton balls also go in the survival kits of all of my scouts. If they’re ever lost and have to spend a night on their own, I want a foolproof
fire starter in their hands.
Vaseline Cotton Balls – The Perfect Fire Starter
I still enjoy char cloth, and I love the feeling of
using natural tinder's, like fatwood, to start fires, but when time is tight or conditions are poor, nothing beats the security of knowing I have a sure fire starter in my fire kit. I call Vaseline cotton balls the perfect fire starter. Ok, we could squabble
about the criteria for “perfect” but to me
the Vaseline cotton ball accomplishes everything a fire starter should and does an outstanding job at it. Vaseline cotton balls are extremely compact and
light-weight, store indefinitely, cost only pennies to produce, ignite with just a spark, burn hot for long enough to get almost any kindling burning, resist the wind, and repel water. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
I’ve heard rumors of some Airforce units carrying Vaseline cotton balls in their survival kits. If it were true, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit."
Thanks to the scoutmaster for his article and to Ramblin jim for his article. While doing the review on different ways to start a fire without matches, I decided this should be the next review. I initially was going to just include this in my review but it really deserves its own post. Because just having a spark will be useless for building a fire if you don’t have some tinder to put the flame to.
Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly ...............
Why Vaseline Petroleum jelly you ask? Well it is a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin an microcrystalline waxes.
How do you use it? Apply this to a cotton ball or small piece of material. Listed to the left are two different ways to get the Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on the cotton ball.
Vaseline® and magnesium stick can be a primary fire starter rather than water proof matches. A 2x2 cotton patch saturated will burn 6 to 10 minutes. Both articles cover the Vaseline covered cotton balls very well, so I decide I would list some other types of tinder in my review.
Another types of tinder....
1. Dryer lint can be used instead of a cotton ball. I personally use the dryer lint and place it inside toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls and
then store inside ziplock bags to use on camping trips / prepping for fire starters and in our 72 hour kits / bug out bags...Drawbacks are that it really
must be dry and lint from some clothes (synthetics) does not burn well.
2. Cedar Shavings or Birch Bark shavings, collect the shavings from a tree
and bunch into a ball for tinder.
3. Cattails, the inside of these plants are light material that burns
I know these are just the tip of the iceberg for survival
4. A bullet.....this would be my last resort to use, due to the difficulty of this method. Gunpowder can be use, you would have to tap a bullet to
access the powder....
5. Pine Needles, the key is brown, dead and dried...do not gather wet needles for your tinder.
6. Very small twigs, then shredded with you knife into smaller pieces.
7. Leaves, dried plant material and dried grasses....make sure not wet.
8. Cigarette filters, but you would have to have several.
9. Old rubber bicycle tire inner tubes. Cut in to strips around 4-5 X 1 cm and use a couple of these. Preferably apply a direct flame rather than sparks and the strips will then burn for 3 – 5 minutes allowing a healthy fire to be constructed around them. The high density rubber is extremely flammable and long burning.
10. Paper, just remember the glossy magazine
pages/newspaper burns poorly
11. Steel Wool, the kind that you use to scrub your pots and pans....burns...
12. Dandelion clock:
Make a nest of dried grasses and place several dandelion clocks in the center. The fine material is an excellent fire starter.
13. Jute twine in very flammable when the twine is pulled apart
14. Fat wood, lighter wood or fat lighter..Fatwood, also known as "fat lighter," "lighter wood," "rich lighter," "pine knot," "lighter knot," "heart pine" or "lighter'd" , is derived from the heartwood of pine trees. This resin-impregnated heartwood becomes hard and rot-resistant. The stump (and tap root) left in the ground after a tree has fallen or has been cut is an excellent source of fatwood. Other locations, such as the joints where limbs intersect the trunk, can also be harvested,Because of the flammability of terpene, fatwood is prized for use as kindling in starting fires. It lights quickly even when wet, is very wind resistant, and burns hot enough to light larger pieces of wood. A small piece of fatwood can be used many times to create tinder by shaving small curls and using them to light other larger tinder. In Louisiana "fatwood" is known as "rich lighter" and cut slivers are what is referred to as "kindling" because of the abundance. The pitch-soaked wood produces an oily, sooty smoke, and it is recommended that one should not cook on a fire until all the fatwood has completely burned out.
Because of this oily smoke fatwood should not be used for indoor fireplaces. A fatwood pine knot burns hot enough that even one of a smaller size can cause damage to a wood stove and even cause house fires. The smoke produced by "fatwood" is an excellent bug (especially mosquito) repellent taken from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
15.. My last resort would be digging into my medical kit and using my
gauze or tampons/pad covered
in Vaseline petroleum jelly.
1. Mentioned in the article to the left....film container.
2. Used candy containers .....altoids, tic tac's
It's really worth it to keep your tinder dry.
4. Snack size food containers
5. Travel tooth brush holder
6. Travel Soap container
What types of containers do you keep your tinder in?