Best ever firestarter for kayakers

The absolute best ever fire starter

Cut plastic drinking straws into 3 inch lengths

(The best are the large diameter ones for use in cold coffee beverages)

Pinch one end with needle nose pliers and melt closed with a lighter

Stuff petroleum jelly soaked cotton ball into the opened end.

Pinch that end with the pliers and melt closed.

These fire starters are super compact, will stay water proof even when submerged for an extended period of time, and never leak petroleum jelly on your gear.

To use, simply slice it lengthwise, pry it open, and light. (I use a magnesium fire starter)

You can also simply light one end if using a match or lighter.

I found the burn time to be approximately 4 minutes.

What are you best fire starter ideas?

The fire starter sticks sold in ziplock
bags, Target or Walmart, I forget which. They’re cheap, need only a quick lighter to start, burn for a good 5-10 minutes, and never fail. I can’t imagine going to any trouble to save the couple of bucks these things cost, and they’re as compact as any home remedy.


Same idea different package…
cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly…add a dollop of petroleum jelly on top, then …wrap in small 1 inch square packages of aluminum foil.

To light: cut a small “X” in one side of the foil packet…pull or pry a small tuft of cotton out through the “X” and light…will burn for a long time…firestarter or as a candle…

I use “liquid boyscout” never failed me yet.

thanks for the tip

Fire starters
plastic bags are “just ok” to guarantee waterproofness. film containers pop open when crushed.

The 3 in section of straw sealed at both ends will with-stand very long durations of wetness and submersion.

I keep a few in the PFD pocket with a magnesium starter. wetness is never an issue with this concept.

Even a film container is to big in the pockets of my PFD. We paddled last weekend temp mid 40’s windy. Sure was nce to not worry about getting a fire going at end of the day

I Like That Idea
As you said, can’t get much more compact than that. Perfect for PFD pocket. Excellent tip! WW

Yukon indian fire starter…

– Last Updated: Oct-24-09 4:32 PM EST –

gasoline...sprinkle liberally..lite with match.
can also use stove fuel for same results

fire starter
Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. Stuff them in plastic film canisters. Fluff them up when starting a fire. The plastic film canisters float, resuable, compact, and you can stuff about 10 cotton balls in 1 canister. I only use 1 or 2 cotton balls each time.

A Sharp Knife, Good Matches
And a knowledge of the vegetation always works for me.

The trick to building a fire is to have your wood ready to add as the fire grows. Don’t waste time trying to build a big teepee or cabin style fire to start. Start small and then build it up.

If you gotta carrying something try taffy wrapped in waxpaper. Eat the taffy of course. The paper is thin and lights easy. Twisted it can be stacked like small twigs.

I like to have a little juniper with me. The shavings start very easily. Above 7,500’ in the west sub-alpine fir is the best. It’s so loaded with pitch it doesn’t take much to get it going.

The last time I built a fire was two days ago. Built one the week before and the week before. I’m teaching my daughter about life in the back country. Fire is part of the training.

No no no
the gasoline vapors are heavier than air and sink…depending on your topography they can collect.

Even if you are fifteen feet from the fire in that case you can find yourself in the middle of an explosion.

A friend did that and suffered second degree burns. It could have cost him his life. He was several hundred miles from any town and had to be airlifted out

Thanks for that tip
I have used Esbit firestarter cubes. They work great and burn very hot. Unfortunately, they stink like fishy oil, even when double-wrapped in plastic.

Your idea is simple, cheap, and pretty much odorless.

they don’t burn long or hot but as practical as steel wool and a 9 volt.

Cotton and wax
I soak strips of cotton t-shirt in paraffin wax and place them in a baggie in my pfd with a lighter. They are handy if it is raining and I ever need a fire in a hurry. I don’t actually use them much, but they do work.

duct tape
Roll it into like a cigarette, but narrower and light. Burns pretty long.

Also, in some places burning this or plastic (straws) might not be legal.

Keep a small can of sterno in my pack with cigarette lighter. Also some candles with matches in a film canister.

Don’t overlook fritos and other such oil saturated chips. See the dem o photo. Some chips are more flamable than others. These burned for about 2 minutes, one vatiety hotter than the other.

Polypro rope burns real well and is good for hull repairs.

Merely stating the obvious
The easiest way to start a kayaker on fire is to saturate him or her with Coleman fuel and flip a match.


Would you believe
I use Fritos. Light them with a match or lighter and they burn just fine. Good to eat if you need to too!

Alternative to Fritos
I also carry a flint and steel fire starter with char cloth and/or Tinder Fungus. Char cloth is light weight catches the sparks from the flint and steel and burns with a vengence. Tinder Fungus does too. Add fine tinder such as shredded cedar bark or tow, a couple of good puffs of breath and you have a fire. A reference to tinder fungus is at the following link.

Dryer Lint
I’ve used the lint from the dryer to start camp fires. Get a spark on it and it lights great.

puffy cheeze-doodles
I stopped eating these things after seeing how vigorously they burn. I think they are made of JP4 and food coloring.