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Making cheap multipurpose tinder part 1
Phil Rose   

Making a multipurpose tinder for starting a campfire is surprisingly easy to do. There are many items on the market that are available for purchase, but they are only good for their intended purpose, starting fires. In my personal opinion, buying something to burn is the same as burning money! Now that being said, these are not exactly free, but they are extremely cheap to make and you probably already own the necessary materials. In this article, we are going to be talking about making tinder out of nothing but cotton balls and petroleum jelly. I'm not going to say that these are the "best" or that they are "fool proof", but I have never found anything that comes close to the usefulness and practicality of these. Any time you are in the woods, it is nice to have items that will serve more than one purpose. Sense these are made from petroleum jelly; you can use them for chaped skin, waterproofing and lubrication; just to name a few different uses.

Before we get started, let's gather the necessary materials:

    A can of petroleum jelly.

    A bag of small cotton balls (must be cotton balls, not a pad or synthetic material).

    A tong depressor, popsicle stick or plastic utensil (it is just for mixing them together).

    A film can or plastic match safe for storage.

Once you have gathered everything, it's time to get started. Take a cotton ball and place it in the jar of petroleum jelly. Take the tong depressor (or other mixing tool) and push the cotton ball into the jelly, then mix it around. Try to get an fairly even coat on the outside of the cotton ball. You do not want to get the petroleum jelly on the inside of the cotton ball. I'll explain why latter.

After you have finished a few of these, pack them into whatever container you want to transport them in. I always recommend that this container is then placed in a "Zip Lock" type bag. This is very important if you will be carrying these in warm weather or to higher elevations. I stress this, because I have opened my pack, only to find melted petroleum jelly leaking out. It makes for a real mess!

Click here to read part 2.