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Discussion Starter #1
Here I am at home, trying to cook some Gorgonzola cheese burgers for the family. Need to change the propane on the gas grill. The plastic gizmo breaks in my hand. No problem, I'll fire up the charcoal grill. The charcoal is "tired" and won't start. Add some Match Light but it's windy. Finally I get the propane torch from the garage, fire it up, and had flame in no time. The burgs were great!

It reminded me about a day on an early season, rainy, hypodermic, trip on the Yampa and the challenges of starting a drift wood fire. I'm ready to put the torch in my dry box. It ways nothing and doesn't take up much space. Another fire starting idea I've always thought of but never had in my kit was chunks of DuraFlame or something similar. Any other fire starting ideas or wisdom to share?
 

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Call me lazy- but that is how we start our fires at home all winter.

You can also use a blaster (assuming you have one and enough propane).
 

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Here I am at home, trying to cook some Gorgonzola cheese burgers for the family. Need to change the propane on the gas grill. The plastic gizmo breaks in my hand. No problem, I'll fire up the charcoal grill. The charcoal is "tired" and won't start. Add some Match Light but it's windy. Finally I get the propane torch from the garage, fire it up, and had flame in no time. The burgs were great!



It reminded me about a day on an early season, rainy, hypodermic, trip on the Yampa and the challenges of starting a drift wood fire. I'm ready to put the torch in my dry box. It ways nothing and doesn't take up much space. Another fire starting idea I've always thought of but never had in my kit was chunks of DuraFlame or something similar. Any other fire starting ideas or wisdom to share?
In addition to starting your fire easily, I've used a torch to carmelize the sugar layer on top of pre-made creme brulee.

Anything in your kit that serves more than one function deserves to stay there.
 

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One of the best additions to a kitchen box is a decent Bernzomatic Trigger start torch. It beats the heck out of the usual BBQ lighters that barely put out any flame and break all the time. Worth every penny of the $40-50 they cost. My group of boaters call it "The Match".

That said, my go to charcoal starter is a blaster or woodland power stove with a chimney. 1 minute on medium heat and you have all your coals lit. It accelerates the time to them being ready to cook with by a good 5 to 10 minutes.
 

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We always bring all our campfire wood... we might find a few pieces of drift and throw it on the fire.
We use lighter fluid to start our river fires. Pretty easy with dry wood.
At home I use gelled alcohol... best stuff I know of.

The young Boy Scout in the house stuffs dryer lint into empty toilet paper rolls. That works well too.
 

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If you keep your woodland power stove legs folded up you can hold it and use it as a torch.. I have used mine as a weed burner.. the folded legs make a great handle..

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You can get some basic plumbers soldering torches cheap that take up little space. If you use the 1# propane cylinders for your stove you are adding very little volume and weight to bring a torch to go on top. Torches are my favorite way to start a fire, they make getting kindling going quick and easy.
 

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That said, my go to charcoal starter is a blaster or woodland power stove with a chimney. 1 minute on medium heat and you have all your coals lit. It accelerates the time to them being ready to cook with by a good 5 to 10 minutes.
Brilliant!

I like the propane or Map Gas ideas better than my old standby, Scout Water
(lighter fluid).
I always carry a small amount of dry firewood in a rocket for getting fires going, usually smaller pieces of kiln dryed lumber, cedar works really well, smells nice to. Even if drift wood I find is real wet, I can pretty much always get it to dry and burn with a small fire of the “Emergency Firewood” stash. Getting a pile of charcoal going also works really well for this.
 

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You can get some basic plumbers soldering torches cheap that take up little space. If you use the 1# propane cylinders for your stove you are adding very little volume and weight to bring a torch to go on top. Torches are my favorite way to start a fire, they make getting kindling going quick and easy.
That's hard to argue against!
 

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As a former Survival Instructor in the Air Force, I strongly recommend that you carry a small ziplock bag full of 100% natural cotton balls saturated in vaseline.

Its my favorite tinder to start a fire. It takes up little to no space, works when wet, easily accepts a spark (make sure that you aerate it well) burns for a long time, etc.

I always have a metal match with striker and cotton balls with vaseline with me when I'm out in the woods. You could totally be submerged, swim to the bank, and still have no problem at all getting your fire lit with this, and it fits into a small pocket on your pdf.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF4WDVVDTp0
 

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My friend does something very similar to the cottonballs and vaseline. He collects dryer lint and puts it in the recycled cardboard egg cartons and drips either wax or softened petroleum jelly on them, and cuts it up into individual cups.
 

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I second the cotton ball and Vaseline strategy. I put mine in an old Tylenol container and carry as part of my first aid. Plus, you never know when you might desire some Vaseline.
 

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My friend does something very similar to the cottonballs and vaseline. He collects dryer lint and puts it in the recycled cardboard egg cartons and drips either wax or softened petroleum jelly on them, and cuts it up into individual cups.
That works as well, just not as compact, and dryer lint is a flash tinder, so it burns very quickly, even with the wax and cardboard. Much harder to light when wet in a true survival situation.

I've tried everything, even cheetos, and there's nothing better that cock and balls in vaseline.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A lot of great ideas! After my BBQ dinner challenge last night I'm definitely putting my torch and a tank in my dry box and am going to add some of the Vaseline and cotton balls to the mix. If anyone gets a torch, get a torch that has the attached sparking button. I've heard that Fritos are great too but they're my absolute favorite junk food and I would eat them all. I better stick to Cheetos!
 
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