D.I.Y. – Vaseline Coated Cotton Ball Tinder & Burn Test

Home Preppers DIY D.I.Y. – Vaseline Coated Cotton Ball Tinder & Burn Test
Published on July 2, 2016

From http://www.davidspassage.com. In this video I talk through how to make an excellent fire starting tool by coating cotton balls in petroleum jelly (AKA Vaseline). This is an excellent resource to take with you whenever you are out in the woods camping, hiking, or backpacking. In this video I also do a burn test to show how long these little buggers can actually burn. David’s Passage is a blog I started to share my love of the outdoors with whoever might be interested.


  1. This might sound stupid, but how do you make them? Do you melt the vasoline in a pan and then just dump some cotton balls in until they are soaked through, or do you just smear a glob of regular, gel-like vasoline on each cotton ball? And if you do the latter, how does it not just wipe right back off or glob together with all the other cotton balls you pack together?

  2. $2 fire makin' kit
    (excluding the ferro rod)

  3. Wow, this would have really come in handy on a few camping trips. I'll have to remember this next time we go. 

  4. The Survivor HK-106320 Outdoor Fixed Blade Knife 7 Overall WITH FIRE STARTER from Amazon has a great firestarter and the Knife is not bad at all. you can get it for about U$7

  5. Paco

    If you needed a little longer burn time for whatever reason…(wet conditions?)…I made mine by dipping half the cotton ball in melted wax, and then worked Vaseline into the other half, then wrapped it in a small square of tin foil. To test it, placed the opened foil on snow, lit the cotton ball Vaseline side up. Had flame for 13 minutes. The vaseline gets it started, the wax keeps it going, the foil protects it from dampness.

  6. Thanks for this, very useful

  7. not stupid at all 🙂 It does slow the burning WAY DOWN. It's also good to have as a first aid item.

  8. So is the vaseline there to slow down the burning of the cotton? or am i stupid

  9. I didn't. I just rubbed the Vaseline into them thoroughly. I have seen people soak them though, and I'm sure it's just as effective.

  10. OK, a simple question. Do you liquify the vaseline and let the cotton balls soak in it?

  11. I live in Michigan also, and I just carry a bandana around and collect as much as I can when I see it. Then that goes in the Molle 2. I do have a few more pines around my area, though.

  12. Pine resin is great if you know that the location you are in will have it. I'm in Michigan, and many of the places I have gone are not that consistent in scoring some good resin on the fly. A lot of hardwoods.

  13. Cool deal. Pine resin is my personal favorite fuel. I look for the really goopy stuff, pinch it with a little hole and strike with a ferresium rod I got from Dunhams. Whereabouts are you?

  14. That is a great idea! I can only tell you from experience that I have been consistently happy with these. They are always in my fire kit. I have even witnessed someone who, after preparing these, submerged the cotton ball under water and was still able to light it without a problem. The vaseline does a great job protecting the inner dry fibers from the water.

  15. Finally, YouTube fixed the reply issue! About your question… I soaked a bunch and shoved them into a plastic Mentos container about the size of a pill bottle. As they were packed together, they sorta became an amalgamated jar of Vaseline-soaked cotton. I discovered this after having them in there for six months or so. Anyways… I recently eyeballed about a cotton-ball's size and lit it up. It still burned for between 5-6 minutes. At this point, it was pretty well soaked with petroleum jelly.

  16. @zynthesis Thanks! The longest I have gone between burnings is six months, and they still performed great!

  17. Thanks for this video. Effective. Have you ever had the cotton balls sit in that jar for more then a year? Does it light if the whole cotton ball is wet of vaseline?

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