Fire Starter Test – thus it begins

posted in: Fire, Preparations | 0

I finally have a working thermometer and thermocouple that can read up to 1300C, so the fire starter test is beginning in earnest. I know, I know, how much more exciting can I get than a firestarter test? It is almost like watching paint dry! Hopefully someone else will find something useful in the piles of information I end up with.

I will try each test 3-5 times, depending on how long each one takes. I hope to do several at once. The idea of the test is to figure out the optimal fire starter when you want to just be able to light a fire with minimum fuss. As such, anything that cannot be done to the fire starter with my bare hands (shaving fatwood, etc.) will not be considered as part of the test unless it was already prepared. Maybe I’ll get more complicated in the next round. I am going to try to keep the firestarters roughly the same size, so accurate comparisons can be made.

Here are the tests I will be performing:

-Number of firesteel strikes to ignite fire starter
-Seconds a lighter needs to be held to the fire starter to ignite
-Same as two above, but after fire starter has been left in water overnight
-Seconds fire starter stays lit with zero intervention (flame)
-Seconds fire starter stays lit with stoking, turning, blowing, etc. (flame)
-Seconds fire starter stays lit with zero intervention (smolder)
-Seconds fire starter stays lit with stoking, turning, blowing, etc. (smolder)
-Min/Max temperature at regular intervals on all tests

Here are the fire starters I have to test:

-Coghlan’s Waterproof Fire Sticks
-EZ Fire Fire starter
-Coghlan’s Fire Lighters
-Ozark Trails Fire Starters
-Petroleum Jelly soaked cotton balls
-Firestraws (above in a straw)
-UCO 9 Hour Candles
-Starter Logg Wood Fire Starter
-Tinder-Quik
-Mautz Fire Ribbon
-Coghlan’s Emergency Tinder
-Lightnin’ Bug Fire Starters
-Coghlan’s Fire Paste
-Solid fatwood
-Fatwood shavings
-Fatwood dust
-Wax mixed with sawdust
-Wax coated newspaper
-Wax coated dryer lint

That’s a lot of crap! If anyone else wants anything else tested that is easily either procured or made, just let me know, and I will include it. Also, if there are any other reasonable tests that you want to see, I will try to include those as well. Expect a crapload of pictures, maybe some videos, and data in Excel if anyone wants to play with it.

So, how obvious is it that I like to play with fire?