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Firelighting made easier - Petroleum Jelly

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posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 11:49 AM
Very handy stuff to light fires with.

Also known as Vaseline. Has a lot of uses, less well known is for lighting fires with

Smeared onto cotton wool, it's a great firestarter in damp and wet conditions too!

If your carrying a bag of them make sure no hot sources go near it! Or you've just got yourself a bag of fire!

posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Oh excellent, definitely thanks for sharing. These will now be added to our emergency kits.

Harm None

posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 12:11 PM
reply to post by WatchRider

birch bark will burn even in Winter, break the ice off, and light.

great for getting your fire going.

thanks for the hint about vaseline, good to know.

posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 12:42 PM
Nice tip & vid.

posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 01:09 PM
Personally, I have used the cotton ball/petroleum jelly mix with good success.
I also make tinder using short jute twine lengths soaked in melted paraffin wax
Small bits of bicycle tire innertube
Feather sticks
small pieces of fat wood to really get things burning.

I keep a little bit of everything contained in a waterproof Pelican
along with a magnesium block, ferro rod and a carbide striker (a repurposed garden tool sharpener) I just cut down the handle to make it easier to pack. The sparks literally shower off the ferro rods more than the usual steel strikers or the spine of your knife.

posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 07:50 PM
Its my estimation that people who recommend the use of petroleum Jelly for fire starting probably haven't spent long periods of time in the wilderness.  There are many reasons why petroleum jelly is not compatible with wilderness survival applications.

First petroleum jelly is extremely pervasive.  As soon as you handle it, you'll have a mess on your hands that is both flammable and difficult to remove without grease cutting detergents. Keeping clean in the wilderness is difficult enough.

Second, petroleum jelly will not ignite with a spark produced by stone and knife, flint, or fire steel. It will not ignite from an ember produced by char cloth or a fire drill.  So if you are without a dry match or lighter or when your lighter fluid runs out the petroleum jelly won't be of any use.

Third, If you are heading out into the wilderness, I would presume that it is because you have an appreciation for it.  Why would you want to drag along things like manufactured chemicals when the purpose is to spend time away from such things, and why would you want to introduce those nasty chemicals to a natural environment?

My advice is to carry char cloth instead. It will instantly produce an ember from the coldest of sparks or transfer an ember from wood, tinder conk, or any other source.  It is easy to make, free, and won't pollute the wilderness.  It does not require storage in a particular container, and for it's weight it will start many times more fires than a batch of petroleum jelly and cotton balls.

If you are not interested in learning how to start a fire from an ember or how to choose natural kindling materials from your surroundings and you feel you must carry a fuel that ignites from a flame then my advise is to carry small strips (0.5in x 1in) of old bicycle tire.  It contains large amounts of hydrocarbon fuel, lights instantly, even when wet, burns long and slow, requires no special container, and is free for the asking at any bicycle repair shop.  Best of all it isn't messy.

I think knowing how to start a fire in a survival situation when you have next to nothing is such an important skill that it should be taught in school along side of how to change a tire in the middle of nowhere. If you learn what works for kindling in your area and how to use it, you won't need to lug petroleum jelly and cotton balls along with you and you will be confidant that you can start a fire in any survival situation without. It is a valuable and rewarding skill that you will be able to pass onto others.

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 04:47 AM
reply to post by WatchRider

have a ziplock bag in an altoids tin full of these and they are great! Nice video.

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 04:48 AM
just lit up some VICKS VAPORUB

oh yeah i feel warm and my sinuses are clear!

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by dainoyfb

It's the cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly that we are talking about here. The prepared cotton balls readily take a spark and ignite. Yes, vaseline on its own will not ignite. It needs to be attached to a medium. The vaseline just slows the burn time of the cotton and increased the temp. of the tinder.

on the char cloth. I've never made my own and would like to give a go someday.

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by jibeho

Thanks, some people just read the title, don't bother to read either content or the video, which would of saved him the trouble

Nice to hear of the char cloth too though.
Also why would a bit of vaseline affect hygience?

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 03:18 PM
There are other uses for petroleum jelly besides starting fires. In the event you encounter extreme cold temperatures, you can put a thick layer on exposed skin and extend the amount of time that you can be exposed without frostbite.

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 03:46 PM
Petroleum jelly and cotton balls makes a great fire starter. I remember doing survival training in the military some time back where we were taught how to make a nasty weapon with three common items that included this item.

Won't post the recipe here. It just brought back memories. Good survival advise OP.

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by dcmb1409

Hey! That's right. I forgot about that.

posted on Oct, 26 2011 @ 04:45 PM
While I can agree with not having to be dependent on something that can run out, you need something pretty instant in the cold north in case your fingers get too cold.

about the only surefire method i have found if the soaked cotton and a blast match.

you can manipulate both is the balls are kept in a ziplock and you use the two frozen hands to hold and tear back with teeth. the blast match works the same way with two stubs holding it and pushing down.

for the renewable direction and warm weather climes you cant beat a good firepiston and char. I have found the char sometimes works far better when the wind is blowing, as opposed to matches.

posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 12:48 AM
I never knew Vaseline was flammable, very interesting I'll have to try this method in my fire pit.

posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 11:28 AM
I don't understand why one would use vaseline in a firepit when dried paper and a match work just fine but I suppose it would change things up a bit... I would be interested though, in learning how to make a char cloth so if anyone wants to share, these eyes are interested.

posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 01:49 PM
reply to post by debsban

Just look on youtube for making charcloth.
It is pretty much as simple as putting linen or cotton cloth into a shoe polish can and poking 1 hole in the top of the can.
Then you toss it into a fire until it stops spewing smoke out of the hole.
It is basically charcoal made of cloth.
As for the OP, if you could not strike a ball of cotton, have you ever considered just unrolling it abit?
Hope it helps

posted on Oct, 30 2011 @ 03:45 AM
A nice collection of dryer lint also works wonders, and it WILL ignite with just a sparking tool. I periodically collect some from the lint trap on my dryer to store away for various kits I put together, and after having done a few tests with it I can safely say those who don't clean the lint trap do so at their own peril, stuff is absurdly flammable.

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