I read Claire’s article with interest since I’ve been making firestarters for years once we started taking our kid’s camping. One cold, windy night with only a few sheets of paper to get a fire going was enough to convince me to make a bunch of firestarters using various materials.
I found that using petroleum jelly on a cotton ball is a wonderful firestarter, you can fit a month’s worth into a pill bottle or mint tin. Spreading the cotton over the tender helps to get it going.
Also, using dryer lint (we have lots!) pushed into cardboard egg cartons or cup carriers and then covered with candle wax makes a great starter-lasts a long time like the ones Claire discussed in her article.
After having lighters fail and matches get wet I tried making my own “water proof” matches, which works okay except they tend to be brittle and hard to ignite. Now I use a magnesium stick firestarter that never fails to work. I found mine in a camping catalog, they’re also sold at Walmarts.
I love your magazine, have just signed-up for another year.I’m interested in being as self-reliant as possible. We live in a small town on a half acre lot where I keep 4 chickens in a mobile chicken tractor that my husband and son built to my specifications (we built it on top of a garden wagon, with a pen attached on wheels. When it’s time to re-locate the hens we just pick-up the wagon handle and pull it to the next spot. We have about 30 different fruit trees, tons of ever-bearing raspberries, strawberries, etc. I ordered the trees about 3 years ago and I’m excited by the fact that my peach and one of my plum trees are both loaded with fruit and the apples are also beginning to produce.
Keep up the great articles and information.I suspect that more people will be in need of it in the near future and your magazine will be an inspiration to them.
Marie McKinney Stone
PS. I love everything that Jackie Clay writes!!!