Backpack Must Have – Wax Cotton Balls – Prepper Bushcraft HD

Home Emergency Preparedness Backpack Must Have – Wax Cotton Balls – Prepper Bushcraft HD
Published on July 24, 2016

Today we show you how to make your own wax cotton balls for fire starting. We discuss how to use them and why every Prepper and Bushcrafter should have them.

Colhane (Mac) and Giutoniolo are credited with being the first that we have seen to use and show the wax balls. They have some great videos!

Colhane’s Channel:

Giutoniolo’s Channel:


  1. You can use chapstick or any petroleum jelly. But if you run out all these store bought, then scrap a tree, your socks or jeans. Many, many things can be used. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Could dryer lint be substituted for cottonballs? For better economy?

    • Yes, I use dryer lint all the time. I keep a ziplock baggy in the cabinet next to the dryer sheets, so I can store the lint in there and eventually put a small baggy in my BoB.

  3. Does anyone know how to store the wax cotton balls for emergency use? Can I just pack them in a baggie in a cool dry place, or should they be vacuum sealed? 

  4. in the northeast we use birch bark it is the best fire starter even wet

  5. Hey guys, We never learned that in scouts, Too cool, Thanks and keep em coming.!!

  6. nick f

    never knew wax could light up until i put a shallow metal cup of it on my dads mini rocket stove

  7. Walsh

    Great video!

  8. Flex, thanks for coming by! Yes, they will absolutely heat water and will also bring it to a boil depending on your wax/cotton ratio. We consistently make them strong enough to boil a cup of water. I hope you give them a try.

  9. Will one of these burn long enough to heat a cup of water? Not boil, just heat. Great video btw, nice HQ camera

  10. Arnold, thanks for coming back and letting us know! Very glad you found a formula to work for you!

  11. Tried it again and got solid wax. soo I. tried pinching off 1/2 of the cotton ball with a pair of salad thongs.Quickly Dipped the outside 1/2 of the cotton ball in the wax and it worked great.1/2 wax and 1/2 fluff. Burned for about 4 minutes.Good idea Thanks Drifter

  12. Arnold, thanks for coming by and trying the wax ball. Just throw your solid wax ball(s) back into a double boiler then add more cotton.

  13. That is great – must have a great combination of HQ wax and cotton. Great job! Thanks for posting!

  14. Tried this. Got a solid wax ball. No soft center at all. How did u keep the center fluffy. Drifter

  15. i can get 30 minutes out of a single cotton ball and you only saturate half so you have cotton to catch flints sparks

  16. Thanks for the comment Bearded, glad you enjoyed the video! Let us know how they work out.

  17. ibboat

    Great job and awesome quality of production. I like to use jute twine to do this with also. Cb

  18. Thanks Sarge, yeah the whole box of 6 to about 60 cotton balls works nicely for our means. But honestly, we mostly eyeball it and put a little more wax in the rainy months and less in the winter months.

  19. Christian, they are called Ferro rods. A google search will provide a plethora or purchase options. They are full time carry items for us.,

  20. I was thinking of using pine sap, there is plenty here where I live. I used to burn the bottoms of my boots to remove it at work and it usually took a while to burn off. I do like the candle wax better, less sticky.
    Was that 6 candles to about 30 cotton balls? Thanks for the tip, love the videos keep them coming.

  21. brettC

    badFlippin@ss!! rah! ceep it up gents

  22. What do you call the thing you are making the spark with. Obviously, I'"m new to this.

  23. Norcal, that is awesome my friend! Thanks so much for sharing that info back with us! Glad they worked great for you and that you are adding them to your BOB.

  24. I made about a dozen wax dipped cotton balls and tried them out and they work great! They are a new addition to the fire starting kit of my B.O.B.! Thanx for the tip!!

  25. Birch Tinder works amazingly well! Great to explore all of your options! Thanks for coming by!

  26. Woolfy, there are no dumb questions my friend. Thanks for asking. We have pulled out wax balls made over 4 years ago and they light without hesitation and burn just as long. Hope you get a chance to try some out.

  27. James, that is AWESOME! If you have a camera, grab some video and we'll put it up as a video reply! Would love to see how they turned out. Getting the right mixture of cotton and wax will come with a few batches and you'll get some that take a single strike on your ferro rod and will burn for a good long time! Thanks again for letting us know !!

  28. I couldn't blow it out when it was burning and it lasted well over 4 minuets. It did take more work than I thought to fray the cotton ball but it caught on fire within ten strikes of my flint and steel.

  29. I just tried this. I used a cambles chicken noodle soup can and a electric burner that I connected to a wall outlet. I'm pretty sure I used the same candles and cotton balls from dollar tree. I used 2 candles for ten cottonballs. I

  30. Thank you Guns. Zippo's are also must haves… They run on anything flammable and after they are empty, they still throw a spark.

  31. Nice video guys. I never go anywhere without my zippo tin full of cotton balls. Mine are covered in petroleum jelly, and with a ferro rod, it offers a waterproof way of having sure fire, much like your waxed cotton. Priceless information, thanks for sharing.

  32. HJ, We used a ferro rod.They are a full-time carry for us.
    Glad you enjoyed. Make sure to pick up a ferro rod.

  33. What did you use to light the waxed cottonballs……it was so quick:-) i am not from the states where that product is maybe well known….

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