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Self-Igniting Fire Starter

By John D. McCann


Open ShotI am always on the lookout for a new fire starter, and when I find a new idea, of course I have to try it out!

Well I have found a new interesting concept and I thought I might share my attempt with it. It is a fire starter that has an ignition source, an accelerent, and fuel, all in one. And an additional benefit is they are waterproof! The idea here is to take a Strike Anywhere match, wrap it in toilet paper, and then dip it completely in paraffin.

I can’t take the credit for this idea as I saw it a few months ago on a YouTube video by the “intenseangler”. I don’t recall how I happened upon the site, as much of it has to do with fishing, but I was glad I did.

In the video, the small Strike Anywhere matches are used, which requires that the toilet paper you wrap around it be cut into thirds.  I don’t have any of the smaller Strike Anywhere matches, only the large kitchen type.  Therefore I was able to cut the toilet paper squares in half, making the Self-Igniting Fire Starter longer, and therefore larger.  It is recommended that you use a “soft” toilet paper and I used Charmin Ultra Soft, two ply, as this is all we use.

I will, as usual, use a photo format to explain what I did as it is easier to understand by seeing the process. Of course, this isn’t brain surgery, and is a pretty easy process. If you are interested in the video you can check it out at the channel indicated above.

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The first thing I did was get a double boiler going to melt some paraffin.

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I got out a box of the Large Kitchen Strike Anywhere matches.

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I cut the toilet paper squares in half using scissors.

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As you can see, the toilet paper covers all of the match stick except the head.

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You next carefully, and tightly, roll the toilet paper around the match, leaving the head sticking out.

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When the rolling is complete, make sure it is tight at both the top and the bottom of the match.

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In the original video, they showed dipping the front of the match, and then turning it around and dipping the back. I found it was best to dip the front, then lay it on a piece of aluminum foil until it dried. Then dip the back. This prevented mushing the top with the hot wax on it.

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When each one was finished, having dipped both the front and back, I laid them out on a piece of aluminum foil to let them dry hard.

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When you go to use one of these fire starters, you must first scrape the wax off the head of the match. Be careful not to scrape off the wax, as these are strike anywhere matches, and this could include striking them with a finger nail.

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The next thing you need to do is ruff up the waxed coated toilet paper just below the head of the match, getting some fibers showing. This will allow it to get started once you strike the match.

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I found that when you first lite it, hold it in your hand a spin it a little to make sure that the toilet paper has been ignited as well. It was very windy the day I tested these, so I used my other hand to block the wind from the flame until it got started.

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Once it started to burn, I leaned it on a stick so I could time the duration of the burn. I was not attempting to use it to start a fire, just determine burn time.

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Here we are at a three minute burn time and still going strong. This fire starter continued for a total of a little over seven minutes. Not bad for a little home made device!

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Of course you could store these in a match case or even a small zip lock bag. I went through my bin of misc. plastic cases and came up with this one that used to hold some type of medical Q-tips. It worked out great for holding ten of these Self-Igniting Fire Starters.

Well there you have it. An easy project for an afternoon or evening. Again, I didn’t come up with this idea, just modified the concept using larger matches. Give it a try, you might like it!

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