There are situations where being able to make a fire as quickly as possible, with very little preparation can mean I difference between life and death. That’s why many people carry with them ready-made fire starters. But what if you could:
a) Make it yourself reducing the costs
b) Use it for much more than just fire starting?
That’d be awesome eh? Let’s see what we can do about it.
Those life-threatening situations are most likely to occur in colder months when falling in ice-cold water isn’t just a nuisance. But there’s no reason we shouldn’t prepare for that now. Let’s start with the ingredients. This is pretty simple. All you need is two parts of bees wax mixed with three parts of coconut butter/oil. You will have to heat it up in a bowl of water in order to melt it. Do not place the container with wax and oil directly over the flames as it can quickly overheat and catch fire!
I have to admit, this is not my idea. Well, not entirely. I got it from my friend Rachelle from Urban Wild Things. She was using it as lip balm. But I thought this could have all sorts of other applications as well.
The 2×3 proportions don’t have to be accurate and aren’t fixed. You can fiddle with it depending on temperature and intended use. If colder, add more oil to make melting and application easier. If hot, add more wax to keep it solid until you need it soft and runny. The warmth of your hands should be enough to melt it.
When the suff is still in the liquid state, dip you cotton pads in it and allow them to soak the mixture until they change colour. Then, place them on a wax paper or oily rag and let them set.
They’ll be ready in just a few minutes. You can store and carry them in a flat tin container like a pellet box, which will hold up to 7 pads and, being made of steel, can be used for things like making charr cloth when necessary. It doesn’t have to be waterproof. The pads are.
Now, what are their uses and advantages? First of all, each of those little pads will burn from 8 to over 12 minutes and is easy to light even when wet. Such a long burn time is more than enough to dry you soaking wet kindling and start you fire, which I demonstrate in the video.
Apart from this obvious application, this mixture will remove pine, spruce or fir resin from your hands and tools. It’ll also protect you skin in wet cold weather as well as protecting you carbon steel tools from rusting. It can be smeared on leather sheaths, belts and boots as a conditioner and waterproofing agent.
It’ll also protect wooden shafts and handles and will not go rancid. At least it hasn’t yet 🙂 But one of the most important things is that, being made from natural materials, this stuff is completely environmentally friendly and edible. It probably isn’t the best survival/trail snack but at least you don’t have to worry about contaminating your food with your knife’s anti-rust layer or your hand cream.