Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two Strike Fire Starter

In the north east corner of Georgia there are great places to practice survival skills. While camping at this remote campsite, Rainmaker took a couple photos and shot some film of my method for making a fire with flint and blade.
You can watch this video at my channel on youtube:
Brawny is my trail name since 1999 when it was bestowed on me by fellow hikers, but more about that later.
After attempting to light this dry grass and tinder with just a flint (no magnesium shavings added) and blade, and getting pitiful results, I added my "fire starter". With two strokes of the blade I had a great flame.
The fire starter is just a simple 100% cotton ball with a generous glob of petroleum jelly smeared on it. Vaseline is the brand name. I use Dollar store stuff. Sometimes you'll find the basic, unadulterated product is the cheapest. Look for it in dollar stores, or Wal-mart.
Petroleum jelly/Vaseline and cotton balls are things that I usually carry on a backpacking trip for general hygiene purposes, cleaning wounds, treating scrapes and sore feet.
Other good fire starters use dryer lint (if you use a dryer) charred cloth, and mouse nests. As you can see, cotton balls are readily available. Adding the petroleum is a smart move to increase temperature output.
To speed up fire making in wet weather use this "fire starter" as well. It will help dry out those small twigs with hot burning grease.
The trick with fires is using small tinder, adding slowly so that you don't suffocate it.
Always begin your fire on a dry base. If you are uncertain about the base, lay down a large rock or dry wood first. Wet ground, or a fire ring will cause moisture to leach into your tinder
and effectively twart any attempts at successful fire building.

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