Fat Rope Stick

Discussion in 'Fire' started by CharClothed, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. CharClothed

    CharClothed Supporter Supporter

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  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I had seen it a while back but have forgotten about it.
     
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  3. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Supporter Supporter

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    I've seen it a few times but never tried it. I don't have many issues lighting fires and if for some reason I do I already have some very reliable fire starters.
     
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  4. svh

    svh Supporter Supporter

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    I received 2, or 3 in a mystery package I won in an auction from @mainewoods, but I haven't tried them yet. More to come in a few days, after I run some up the flagpole !
     
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  5. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I've used it a bunch. Basically cotton rope saturated with a proprietary blend of paraffin wax. I have the sticks in a fire kit and a tin of bits.

    I used a bunch when I taught my girls' girl scout troop to make fires. Works a charm.
     
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  6. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    One could make their own llifetime supply with a cotton mop head and some big candles bought at the dollar store. Melt candles, dip mop strings, put away for later use. They work great. I used them til I discovered the magic of fatwood of which I have a local supply that will last me well into the afterlife. Maybe I can instruct the family to make a large funeral pyre from my fatwood stash to cremate my body? Might need a special permit...
     
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  7. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    I've seen it before. It's a novel but expensive non-essential item imo, when there's natural resources ( lightr'knot) galore in my A.O.
    Dom.....
     
  8. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    I have several tins of the bits and used them recently to help start a bonfire. Works great for someone not inclined to make their own. I've got several of the bits/pieces stashed in each of my fire kits because, once frayed, the individual strands catch a spark and light quite easily and it lasts long enough to light other dry pieces of tinder. It's another tool in the bag, in my case. I MUCH prefer it to PJ & cotton balls as it's far less messy.
     
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  9. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Supporter Supporter

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    I bought some out of curiosity but I'm not overly impressed with it. I haven't finished testing yet but I think there are better products on the market. I'll be making a full review video comparing it to other fire starters. I'll also be testing just how water proof the product is side by side to other fire starters and natural materials such as fatwood and birch bark. I won't just test if it burns I'll test how well it actually lights a fire using less than ideal materials.
     
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  10. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    PJ and cotton are fine for me and have the same properties ,plus the PJ has other valued uses as well as cotton.
    Much if my gear has multiple uses. and of those that do I cary enough to compensate .
     
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  11. Rarrapuda

    Rarrapuda Supporter Supporter

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    I have used it before and it works but I can't help but feel that it is quite gimmicky. I mean, you could essentially make it yourself for way less or just go the PJ and cotton balls route. Much better options out there if you need something like this...

    I guess the same guy/company just came out when a newer version that is not a rope anymore, it's more like a wood substance called FOG-H77A. It is supposed to be "super fatwood" but I haven't heard much about it.
     
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  12. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Supporter Supporter

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    I've done my testing and I think it's way more of gimmick than it is practical. It stood up to the water proof claim no probelem but it doesn't put out a ton of heat for a long time so I find myself needing more than I should if I want to get damp materials lit. I don't like how hard it is to cut and the long prep time compared to other fire starters. I'm going to stick with fatwood since it sold up to the same torture tests and preformed better.
     
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  13. Roughneck

    Roughneck Tracker

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    If you melt paraffin or wax with petroleum jelly you get something that is softer than wax and not as messy as PJ. I melt a 13 oz container of PJ with 4-8 oz of paraffin and wax then pour the mixture into a gallon zip top bag that has about 125 cotton balls in it. I squeeze out the air so the CBs will become saturated. The CBs will soak up the mixture and you just have to keep it from pooling while it is still liquid. Once it has cooled a little let some air back in and just tumble them every couple of minutes to keep the mixture from pooling. You do this a few times and you get a feel for how much tumbling you have to do.

    Each of the cotton balls will burn for about 10 minutes, but if you have prepped your fire right you may only need a small piece of the CB. Just pull out a chunk so the fine cotton fibers are exposed and they will take a spark or a flame very easily. Even the sparker part of a depleted BIC lighter puts out enough spark to light one of these.
     
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  14. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Supporter Supporter

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    Great tip. I usually just use fatwood but this sounds like a good thing for beginners.
     
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  15. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Thank you for taking the plunge with this test so we all don't have to!

    I agree with fatwood. I have a philosophy about carry tinder: I don't buy stuff just to burn it if I need something else to light it. Much better to just forage or come up with something from stuff you have around the house. I won't buy petroleum jelly just to start fires with it. I won't buy towels just to make char cloth. I won't buy makeup pads and wax just to combine the 2. I have my wife put her used makeup pads in a ziploc and use the remnants of scented candles so keep them from the landfill. I'll make char cloth out of old ragged clothes that my kids have destroyed and can't be repaired. I do regular fatwood hunting and use the less good stuff and outside scrapings from cleaning to start my fireplace and grill. I will carry 1 small super saturated stick if I need to use it in the woods. I usually end up not using it and returning home with my pack full of fatwood I scrounged while camping.

    No matter how much fatwood I burn, my stockpile keeps growing! I guess that is what GAWs are for.

    For those in climates where there is no fatwood, there is usually something that is great for starting fires. In the SE, we have fatwood, in the North there is birch bark, in the desert SW, they have the best friction fire materials in the world! I like foraging for fire materials. You learn more about your AO and become more proficient at starting fires.

    (But don't take stupid risks. Novices and experts alike bring a backup foolproof fire kit for that "just in case" moment.)
     
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  16. Roughneck

    Roughneck Tracker

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    I use this same mixture with other things other than cotton balls. Cotton lamp wick, full rolls of jute twine, cotton makeup pads, etc. With the jute twine, the fine stuff is $2 for a 190 foot roll. I just submerge it in the mixture until all the bubbles quit and then pull it out and let it cool. You can pull a length out from the center of the roll of whatever length you desire, fluff it up and hit it with a spark or flame. Works pretty well and gives you lots of fires for not much money.

    What I described with the cotton balls works out to about $0.04 per cotton ball made and that includes the cost of the zip top bag.
     
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  17. curtiseddie

    curtiseddie Tracker

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    Thank you for the reviews. I had added this to my list for stocking stuffers. I might reconsider.
     
  18. trad_bowhunter1965

    trad_bowhunter1965 Tracker

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    I just ordered some can come in handy.
     
  19. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    I enjoy mine. Yes, you can make your own, but I don't feel the price is out of the realm of reasonable for how infrequently I use it.
     
  20. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Supporter Supporter

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    I got a tip on prepping this. What I was doing was cutting straight down to cut off a chunk then untwisting and fluffing the fibers. I found this very time consuming and requiring fine motor skills. Which adds a level of difficulty when its cold. What was recommended to me was shaving off the end as if you were chamfering the end of a stick. This makes the process much faster since its semi fluffing the tinder as you go and its much easier to cut. I still stand by my thoughts on that it doesn't put out much heat as other fire starters.
     

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