Sunday, January 23, 2011

Alternative Fuel Discovery

I made fuel sticks using dry wood particles and paraffin (old candle wax). You can see the video of this project at my YouTube channel:

And, I also have experimented with the cotton ball and petroleum jelly as a fire starter. I especially loved how quickly a spark from the flint and blade caught. Just two strokes. A video of that is also at my channel at YouTube.

I wondered: how about using cotton balls with paraffin? If it works, they would be cheap, easily made at home, and transportable in a simple Ziploc bag.

Place two cotton balls in each compartment of an ice cube tray. This is the same tray I used to make my homemade fuel sticks. Next, melt wax and pour over the cotton balls, thoroughly soaking them.

Allow to cool, and remove from tray. At this time, before they are totally hard, you can separate them into single balls.

I did the time test after the tablets were completely cold and hard.

One cotton ball (half of a cube from the tray) burned for 12 minutes and created a goodly amount of heat. I used the bottom side of my slow burner soda can stove.

These alternative fuel tablets could be used to start a survival fire in damp conditions. Much easier to handle than petroleum jelly, they are just one more option for the survival kit.

Use paraffin, or an old candle stub, easily found at thrift stores.

1 comment:

  1. As an alternative to using the ice cube tray, I have done firestarters like these in old egg cartons (the cardboard type, not the styrofoam ones). Then you could just cut up the cartons and bag. Otherwise, when you are trying to take the cubes out of the tray fill a sink full of hot water and dip the bottom of the tray in for 15-30 seconds. It will slightly melt the parafin and the cubes will pop right out