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Making cheap multipurpose tinder part 2|
Now it's time to test the tinder. First, make sure that you have a fire extinguisher nearby. Then take a one of the pieces of tinder that you have prepared and place it in a pie plate or similar container away from other flammable materials. Next, use a couple of sticks to "tear" the tinder apart to expose the dry center. This is why you don't want to get the petroleum jelly inside the cotton ball. It works best if there is some dry cotton inside. So, once the inside is exposed, it is time to light it. This can be done with a lighter, matches, a fire steel or many other ways. In order to get it lit, you have to direct the spark or flame into the center, where the dry cotton is. Once you have flame, carefully roll the sides of the tinder back towards the center. This type of tinder works just like a candle. The cotton ball is the wick and the petroleum jelly is the wax. If you don't roll the edges back towards the center, you will be just burning the "wick" and it will burn out quickly.
One attribute to this tinder that sets it apart from anything else is its stickiness. It allows you to make a fire tepee (or another style) without having to have the tinder directly inside. I have found that it is easier to just stick the tinder on a stick or piece of bark and then light it. Once you have a good flame, you can then place it under the rest of your wood.
There are many different variations of this technique that have been around for years. Try this for yourself and see how you like it. Just remember to light the dry cotton and not the part that is covered in petroleum jelly. I am confident that you will like the way these work. The one that I burned for the pictures stayed lit for almost nine minutes.