• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Video: Surefire way to start a survival fire in standing water or really wet conditions

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The more desperately you need a survival fire, the harder it will be to start one. That’s Murphy’s Law as it relates to survival fire making, and it is generally true.

Here are three common items that virtually guarantee that you can get a fire started, even under really adverse conditions. In this case, the technique is used in standing water.

by Leon Pantenburg

My go-to fire making kit has four different methods of ignition, and none of them will work in all circumstances and situations. That’s why I have four different ignition tools. (Learn which methods will work under the most extreme conditions in the ignition story.)

SurvivalCommonSense firestarter burning on snow

The cotton balls infused with petroleum jelly will  burn when the weather is wet and nasty.

This method shown in the video, using a ferrocerium rod with cotton balls infused with petroleum jelly is very reliable and time-tested. Survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt taught me this technique that adds a foil yogurt top. (You can use any piece of foil, but I like recycling whenever possible.) It boosts the efficiency tremendously and allows starting fires in extremely wet conditions.

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1 comment
  • Chris Green

    Thanks for an Interesting read,I used to teach survival and wilderness skills as part of a training programme and to wilderness guides. Kind of like reviewing my old notes! I have to agree on the mylar blanket critique for the same reasons. It is no shelter material at all in southern African bushveld or the kalahari desert.One place it can have a job is in a first aid kit to keep injured places warm I once used on to increase the insulation of a 7day freezer system by glueing a thin blue hiking matrass over the out side and then the mylar on top of that with contact glue. I did that indoors way from breezes! we opened the room up afterwards all food was wrapped in newsprint and packed inside shrink wrap along with layered day by day meal plans. we had the entire packed freezer frozen down to -18degrees C in a meat plant. It worked a treat we still had frozen drinks on the 5th day! The petroleum gel and cotton balls is another absolutely reliable fire source. Every kit bag has an old 35mm film cannister fire starter kit in it. i carry several ways of starting fires but also use the old friction drill stick technique that the Khoisan have used here for 190 000 years..It works!

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