Instafire $1 fire starter

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Bushcraft-kelso, May 28, 2018.

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  1. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I got to play with some of this instafire fire started on my Outting. IMG_20180527_180608.jpg this stuff is $1 at Wally world. I have seen this many times and wanted to see what it's all about. IMG_20180527_180748.jpg well the package claimed it could do some pritty awesome stuff! Float and burn on water!! Well y'all know I'm gonna try that... IMG_20180527_181135.jpg Placed on the leaf to keep it from separating on the water. Lit with a lighter instantly. Burn time.. about 12 seconds. Pritty much when it burnt through the leaf.. it went out pritty fast. Then wouldn't relight even when moved around with a stick. So it will float on something and burn, I have to see if just the materials will float and burn. A piece of fatwood floating on something will burn on water too.
    IMG_20180527_181951.jpg I tried out the claim that it would light wet wood. I used green maple twigs to try and get a fire started with this instafire.. it burnt about 2 minutes and went out but could stir and reignite. Didn't ignite any of the twigs ( don't think it will do well on actual "wet wood" but I tried green wood so I could be wrong.
    I used this to start my main fire with dry wood and it worked very well, it did float and burn for a short time but didnt do well on wet wood. Expect more information when I get afew more bags. So far it's not living up to some of its claims..
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  2. Midwest.Bushlore

    Midwest.Bushlore Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I tried a couple bags of it too. Overall I think it does more or less what it's supposed to and it's cool to see it float and burn! But I'm not really seeing much advantage over my normal tinders (eg ESBIT, fatwood, etc). It's a tad harder to light with a spark than Tinder-Quik although it's easily lit with a match. Not bad but not really necessary IMO.
     
  3. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I agree it will start a fire and float and burn, just not for that long. But it will successfully start a fire. I would like to try it in the rain, and in a tinder bundle.
    Also I would like to better measure and time the actual burn time because I'm sure I used way more than I was supposed to which I don't really think that would affect how long it would burn unless it doesn't get good airflow or something.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  4. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    I can't quite tell but it looks like a bag of granular material?

    Did you happen to see the episode of Shark Tank when it is featured?
     
  5. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I think if someone were to disregard the claims that it makes on the bag and use it within common sense circumstances I think that this stuff wouldn't be a bad alternative.
    After I play with it more I'll be able to give a better verdict. It worked fantastic on dry wood, and the weight to number of fires one could build could make this good for minimalist packs. Tho it's hard to beat a wet fire tab. I wonder how well it compares to good ole PJ cotton balls.
     
  6. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    @Pastor Chris
    I didn't see the episode ( I haven't had cable in 10 years )
    The material has the appearance of crumbled styrofoam with a green tint, and the weight is about the same too
     
  7. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    That would be a very interesting shoot out!
     
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  8. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Oh it's going to happen! I think PJ-balls has about the same burn time as it's claim for a 1/8th of a cup. Next trip to town I'll restock! I ordered a $13 knife I have to pick up this week anyway!
     
  9. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter

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    My son bought a couple of bags of this for me for Christmas last year. I used mism of one bag making fire in the woodstove.

    Worked good, but it is what it is. :)
     
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  10. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Guide

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    A decent review showing Instafire against some others -

    Part 1 -


    Part 2 -
     
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  11. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Well it's shoot out time!
    It's been raining all week and I was thinking the wet wood claim would be best tested today. But which will do better.. Tried and true PJ cotton balls.. or insta fire!
     
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  12. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    IMG_20180602_160002.jpg one PJ cotton ball.. 6 minutes or flame and 2 minutes of an ember before it was totally out. IMG_20180602_160642.jpg insta fire got 3 minutes of flame before it went out, I gave it a poke with my finger and it relit, burnt another minute and a half went out again. Probably could have mixed it and went again. But for the sake of simplicity.. pj cotton balls gets the win on this for straight burn time.
    I gave both the same environment, and a good fire lay to keep it off the earth. The one thing that insta fire has going for it is the amount of surface area the flame is in contact with on the tinder bundle/ fuel it's self. One can make a long line and the flame hits alot more fuel. Where the pj ball ( if only one ) is in one spot.
     
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  13. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I wanted to give the " lights wet wood " a shot. So I went twig bundles from privet hedge that was laying all over the ground in the area from when I cleared some out a while back, all was cut in the same day and been in the same area being rained on this week. IMG_20180602_161949.jpg They both are pritty close to the same size and tied with honeysuckle vine. IMG_20180602_162215.jpg you can see here the difference in the size of the flame between the two. pj ball is on the right. IMG_20180602_162308.jpg different angle here now pj ball is on the left. This is 1 minute in.. pritty good smoke very little fire. IMG_20180602_163154.jpg by 2 minutes the instafire took the lead flames looked pritty strong. IMG_20180602_163329.jpg by the 3 minute mark the insta fire had went out and the Pj balls were still kicking. IMG_20180602_163347.jpg for the sake of this test I did not relight the instafire, the pjball was rocking by this point and I went ahead and added the fuel from the instafire bundle to the pjball fire. IMG_20180602_163717.jpg the instafire reignited for a short period of time after moving the fuel. I'm thinking when I moved it around some embers got on some fresh stuff. In my experience today the PJ balls whipped the instafire pritty good lighting a wet twig bundle.
    The twig bundles were as close to the same as I think one could get gathering from the bush. Same species, probably the same moisture content. Been on the ground the same amount of time.
    What killed the instafire is it burns on the top, leaving the lower granuals un burnt. If agrivated they will reignite easily, but it's hard to stir tinder while keeping your fuel where it needs to be. In a situation when it really mattered what if you accidentally done something while moving your fuel to stir ? Anywho! As of this test against PJ balls.. in this situation Pj balls worked better.
    I'll try now to start a wet fire by whatever meens nessasary with the instafire.
     
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  14. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  15. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    That looks like a solid shootout and definitive results. Well done!
     
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  16. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    @Bushcraft-kelso Wow, thanks for a very definitive comparison! You did it pretty scientifically, keeping conditions and materials equal. It's one thing to try one or the other, then in a different situation try one or the other.
     
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  17. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I wanted it to be as legit as I could make it. If I kept the things I can control as identical as I could I thought it would make for a more "fair" shootout! I still have some other things I want to try, next is with a fire starter we collect from nature herself. Keep y'all posted!
     
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  18. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  19. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    From the MSDS for instafire, it is paraffin, wood pellets and perlite.


    No hazardous Ingredients, as defined by OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

    Chemical Names: Normal Paraffin Wax

    Paraffin wax blend

    Wood Pellets

    Perlite”


    https://www.instafire.com/pages/product-safety

    And, after seeing the face on the website, I would throw it away if you gave it to me. :14:
     
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  20. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Giving it's cost of $1 package says "lights 4 fires" if one goes to the dollar store.. spends $2 on a bag of cotton balls and a tub of petroleum jelly.. lights 200 fires..
     
  21. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I do like the idea of fiddling with whipped paraffin though. My Mom used to make fancy candles using whipped paraffin as an outer coating. It is like wax meringue. Might be fun to fiddle with.
     
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