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FIRE CAKES

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
In a muffin tin, put in a paper muffin cup in each muffin mold. Put in about a half cup of stuff from your paper shredder.lightly tamp it to almost level full. Coarse sawdust can be used or mixed in with paper. CAREFULLY melt paraffin. About 1 pound for six muffin cups. CAREFULLY pour HOT, melted paraffin into cup. Let cool completely, say, a couple of hours. Remove fire cakes.

About 1/6 of one is usually enough. Careful - these can be hard to cut.

Yes, I know, lint from driers works too. But, not lint from your belly button. ;-)
 
Last edited:

mike

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Jun 29, 2009
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5
TEXAS!
Good idea, Jack!

If you want to avoid a lot of difficult cutting, just use an ice tray. You should be able to find one that is the perfect size since they come in so many sizes.

I've heard of people using egg cartons, too. The paper kind will soak up some wax and become part of the fire starter.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Dang! You trumped my ace, Mike. I like your idea of an ice cube tray. The cakes would probably pop out of a plastic tray easily. But, I’m thinking that it would still be more than needed, or wanted, to start most fires. But cutting would be easier. Thanks for the idea!

Either shape, when it comes to setting a match to it, I use a knife to roughen one edge of the fire cake so it will catch fire easily.
 

oldsparkey

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Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
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Great idea Jack , we have all sorts of shredded paper from the junk mail. I will add that to my list of fire starters.

You can make either of these and they work all the time.

1. Get a Tampon , a pencil or something to tie the string to. Melt several of the warming "Tea " Candles. Dip the tampon in the hot wax for 30 to 45 seconds , remove and hang to dry. When dry cut it into life saver size pieces. In camp take one piece and fluff it ( use your fingers ) before lighting it. Easy way to light it is with the sparks from a Fero Rod.
2. Get some of the cotton pads women use to remove makeup. They are circular and about 1 1/2 to 2 inches across. Melt some wax in a container. ( A old frying pan works great ). Lay out some wax paper or parchment paper. Lay the cotton disk in the wax in the pan , it will adsorb the wax quickly. Remove it (Old BBQ tongs work really well ) and lay it on the parchment paper till it cools.
In camp fold one and it will break in the center , take that half and fold it so it will lay with the top of the V up. Use a Fero Rod , the sparks from it will light that portion of the pad. Sometimes only a 1/4 portion of the pad will do the trick.
Both of these ( 1 & 2 ) can be carried in a Zip Lock , Snack , bag.
3. I cheat at times and use wooden match size pieces of Fat Wood ( Lighter Knot ) I carry them in a pill bottle.
4. Or really get lazy and use some of the denatured alcohol from the fuel bottle for my alcohol stove. Booze ( Burbon , Vodka , Rum ) works if that's all you have with you. ( Not sure about using Single Malt Scotch , that's normally used as a rust remover )
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
I’ve also unlaid cheap, sisal rope, cut the strands into 4” chunks, and soaked them in paraffin. Almost anything that will wick up melted paraffin works.

Years ago, in Field and Stream magazine I think, was a story about a fellow on a hunting trip in Canada. He had a Cree Indian as a guide. They were paddling and portaging all day, most of it in the rain. No conversation all day.

Near dusk, they stopped to make camp. The guide sawed a small log into lengths, split a couple, neatly stacked them. Unscrewed the cap of a gallon can, and poured a couple of cups of gasoline onto the firewood. Recapping the can, and setting it away from the fire, he stayed back. Struck a sheltered match, and tossed it onto the wood. WHOOSH!

Turning, and pointing at the blaze, the guide spoke his first words of the day. “Old Indian fire trick.”
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
A mix of the shavings that a sharp chain saw produces, with the shredded paper would be best. Paper ignites quickly, and wax-soaked shavings burn longer. Also, I’d use a plastic ice cube tray as a mold. Makes squarish cubes that carry and cut easier. Mike’s idea is gooder than mine.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
I’ve also unlaid cheap, sisal rope, cut the strands into 4” chunks, and soaked them in paraffin. Almost anything that will wick up melted paraffin works.

Years ago, in Field and Stream magazine I think, was a story about a fellow on a hunting trip in Canada. He had a Cree Indian as a guide. They were paddling and portaging all day, most of it in the rain. No conversation all day.

Near dusk, they stopped to make camp. The guide sawed a small log into lengths, split a couple, neatly stacked them. Unscrewed the cap of a gallon can, and poured a couple of cups of gasoline onto the firewood. Recapping the can, and setting it away from the fire, he stayed back. Struck a sheltered match, and tossed it onto the wood. WHOOSH!

Turning, and pointing at the blaze, the guide spoke his first words of the day. “Old Indian fire trick.”
Using a Coleman double burner stove with white gas. Take the fuel container , aim the end of the vaporizing tube at the wood , turn the knob and give it a shot or white gas.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Good idea. Not a lot of those stoves around any more.
Apparently it's just us old farts that still have ( the white gas ones ) them. I have 2 of them , one dates back to the late 50's and the other the 80's.
I even have one of the new ( compact ) bottled gas ones for hurricanes and power outages. It's not white gas so I don't count it.
Canoe trips they are nice to have , especially when cooking for a group of guy's.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
The old Coleman 2 burner was a reliable piece of equipment. It’s what Dad took deer hunting every year. Frying pan on one burner, coffee pot on t’uther.
My old one is the one the folks had. The generator tube went out on it late 1980's. I contacted Coleman and after they took a long look they managed to find one tube in the archives. Darn if they did not send it to me free of charge. They told me No One has been asking for any replacement parts of a stove that old. So for a upcoming Everglades canoe trip I got the newer white gas stove. Cooked a lot of fish ( & other meals ) with it for Vince and myself on that 14 day trip. Both burners were used the same way.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
My Dad’s Coleman 2 burner was bought in the 40s. I was concerned about rust in the tank. When you pump air in to pressurize the tank, moisture is being pumped in too. It pretty much remains there.

Actually, not the rust itself. If you take a roll of solid solder (not a liquid core), and use a pair of dikes to cut off a handful of 1/4” pieces, these can be put into a fuel tank and shaken for a few minutes. The sharp, pointy ends work to remove rust in the shaking process. Pour in a small amount of fuel and flush the tank. Put the solder back in and repeat until it flushes clean.

My concerns on Dad’s tank was a possible weakening of the parent material from excessive corrosion. If rust had created a weak spot, I didn’t want a stove to start leaking or spraying gasoline when it was being used. Sadly and reluctantly, I threw it away.