Starting fires can be a pain so finding tools to help make this easier is a godsend. I have spent a lot of time trying out different fire starters and put them through all the tests I could come up with. The winner in my book is the home DIY Fire Bug.  Watch the video to learn more:

Have you made a fire bug or trying one for the first time? Post your comments below and tell us about your experience. If you have questions about making them leave them below. 

Ingredients:

  1. Petroleum Jelly
  2. Cotton Balls
  3. Tin Foil

Tools:

  1. Fire or stove top
  2. Cup or cooking pot
  3. Multi-tool or long nose pliers 

If you are curious about any of the gear used in this video, this is the list:

-Daniel Kuykendall

15 Responses

  1. Very nice video. Another option is 100% cotton 3/8" sash cord from the hardware store. You can soak it in liquid Vaseline or paraffin from the grocery store. Cut in 1 to 2 inch lengths, put in your film container or an old prescription bottle and they burn for a good 5 minutes. Thanks again, Jeff in Texas

    1. I tried some cordage in wax and I was not happy with the strength of flame and burn time, will try again with Vaseline. Awesome suggestion!

  2. Much better, easier, and cleaner, DRY, No Mess, fire starters, like we learned in the Boy Scouts 40 years ago:
    1) Take a cardboard egg carton, remove the top & cut it up and put into the egg holding side, add sawdust, melt parafin and fill the bottom part of the carton, you have 12 waterproof, dry, firestarters. Add a srike anywhere waterproof match stucking up out each of the cups, and you have a self starting waterproof fire starter!
    2) Save clean lint from the dryer, layer it 4 or 5 thick, melt parafin and pour on top, after it cools, flip it over and pour on the other side. Slice it up into 1" squares, and you have dozenzs of waterproof, dry, firestarters.

      1. That sounds cool, I wish I had learned that one in Boy Scouts!
        Will have to try both of those techniques! Awesome comment!
  3. I learned to just rub the jelly into the DRYER LINT. No cotton balls needed. No heating or tinfoil needed. Do need a sealed container.

  4. While the idea isn’t new to me, I was surprised that you melted the petroleum jelly into a liquid, which opens up other possibilities. At least it’s an alternative to rubbing the gooey stuff into the cotton. I would suggest people buy another jar for medical use that they keep clean of contaminants and even an extra for protecting metal or to removes ticks from their pets as it suffocates the bug and they can remove it whole.

    As far as those "ancient film canisters" are concerned, I asked for some at a store close to your location (mailing address) and the manager gave me a bunch of them, so I would ask if anyone desires to have some. And in case they stop making them completely there are companies that sell containers or people can repurpose jars/bottles/canisters from food products and not spend extra money.

    Nice job Daniel,
    Frank

    1. Awesome Frank! Which store did you stop by? It really does have a lot of uses for medical, thanks for bringing up that point!

  5. I use my script botts. Never had a problem Get three every month so I can teach the kids at our church —– that is if I can ever get these people will get their heads on right .

    1. I have not tried this in regards to a firebug but cotton will burn versus a synthetic fiber will melt. I would assume cotton would make for a better wick but I have not tested this.

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