Taking a page, or rather two from the Survival Quarterly (Volume 1; Issue 1 page 48), I decided to follow the article by Curtis Fidler regarding DIY Firestarter. First, let me just give accolades to Ron and Karen Hood for an incredible magazine. I came across their Survival.com site a couple of years ago and recently decided to go all in and purchase copies of the magazine including back copies. The writers within Survival Quarterly are people that I trust. Guys like Mykel Hawke, David Williams and Ron Hood. I have even been very happy to see some articles by Karen Hood as well. She has done a fantastic job with the magazine since Ron’s untimely death.
Back to the stuff:
The motto for the magazine and Ron’s creed has always been “Survival… It’s all in your head”. Because of that, I started actually putting to task some of the things taught in the magazine. The DIY Firestarter is one I really wanted to share because folks pay good money for firestarters and why not save some cash by doing it myself.
It starts simple as all you need is:
- Empty toilet paper roll
- Cotton balls
- Paraffin wax
Stuff the tube with cotton until it is firm, make sure it doesn’t come out of the other side
Melt the wax and pour it slowly into the tube. The tube will get wet with wax as well (note the color differences compared to the previous picture). This is a slow process as it takes a while for the hot wax to get from the top to the bottom of the tube. Continue this until you can’t put any more wax in the tube.
Let them dry completely. I waited two weeks to ensure their firmness but could have probably used them before.
Slice them to your liking. I think more than 1/2” is a bit much and mine are between 1/4” and 1/2”.
Light em up! My test was done on fairly breezy day and the 1/4” disk burned for around 20 minutes. I think if there was no breeze, it could have easily burned for 30 minutes.
As mentioned in the article, this goes beyond just starting fires but can be used as fuel for a compact camp stove, creating a can lantern or candle or whatever else you can think of just by fluffing a little portion of the cotton and lighting it. Another option is starting the tablet on fire and putting it out to make a “char cloth” type of disk that can be relit with your ferrous rod.
This comes as a very low cost way of creating something we pay top dollar for just to be prepared. Use them wisely but definitely be prepared. Also, let me know your thoughts or ideas or other uses. I would like to hear and share them.
Now to see if it will work with my striker as opposed to a match. 🙂
Use your instinct to survive