Creating Fire, Wilderness Survival

How To Make Petroleum Jelly Cotton-Ball Fire Starters

POSTED: January 28th, 2013, LAST UPDATED: December 13th, 2013

Cotton-balls are good to use as a tinder material. They catch a spark and light easily. The problem is they burn out really quickly, which can make starting a fire in less than ideal conditions difficult…

Don’t disregard cotton balls though, because if you add some petroleum jelly to them, you then get the best of both worlds. It takes a spark and lights easily AND it burns for around five minutes, which is more than enough time to get a fire going in most situations.

All in all, taking into consideration cost and ease of use, I would say that (pre-made) petroleum jelly cotton-balls are just about the best thing you can put in your pack to help you start a fire in the wilderness.

You likely have cotton-balls and petroleum jelly in the house right now, so why not go and make some and put them in your pack, so you have them ready. You’ll be so glad to find them there if you are ever out in the rain desperately trying to start a fire…

The video shows how to make the cotton-ball fire starters, without making a complete mess. They also compare them against plain cotton-balls showing how long each lasts. You’re talking around 10 seconds verses 5 minutes.