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Snow Walker

Who needs magnesium? Bah Humbug!

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Simple and to the point...jute dipped in wax.  I have been using this one for years and it has never let me down especially in the rain.  In fact, it reacts very violently in the rain so be careful. 

 

Just dip some wax in jute and fray it up when needed.  It will catch a spark in a heart beat. 

 

In the outside pictures below I have it in a puddle and believe it or not covered it with water after I frayed it, but you would never know. 

 

When waxing it make sure to hold it under in the wax until most of the bubbles stop coming up then remove.

 

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Nice post, and I agree I have used waxed cordage before and it works really well even in wet weather and doesn't require the use of a knife to prep. That's basically all the "tinder-quick" that comes with the AMK "spark-light" is, and you can ignite that stuff just as well with sparks from an empty disposable butane lighter. As far as inorganic tinder materials go magnesium is definitely not one of my favorites. It dulls blades to scrape shavings of it, the shavings are VERY wind sensitive, and it takes a bit to scrape enough shavings to start a fire in inclement weather.

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Friend of mine tried to use a Doans magnesium bar once while we waited in the night for helo pickup. End result flashs from the striker degraded our night vision and the danged magnesium would not light no matter what.  Thanks for the post on the waxed jute.

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Magnesium blocks are a complete waste of money. I cant believe the US military use them on survival courses, well they did when I last did one. If I see a magnesium block in someones kit when out I know I need to watch them because they are probably not very experienced and don't know that there are far better, smaller and lighter products that do a far better job on the market.   

 

Jute is great stuff and when dipped in wax is even better and as snow walker has said when it combusts it cumbusts well. 

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Magnesium blocks are a complete waste of money. 

 

I'm inclined to agree on this. I've have a doan mag bar and s few of the cheapies. Firestarters are one of the things I'm reevaluating with my kits. There are better options. 

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Magnesium blocks are a complete waste of money. I cant believe the US military use them on survival courses, well they did when I last did one. If I see a magnesium block in someones kit when out I know I need to watch them because they are probably not very experienced and don't know that there are far better, smaller and lighter products that do a far better job on the market.   

 

Jute is great stuff and when dipped in wax is even better and as snow walker has said when it combusts it cumbusts well. 

 

Yeah, but it's HELLA fun to light the whole magnesium block with a blow torch. If you do it in sand it will make you a nice little glass bowl. :)

(these stunts are performed by deranged pyromaniacs, do not attempt to do this yourself)

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Seemed that most of the state of California was tinder last week when I was hiking....

 

Yep. It's definitely fire season! Lukily we haven't had those storms in the hills that produces "dry" lightning. That's usually the start of them, although there's a nice one going in the Yosemite valley currently.

 

Ok....now back to your regularly scheduled waxed jute thread....

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Now that's interesting.  In my mind as I thought of easily portable tinder materials, jute was one of the things I thought of early and was sure it would work without yet trying it.  I had never heard of or thought of dipping it in melted wax to enhance its flammability as tinder.  That is now high on my list of things to do and get familiar with.  thanks for the post.

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I must jump on the band wagon, I hate mag bars they are worthless. Even if you have a mag bar that works, trying to keep the shaving in a neat little pile and not let the wind blow them away is a pain in the a$$. I like dipping cardboard in wax, they make good firestarters and very cheap to make.

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Welcome Kokopelli thanks for your input.

 

Offtrail one trick with a magnesium pile hold your striker solid and pull the mag stick away. That keeps you from hitting your tinder pile. Actually Ive never used mag shavings your right I always gave up trying to keep a pile long enough. Wax soaked cotton works well and hold the cotton on your striker on top with your thumb and strike the sparks into the cotton or what ever you use like char cloth and stuff.

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Recently I've been using the ole cotton balls and Vaseline.  Works great.  I keep a couple small tubes of Vaseline in my packs and stuff lots of cotton balls in ziploc bags in each pack.  So much easier than collecting dryer lint  :hugegrin:

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Drier lint with petroleum jelly as my backup tinder (I have no difficulty pulling out the screen on the drier.). Otherwise, I like to find whatever I can get to take a spark and use that.  Great practice.

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im a natural tinder kind of guy myself. but ill carry alcohol/acetone or petroleum jelly cotton balls or dryer lint as a back up.

I also do the same try to use what nature provides, that is always the first step. I only use home made fire starters when condition are to wet for old school tactics.

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Welcome Kokopelli thanks for your input.

 

Offtrail one trick with a magnesium pile hold your striker solid and pull the mag stick away. That keeps you from hitting your tinder pile. Actually Ive never used mag shavings your right I always gave up trying to keep a pile long enough. Wax soaked cotton works well and hold the cotton on your striker on top with your thumb and strike the sparks into the cotton or what ever you use like char cloth and stuff.

Sure that is the only way to do it but when the wind is blowing and your hands are wet and cold. It's not all that easy to get shaving from a mag bar to behave and stay put :grin:

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I also do the same try to use what nature provides, that is always the first step. I only use home made fire starters when condition are to wet for old school tactics.

im with ya offtrail. I like to push my limits on wet weather tinder. I only use the other stuff if I honestly cant get a fire going.

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Guest smallgamehunter

Fat wood is natures waterproof tinder

 

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Fat wood is natures waterproof tinder

 

There are others out there depending on where you are. Balsam Fir sap is a great water proof tinder in the PNW. I use white pine sap in the south a lot. Catch places where it has leaked around wounds in the tree and gather it using a small stick and a piece of bark. It will light with a spark also. In the Pacific North West the Balsam Fir may as well be a gasoline tree :)

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