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Hot snot firestarting gel
Hot snot firestarting gel. Good? Anything better? This is for emergency use - life or death scenario. Like cold wet in Alaska.
This is what works well for me...
I like Weber Lighter cubes. They come in 24 packs for 5 or 6 bucks (Amazon or hardware store). They're maybe 1" cubes and one cube usually does the job. Been using them weekly starting wood stove fires. Also charcoal grille and camp fires.
The big advantage to these for me is not a liquid or gel so can't leak all over. Six or 10 in a zip lock bag.
First off, I know nothing about hot snot but If I were staking my life on a one time fire starter for a survival situation then I would use a US Military heat tab!
These are an excellent heat source that last long enough to start a fire with what is probably going to be wet wood!
Military Heat Tab would be excellent choice. I feel Weber cubes are equivalent but a life threatening situation is a serious way to find out if I'm right.
If I was counting on it for survival, I would do a trial run
I wonder how many guys never test their fire making skills until they have to?
Rocky D's Link
I will test it. Good idea about military heat tabs, any chance they are roughly the same as esbit tablets? I have those already.
Rocky D's Link
Don, Here is a link that explains the differences.
I used to carry wax paper and paraffin dipped start any place matches in a water proof container. Works every time.
Rocky--I appreciate the info, but am a little confused. The author seems to use the terms "tablet" and "cube" interchangeably. Is there a difference? Some of the included ads show what I would consider a cube, more or less, but say tablet. In one paragraph he says a hexamine tablet burns for 5-7 minutes, and in the next paragraph says a cube burns 12-15 minutes.
Also, he says hexamine is smokeless and odorless. Later in the article he says it smells like ammonia or fish.
I'm not trying to be overly critical, but I'm planning to do more camping this year (just received my new tent!) and this topic is of interest to me. I pack a butane lighter and magnesium fire starter, but would like an additional option and have considered Weber cubes or fire starter gel.
I’ve used the military Trioxane Fuel Bars for many years. They are cheap, light and easy to carry in your pack.
Yep, Trioxane.....if they are still available.
The other night, it occurred to me that one of those matchlight charcoal briquettes might just do the job. Anybody familiar with that approach? Probably have to wrap it in Foil and then a stout zip-lock, just to keep the odor down.
I love my firesteel and own several of the magnesium bars…. Which I rarely use, because I always have a little birchbark with me. But I have also pondered mixing magnesium filings with iron….
I’m not 100% sure that I know what the right answer is, but when it is a SHTF situation and you need a fire, you need it NOW, and I really don’t have any reservations about going with a nuclear option in that event.
Good points here. I have been alone, in snowstorms, in remote areas including AK many times. My last trip got me thinking. I will have the very best available LIGHT WEIGHT fire starter on earth. Likely that is what the military issues. I am sure I owuld have been ok without it last year BUT it would have been comfortable to know I had the option.
MG, What the military uses (trioxane) is referred to most commonly as heat tabs.
The Ebit stove uses hexamine and is typically referred to as cubes.
Both have advantages and disadvantages and it is really is a close call on which is best.
I like heat tabs because I have been using them since 1977. The biggest advantage is that they are easier to light which absolutely critical in most survival situations.
The hexamine has several key advantages though. Being able to burn in a confined space is A big plus and they produce higher heat which would be advantageous in wet conditions.
Shelf life would be my biggest concern with the two products. I do know that the are designed to last for years but it’s easy to get some really old ones and I have seen a couple fail. I have not had any to personally fail.
I normally have had access to the military heat tabs so this has not been a problem for me so this has been my go to source and shelf life was not an issue.
For this reason for the average Joe I would lean towards the ebit hexamine and would buy fresh one annually. The little cost would provide some added confidence which is critical in any survival situation!
One thing I heard years ago was early hypothermia can make using a lighter or matches impossible - so you have to be careful and not wait to long. I read that touching your little finger to your thumb was a good test, if you can't STOP and warm up. I often do that check, never had an issue but it could save your life.
Those dead pine trees covered in red needles are like a tinder box!
"I wonder how many guys never test their fire making skills until they have to?"
This is a great point. For years I carried a magnesium stick fire starter in a small emergency bag that I take everywhere with me. While on a solo sheep hunt I got caught in a sudden nasty thunderstorm above treeline. I had rain gear, and I was able to scramble to a rock outcropping for shelter, so it was never a life threatening situation.
While waiting for the rain and hail to subside, I decided to try to build a fire using the magnesium stick for the first time. There was adequate dry tinder and small twigs within easy reach. After about 2 hours of failed attempts, I finally got a small fire going. It was shockingly difficult.
Now I carry the Weber cubes and a windproof lighter that I can operate even with gloves on.
The short story "To build a Fire" by Jack London made an impression on me at a early age, maybe 8 or 9 years old.
It's a short story, here's a free link.
Yep, sobering story bluedog. I read it as a little kid too.
That story gave me the chills. Thanks for sharing it.
Love that story!
Few years back I decided to try and make a fire using primitive skills (bow drill) figured I knew how to do it. After a couple hours it was very evident I was not going to succeed any time soon. Did a little research and did end up doing it, but a HUGE part of that is wood choice. Species etc. I would never have known.
And while I might not be much further ahead today, I have been able to do it and know what I’m looking for. I also know how screwed I am if I’m the wrong situation lol. Prior to that I always thought: “Ah I could do it if needed.” Not so true.
On my dall hunt I watched my guides flail trying to make a fire. It was a snowy October hunt. When they went to try to find some dry wood, I broke out a cotton ball doused in Vaseline and promptly started up the fire. When They got back they were shocked. I keep the cotton in an old plastic film canister.
I was a Cub Scout. Then a Boy Scout. We always had a camp in northern Pa. Funny how you can think something is common sense when others struggle with it. I feel like I got a jump start on elk hunting just because we spent our entire childhoods in the woods and creeks. Fire ain’t all that hard. I do carry 3 Bic lighters in my pack and fire starter. But I think I’ve had the same fire starter in there for literally 10 years. It’s basically for a real emergency. I think I take a little pride in never using the stuff. The toughest place I ever got a fire going was along the Yukon river. In those flats everything is spongy. But there’s always something around.
Pyro putty is hard to beat.. I’ve tried them all from homemade to the military stuff and they all work fine with long burn matches or a lighter. Pyro putty was the easiest to start with a ferro rod and after submerging get n water. Clean, easy to store, and long burn time.
Pyro-Putty here also! Dryer lint if all else fails….
Those red needles I’m tellin’ ya!