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Author Topic: Just discovered the best fire starter!  (Read 6293 times)

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Offline la_picker

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Just discovered the best fire starter!
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2008, 08:36:00 PM »
An empty plastic softdrink or water bottle also makes a great fire starter.

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Offline punkindad

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Just discovered the best fire starter!
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2008, 09:13:53 PM »
I haven't used a fire starter in at least 25 years. I like the challenge of doing it the old fashioned way, it just takes a little prep work but works every time.

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Just discovered the best fire starter!
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2008, 09:17:58 PM »
I like the gel when you have wet wood. After a rain and the kindle is wet pour on the gel and you will have a nice hot fire.

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Offline lawniz

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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2008, 09:50:05 PM »
i hope no one really uses motor oil in a fire, that contaminates the ring for the next people using the site. people make foodoff those fires.kids eat that food.

I dont snore, I purr....

Offline Twisty

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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2008, 10:49:07 PM »
I agree with lawniz - PLEASE do not burn plastics or oil.

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Offline Cowboy Camper

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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2008, 09:15:59 AM »
I also agree that oil (especially!) and plastics have no place in a campfire. A Bonfire that nobody will cook over....Maybe, but it's still not very environmentally beneficial. I'm just sayin' ... Wink

I use Pallet Planks chopped with my little camp axe as the kindling with the good old fashioned wadded paper as the primary starter. This works a lot better than I thought it would. The Pallet Planks are usually very dried out and are often a good and hot burning hardwood. We work up to the full planks if needed to get a stubborn log or two going. Campfire

Where is this Gel in the store? I've never seen it in the camping aisles at my Walmarts. Is it maybe in the Housewares Dept. by the fireplace materials?  If they even have here in the midwest, it could be a good back up plan for if the wood ever gets wet. I keep a load of wood in the front of my capped truck so it's usually dry and ready to go, but sometimes wet can still happen.


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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2008, 10:04:38 AM »
It is with the pellets and firelogs. At least at my walmart. Put the small wood in put the gel on and good hot flame.

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Offline la_picker

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Just discovered the best fire starter!
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2008, 12:20:51 PM »
So is it the contention of some of the "experts" here that petroleum based products (which is what plastic and oil is) in some way "contaminate" a fire ring or are in some way not fit for cooking?!  What exactly do we all burn in most camp stoves if not a petroleum based product?

No one here is advocating fueling your campfire with oil or piling up a stack of plastic bottles and using them instead of wood. We're talking about a little something to occasionally get a stubborn fire started.

I may not be a self professed expert and I certainly hope I never turn into one of those environmental elitists, but speaking as someone who grew up in the outdoors and has started my share of campfires (the hard way) in weather that was only fit for ducks and frogs, something like a single plastic bottle can be a real time saver. Not only do they burn hot enough to start wet wood, but they burn up completely and leave absolutely no residue or contaminates in the fire ring. (Please try it before you disagree!)

If we're not going to use any petro products to start fires with, we'd better get rid of the vaseline soaked cotton balls. Oh, and wax is a no no too.  What we may want to do insted is to actually have some first hand experience with something before we profess it to be "contaminating".

I apologize for the flame (pun intended ;)), but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who truly and dearly loves the outdoors and nature any more than I do. I've been a strict "leave no trace" camper and backpacker longer than many of you have been alive, and I get a little testy when someone suggests that I'm some kind of polluter.

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Edited by - la_picker on December 07 2008  12:29:41

Offline Cowboy Camper

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Just discovered the best fire starter!
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2008, 02:28:03 PM »
The difference is in the smoke. I've burned oil and plastic, (in the bonfires) so I do know about the black smoke that comes from burning both. There is no smoke from the properly refined fuels that are meant for the purpose of cooking when used in a properly adjusted stove.

Believe me I'm no 'greenie' either, as can be seen by my bonfires. But yes, used engine oil is very much a pollutant. It shouldn't be burned in my bonfires either to be honest, but there's no way I'd ever put that stuff in a fire pit at any campsite. The oil can and will seep into the ground for the campers afterward to possibly re light the next time it gets stirred up. I'm not calling anyone anything, I'm just stating the truth. On that note, we can agree to disagree.

And thanks, Peter, for the location information.

Offline turtle

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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2008, 03:05:53 PM »
I'm not saying burning motor oil is right or wrong but I do believe that motor oil is called HAZ-MAT for a reason and I know I wouldn't want to use it for my fire. If the oil were poured onto the wood and burned I wouldn't have a problem with someone using it but letting it soak into the soil or contaminate the fire ring IMO would be disrespectful to those who may use that area after you.

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Offline winston24

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Just discovered the best fire starter!
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2008, 03:09:06 PM »
Couldn't agree with you more Doug.

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Edited by - winston24 on December 07 2008  15:10:05

Offline The Nuthouse

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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2008, 03:49:14 PM »
Although I in no way profess to be an expert in this area either, I have to agree with Scott. There is very strong evidence to make the argument against burning plastics and used motor oil.

Ask any fire fighter who has fought his way through the toxic smoke generated by the plastics we all have in our homes and businesses. The release of Dioxin and other deadly and carcinogenic toxins into the environment during the burning of plastic even in high temperature incinerators, let alone a measly campfire, is well documented.

It is not only toxic to you and the environment but also illegal in many states to burn used motor oil or even to pour it on the ground (what one would do to start a fire).

I have come to find that people who have strong opinions often find it hard to look objectively at new information that might contradict their current beliefs.

Here is a link to a brief question and answer about some of the good reasons not to burn motor oil. For those of us that have worked in the automotive field there has been very good and compelling information about the toxicity of used motor oil for over 25 years now. Even long term exposure to used motor oil on the skin can cause a host of issues including cancer.

Here is a link to Canadian Government site outlining the reasons for not burning plastics of any kind.

This probably won't change anyone's mind about their preferred methods for fire starting but let me just say that just because you can't see any signs that you have polluted the environment doesn't mean that you haven't. The ash from both of these practices is also toxic although it looks just like the ash from any wood fire.

I just hope that I never have to come across any fire rings that you have started fires in with plastic or used motor oil.

Eric

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Edited by - The Nuthouse on December 07 2008  19:31:19

Offline Twisty

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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2008, 04:48:30 PM »
Yay Team! If I were in a life or death situation and had a crankcase full of oil or some plastic of any kind I would not hesitate to use it. I carry excessive amounts of "safe" starter material when I have a vehicle and I carry some Army style food ration cooking pellets when I am on a trail.

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Offline la_picker

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Just discovered the best fire starter!
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2008, 07:46:20 PM »
Cowboy Camper wrote:
"The difference is in the smoke. I've burned oil and plastic, (in the bonfires) so I do know about the black smoke that comes from burning both"

Actually CC the "difference" is in the way it's used (or abused). I would never ever use burned motor oil or plastic as a primary fuel for any type of bonfire or campfire for the reasons you stated; especially a big one. That's not even close to what I was suggesting.

What I'd like to do insted of agreeing to disagree, is to challenge you (and everyone else)to try my method (feel free to put on your haz-mat suit if you like). The first thing you'll learn is that the thin clear plastic that a drink bottle is made of burns surprisingly clean. The second is that after the fire goes out, you will not see, smell, or otherwise find any residual contamination whatsoever.

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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2008, 07:50:12 PM »
We all have our ways of starting a fire i just want to share a new natural way of starting a fire. So we will agree to disagree and we need to leave it at that before someone gets to mad and things are said  and taken the wrong way.

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