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Old November 12, 2009, 12:30 PM   #34
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,098
Anybody ever start fires with a battery and steel wool? That's a pretty neat trick too.
Well, yes... but it's not such a neat trick when it's on your workbench, and unintentional...

Here's an old trick for getting a fire going in a hurry: lay your fire as usual, pour some of the white gas you're carrying for your Coleman stove onto the pile, toss on a match. Works every time. (Safety note: the gas goes on before the match... )

The thing about hand sanitizer is that under perfect conditions, it'll light stuff almost as well as a match.

It's sort of pointless to carry, as a survival item, something that will work only under dry, windless, conditions, when anyone halfway competent in the outdoors should be able to light a fire with one match. You want something better than a match-- fire sticks, cotton balls w/ PJ, wood shavings soaked in paraffin wax -- that's going to work in windy, wet conditions, when you're too tired to remember all that stuff about shaving a stick to get dry tinder, and too hypothermic to have the manual dexterity to do it anyway.
Never let anything mechanical know you're in a hurry.
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