VW Camper Family

A camping forum for VW bus and camper owners.

Interesting Camping tip

1. Homemade Fire Starters

For starting campfires, these burn better, and are easier to carry, than
news paper we traditionally bring along on camping trips to start fires.

All you will need for this project is a small jar of petroleum jelly,
such as
Vasoline ( found near the baby care products in most stores), a bag of
balls, and a small plastic container that closes tightly ( pill bottles
and film
containers work well for this).

You simply scoop out blobs of petroleum jelly with your fingers

and rub it all over a cotton ball.

When the cotton ball is completely saturated with this greasy goo, place
it in
the pill bottle and cover more cotton balls.

This is a very messy project, so it's a good idea to have a paper towel
to wipe those greasy fingers on.

We were able to fit about 10 cotton balls into our pill bottle, by
packing them.

Because of the small size of the container and how light weight it is,
would be perfect for hiking trips.

Once these balls are lit on fire, they don't easily go out. someone
tried to
blow out several time and it just burned more.

Very cool!

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Replies to This Discussion

Another firestarter recipe, composed of 100% repurposed materials, is to pack empty toilet paper tubes with dryer lint.

I just keep a propane torch in the bus. Hook it up to a regular camping propane bottle, light it up and stick it into the kindling...presto, fire. Just don't keep it there longer than needed as it could explode.

I love all of these solutions! Myself, I buy a box of "Kindle Candles" from Yankee Candle and use those. They scrape up the wax from the factory floor and repurpose it into these little muffin cups with a wick. Not homemade and not cheap, but works every time!

Great idea with the PJ and cotton balls.  I'll try it.  I'd like to know how long it will last.  Could be a good source as a temporary candle for extra light or whatever

In addition to the vaseline saturated cotton balls suggested above, I also wad-up balls of dryer lint and soak them in melted candle wax and lay them out to dry. The cotton balls are great for igniting with a flint spark and the waxed dryer balls keep the fire going. This combination can't be beat, except of course by a gallon of white gas....

I make my fire starters from empty egg crates, I cut off the cover and toss it in the trash, then I line the bottom of the egg crate with tinfoil. I then fill the egg crate with wood chips from my planer or sawdust will work also. I melt two sticks of Gulf Wax in a pan and then drizzle the melted wax over the chips/dust until it is soaked. Let the crate cool and place in a large ziplock bag. When you need a firestarter break off one of the egg cups and place where the fire will be and light it. These will burn for sometime so you can get your fire going well.

I use the cardboard rolls that remain from bath tissue rolls.  I depress one on one side and slide it into another. Every time I have an empty one, I do the same thing to the once with other rolls already slide into it until it will not hold anymore.  They are great kindling and free.

Some great ideas here.  Sounds like I need to start collecting paper towel & toilet paper rolls.   Me collect dryer lint? LOL.  But will try anything to eliminate hauling news papers.


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