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Author Topic: World's easiest firestarting technique  (Read 6067 times)

Offline Unca Walt

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World's easiest firestarting technique
« on: February 09, 2008, 09:28:46 AM »
If you just have a coupla items (simpler than flint and steel, actually) you can have a "never fail" technique.

Small pill-bottle of baby oil.  Yup  baby oil.

Small pill-bottle of potassium permanganate (sold at essentially all supermarkets... it is used for water softeners and for curing athlete's foot)

The potassium permanganate is a purple salt (grains about same as sugar). 

Just grab some twigs or whatever you want to burn (you do not need cedar shavings, yadayada... just any burnable "stuff")

Sprinkle some of the potassium permanganate on the "stuff".  If you WANT to use cedar shavings, this is fine.  Pine cones, twigs, anything will do.

Pour a dibby (few drops, maybe a teaspoon) of the baby oil on the permanganate laying on the stuff you are gonna burn.

That.  Is.  It.

Sit down, relax, and watch for thirty seconds in comfort.

All of a sudden, *POOOOF* a brilliant blue/red/orange flame will burst into being.

Every time.  The stuff burns with such force that it looks like an acetylene torch.  Anything*** it is on will burn.

***That means, pilgrims, if you put the potassium permanganate on your toesies to cure your athlete's foot infection, you'd dang well better not put baby oil on them same feeties or you will get a GALACTIC hotfoot!!  8|

Offline Swede

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 09:36:41 AM »
Ive been wondering where you can get the two ingrediants to try this Unca. Ive heard some of the triditional first aid kits contain the two chemicals. Its a wonder Uncle Sam hasnt clamped down on distribution of potassium permanganate.

Good post as usual Walt.  :thumbup:
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Offline Askdamice

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 09:38:25 AM »
Is it effected by extreme cold? -40C kinda cold... and how do you get the crystals to stay on the sticks... also would this work in wet conditions... I like the multi use aspect of this.
Rick
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Offline Holly

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 10:23:16 AM »
I can't wait to try this one! :thumbsup:
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Offline Machine

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 11:45:49 AM »
We tried it in the cold (not -40, but below freezing) and wet.  It works pretty either way.  There is a thread on here of us playing around with this.   http://www.wildsurvive.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=73&topic=2001.0 

The only time we couldn't get it to work was when Dave put it on a quartz rock.  Would not go.  As for it falling off  the stick.  I just put it on a leaf and put my tinder over it once it lit.  This is VERY cool to see.  As for getting the materials.  It is hard to find around here.  I can't find the P.P. anywhere in a store. 
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Offline wareagle

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2008, 12:36:55 PM »
great ideas unca walt  now i know where to get some  any idea where to buy a magnesium bar?

Offline nurkerool

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2008, 12:52:44 PM »
The last three I bought were Coughlan's brand, made in the USA.  $6.99 each.  These are not pure magnesium, they have the striker rod attached.  Larger magnesium blocks, you'll have to find a chemical supplier, and it's probably hard to ship.
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Offline Machine

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2008, 01:23:09 PM »
great ideas unca walt  now i know where to get some  any idea where to buy a magnesium bar?

Walmart or any sporting goods store have them. 
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Offline OntarioWoodsman

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2008, 02:22:13 PM »
After watching Survivorman use chemicals (he used Potassium Permanganate and Glycerin) to start a fire I thought I would try it out myself. The Potassium Permanganate is somewhat controlled, it can only be shipped by ground. I found it quite easily in my local pharmacy. The drugist had it behind the counter a 100gm bottle cost $6.00 and the Glycerin was on the shelf for $7.99 for a 100ml bottle. I haven't tried them yet. Can't wait.

Offline Unca Walt

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2008, 02:40:58 PM »
After watching Survivorman use chemicals (he used Potassium Permanganate and Glycerin) to start a fire I thought I would try it out myself. The Potassium Permanganate is somewhat controlled, it can only be shipped by ground. I found it quite easily in my local pharmacy. The drugist had it behind the counter a 100gm bottle cost $6.00 and the Glycerin was on the shelf for $7.99 for a 100ml bottle. I haven't tried them yet. Can't wait.

YOWZA.  Potassium Permanganate is NOT a controled or monitored substance.  They sell it, like I said, in supermarkets.  Commonly quart size.

Heck... you can find where to get it simply by Googling:  HOME WATER FILTRATION POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE. It does not cost much at all.  You could probably get a thousand or more "starts" with just the one bottle of if.

Any place that sells commercial bags of salt (for well water filters) sells PP.  Around here, that means EVERY supermarket from  Albertson's to WalMart

Offline Unca Walt

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 02:43:14 PM »
Is it effected by extreme cold? -40C kinda cold... 
Rick

I hope to GAWD I never have the opportunity to find out.

I consider the big freezer in my garage to be a deadly hostile alien world

Offline Bigblue

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2008, 03:27:51 PM »
Several months ago I found a small bottle of PP at a local drugstore.... but they had to SEARCH. They finally found it in the back room amongst the stored boxes of the now-retired druggist who origionallty started the store more than 40 yrs ago.

The bottle contains about 2 oz of small purple tablets(about 100) that took 4 of and crushed and ground into a powder. I then poured about 1 tsp of glycerin over the pile of powder and waited.......without success..... the ingred just sat there and did not react. I'm thinking it may be to old(??). I'll try Unca Walt's meathod using baby oil and see what happens.
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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2008, 06:25:41 PM »
~ it's also found in Petstores like petsmart in the pond section.



Oxy Clear by jungle pond products is pure Potassium Permanganate.

Like Unca Walt says, you can find it at Lowes.com under home water filters, but it's not available in all areas. (not sure why) It's a pretty standard ornamental pond care product. It's not available in the water filter section at the lowes in my town.... but it IS available in their Garden department/pond section.  :thumbsup:

Petstores carry smaller versions of it (by Jungle) in the aquarium section too. like medicine bottle size. Look for it in in the fish section under water conditioners.

Offline LOST

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2008, 06:46:40 PM »
17 posts ... she's good at this.

Offline Unca Walt

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2008, 07:54:25 PM »
Several months ago I found a small bottle of PP at a local drugstore.... but they had to SEARCH. They finally found it in the back room amongst the stored boxes of the now-retired druggist who origionallty started the store more than 40 yrs ago.

The bottle contains about 2 oz of small purple tablets(about 100) that took 4 of and crushed and ground into a powder. I then poured about 1 tsp of glycerin over the pile of powder and waited.......without success..... the ingred just sat there and did not react. I'm thinking it may be to old(??). I'll try Unca Walt's meathod using baby oil and see what happens.

It is so odd that y'all are having a hard time finding it.  Oh... and if you had some in PILL form, almost certainly it was not straight PP.

Why, ya say?

'Cause I think you got water purification tablets.

PP is a water purifier.  The way you use it is simple (note that this will dovetail into WHY you should have some in the boonies:  It starts fires, and it gives you drinking water from contaminated yuck).

Take a liter of icky water fulla dead bugs, with maybe somebody's big hairy Annapolis in it...

Add granules of PP to the water until it turns light PINK.

Wait a half hour. 

You now have safe water.  Kewl, eh?  (My misspent military background...)

Anyway... if you have old water tablets, they never could make a fire.  Not pure stuff.

Offline Unca Walt

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2008, 07:57:02 PM »
It is late, and us ole guys have gotta git our beauty sleep.

I missed ONE night, and lookit whut hoppen to me!

Tomorrow I will take a pic of a bottle of the stuff. 

Offline Watcherofthewoods

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2008, 11:27:50 AM »
Thanks Unca Walt!!!  Great to see ya back and still full of great info.  I'll have to look for PP next time I go to town.
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Offline Swede

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I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Bigblue

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2008, 02:47:18 PM »
Here's what I have. While the tablets look black, they are actually a nice dark purple when crushed.



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Offline Bigblue

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Re: World's easiest firestarting technique
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2008, 03:52:51 PM »
This thread got my grey matter all stirred up and needing to satisfy my curiosity. So, here's the second go at PP and Glycerine fire starting........ in my basement!  :woot: :woot:

Here is 5 PP tablets cruched with a hammer:


The resulting pile transferred to the back of an old liscence plate (the powder looks brown in this light, its actually deep purple):


This is the bottle of glycerine next to the pile:


I then poured out approx 1 tsp of glycerine onto the pile and got ready to shoot a picture. NOT A CHANCE!! It went right up in about 2 seconds after audibly sputtering and spewing a bit of smoke:


A small amount of the glycerine had rolled off the pile when initially poured onto the pile so I mixed it back into back together and it also went right up in flame. The second, longer-lasting flame, lasted about 20 seconds:


So why did this technique not work when I was out in the woods with 14 Coast Guard cadets and one Coast Guard officer instructor looking on?
 - I'm wondering if it was the cold. The day was about 10 degrees with a slight breeze although we had a huge tarp overhead.
 - Did I not crush the tablets fine enough the first time? I thought I did.
 - Was the gaze of my awe-struck, although somewhat bemused, audience just way to scary for the chemical reaction to occur correctly?

You decide......
However, I have now learned that this does work, and I have also learned to never offer a presentation without first practicing it.
 :whistle:
I take people way out into the woods and then do things with them.

SHUT UP AND POST  :P