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Some tips for making home-made fire-lighters

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http://blog.softdux.com – I alway have a lot of shreaded invoices / statements / quotes / etc which i don’t need anymore, and shred for security purposes, so I thought it would be good to turm them into fire-lighters and save some money when we braai So, I searched the internet to see what others have done, and found this article on http://www.free-camping-recipes.com: Cotton Balls Saturated with Petroleum Jelly You need to really work the petroleum jelly into the cotton with your fingers. Store them in an empty film container or a ziplock back. An interesting test is to light a plain cotton ball and a saturated cotton ball side by side to see the difference. The plain cotton ball only burns for a few seconds and then it just smolders. The cotton balls with petroleum jelly hold a flame for several minutes. This is one of our favorite homemade fire starters. Birthday Cake Candles A few of the small, thin birthday candles work great. Just put them in a ziplock bag, and you’re ready to go. Dryer Lint Eggs Take balls of Dryer Lint and place them in an empty egg carton. Cover with melted wax. Use old candles or paraffin wax, let cool, and store in ziplock bag. Be careful when melting wax because it can ignite. Use a double boiler to be safe. Sawdust or shredded paper works in place of lint, too. Wax-Coated Cardboard Take any old wax-coated cereal box, milk carton, etc., and cut them into small strips. Check at your local grocery store for leftovers. Or make your own by placing a few small strips on aluminum foil, making the foil into a cup, and covering with wax. Once it dries, wrap it up in the foil to waterproof it or store in ziplock bags. This is a fun homemade fire starter project to do with kids as long as you are very careful with the melted wax. Waxed Matches Put matches in the holes of corrugated cardboard cut into strips and cover with wax. You can cut off the amount that you will need for each fire. Natural Fire Starters In a pinch, sap from trees, dried pine needles, and dried leaves will work. Soaked Twigs If you carry liquid fuel (i.e. white gas) in a fuel bottle, place a few small twigs inside. Take them out ONLY in an emergency to carefully start a fire. Pick the cleanest twigs you can find, and you should filter the fuel before using it. Bonus Tip: Fire Starter/Candle/Fuel You’ll need some candle wax (from old candles or wax from a craft store), and some cotton balls. Directions: Melt wax in a double boiler Drop a cotton ball into the melted wax Take a fork and squeeze the submerged cotton ball onto bottom or side of the boiler, then allow it to expand, soaking up the wax Fish the wax coated cotton ball out with a fork and set aside to cool (onto newspaper or wax paper, etc.) Once dry, you can pack them in a zipper lock bag and they’re ready to use This type of fire starter works along the same lines as the petroleum jelly cotton ball above, but it’s far less messy. This type of homemade fire starter ball will not simply start with an open flame by itself. The wax needs to melt and vaporize first. Just pull a bit of the top of the ball out so you have a wick. The thin strands of wax coated cotton will then light easily with a match or open flame, and it will not blow out easily. tThin strands are the key to lighting it. I find that the can opener from my pocket knife works well, just puncture the hard shell of wax that forms on the outside and hook a few strands Once lit, the wax will begin to melt, the flame will get hotter and bigger. It will burn for 10-15 minutes, and it will hold up to a strong breeze and the occasional gust of wind. It will be a large flame, encompassing about half the ball, and it will not melt and leave wax all over the place. The wax coated cotton ball will not, however, start with just a spark. You will need some tinder if you don’t have a match or your lighter is empty. Get some tinder going. (you know how to do this right?) Use the tinder to light the wax coated cotton ball. My favorite way to do this is with dryer lint, a spark from an empty lighter, and dry grass or paper. Dryer lint lights easily from a spark, but it doesn’t burn very long. So use it to light the longer burning wax/cotton ball firestarter. These wax/cotton balls have several uses: As previously noted, it makes a great fire starter – it burns long enough to get larger tinder going even if it’s damp. Use it for emergency light – it gives off more light than a candle or match, and it won’t blow out easily. And finally, it makes a good alternative to those expensive fuel tablets. Use them in your folding fuel tab stove to boil water. Remember to experiment at home before you entrust your life to any toy or technique. Just don’t burn the house down. This Bonus Tip was submitted by one of our readers, Nathan H. from San Bernardino, California. Thank you Nathan. And another good article found here: http://www.lovetheoutdoors.com/camping/Tips/firestarters.htm : Use pine cones covered with wax.** Pack charcoal in paper egg cartons and tie shut. When ready to use, just light the carton. Put a piece of charcoal in each section of a paper egg carton. Cover with melted wax.** Tear apart and use as needed. You can also use sawdust, dryer lint or Pistachio shells instead of the charcoal. Take 100% cotton balls and thoroughly rub Vaseline into them. Keep in a ziplock bag. Newspaper cut into strips(3″-4″ wide). Roll up and tie with string. Cover with melted wax.** Use lint from your dryer as a fire starter. Bundle about 10-12 Diamond brand “strike-anywhere” wooden kitchen matches together with waxed dental floss. The heads of the matches should all be pointing in the same direction. Generously soak the buddle of matches (except heads) in melted paraffin wax** to waterproof and to provide a long burn time. Dip heads lightly only to waterproof them. Simply strike on flat rock to ignite. Cut a cotton cord into 1″ lengths and soak in melted wax.** Let dry and store in empty film container or ziplock bag. These are called candy kisses. Use the small 6″ emergency candles and wrap them up in waxed paper. Tie/twist both ends of the waxed paper to seal in the candle (looks like a salt water taffy candy). Light an end when you are ready to start your fire. Cut waxed milk cartons into strips to be used as kindling for your campfire. Stuff paper towel or toilet paper rolls with paper. To get your charcoal pieces ready quicker, use a charcoal chimney. Newspaper crumbled into a ball Use dried pine needles Soak a piece of charcoal in lighter fluid. Coat with wax.** Use small condiment or “sample-size” cups. Add a long wick to each cup and fill with melted wax.** You can also fill them with sawdust. Stack of small pieces of cardboard covered in wax** Waterproof your matches by dipping them in wax** or coating them with clear nail polish Use cotton string about 3-4″ long, put in wax paper bathroom cup with about an inch hanging over the edge. Fill cup nearly to the top with saw dust and pour melted wax into the cup. The saw dust will compact and become waterproof. The extra string length is a wick to start burning the starter, but can also be tied to another starter string through a pack loop to carry outside your pack. – Submitted by C. Berman Keep a plastic “twister” type of pencil sharpener handy. It’s great for shaving kindling (especially if wood is damp) Use wooden ice cream/popsicle sticks. Keep them in a watertight container. Unraveled twine Take an empty toilet paper roll and tie some tissue paper onto one end with some twine. Fill roll with sawdust, cotton balls, etc. Tie the other end as you did the first one, but leave some string hanging out. Put candle wax on the string. Use old tuna or cat food cans. Wash & dry. Cut long pieces of cardboard about 1 1/2 inches wide. Roll these into tight spirals. Pour empty cans about half full of wax. Insert cardboard spirals and let the wax set. Share and Enjoy: (HowTos)