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Backpacker Magazine – September 2008

Reader Tip: Create a Fast Flame

Make a fire fast with this pocket-sized tip

by: Fred Gridley, Fort Myers, FL

Photo by Julia Vandenoever
Photo by Julia Vandenoever


If you need a fire in a hurry, look to your first-aid kit. An alcohol prep pad that I sliced open and lit with flint-and-steel burned for more than a minute. Plus, there's none of the mess you get from cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly.


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Mar 06, 2010

If you use hand sanitizer to start a fire, add a little salt. It makes it more liquid then gel and spreads easier.

Mister Smith
Nov 04, 2009

EASY PEASY... Ziploc snack size baggy, fill with cotton balls, pour isopropyl alcohol over the cotton balls until saturated... That's it! one cotton ball burns for about 20 seconds, long enough to start a fire. Not messy like petroleum jelly, plus, they can pull double duty for a sterile wipe... One of the cheapest options.

Mar 25, 2009

Hand sanitizer works great for a fire starter.

Mar 25, 2009

Hand sanitizer works great for a fire starter.

Feb 23, 2009

TIP on stokong a fire

Get a mini pocket fan. If your just waking up and need to get your fire back up fast,just throw on some brush and point the fan on the coals. Good to get a fire going to very effective. you'll have fun with it so bring xtra batts.

Jan 22, 2009

Heres an idiea, ever wonder what you could do with all the drier lent? I eat lots of Altoids so natuarly I've acumulated many cans that they are distrabuted in. Take the lent place it in the can and light. It burns for anout 30 sec. plenty of time to start a fire and its very cheap. Also it gives some us to an otherwise useless biproduct.

Frank Cordova
Nov 27, 2008

Forgot to send my email about the Carmex
Colorado Springs, Co

Frank Cordova
Nov 27, 2008

Better fire stater tip, Use Carmex in a tube it contains petrolatum (get it, a petroleum based chem)same as Vaseline that is why I as an RN don't recommend it to people who are on oxygen or smoke.

Nov 22, 2008

Of course, this assumes you carry a first aid kit with prep pads. Mine is just a few bandaids and neosporin. I'll stick with tree sap.

Nov 17, 2008

I couldnt get one to burn for a minute but if you have dry kindling and wood than this is a great way to start it.

Nov 13, 2008

GremX on a cottn ball works pretty good and a lot less messy.

Nov 13, 2008

The pad doesn't burn half as long as a cotton ball with petroleum and the cotton ball lights alot easier, but not a bad backup


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