Man Made Tinder

This blog is in no way sending the message that any of the man-made tinder out there are not good or not useful because it would not be true! They all are!

There are tons of great ideas for man-made tinder invented by different people.

I always use to carry some type of man-made tinder. Especially my amazing cotton balls. Here is a short demonstration (if you’re interested)  in this VIDEO.

But through the years I was getting kind of lazy making them 🙁 I know… not a good thing!

One day I was looking at this empty waterproof match container, its very well known through the bushcraft community.

And Boom!! EUREKA!!! Solved my little problem.

I decided I would use this simple waterproof container (which is small, sturdy and easy to carry) and just fill it up with Vaseline.

We all know that this petroleum based product burns very well. So instead of using it with man-made materials why not use it with natural materials.

The truth is that no matter what natural materials you use, even when wet, all you need to do is just mix it with the Vaseline and it’s a done deal. The Vaseline will start easily when mixed with a fibrous type of material, even when wet or I should say damp. Your main fire will probably have time to start just with the Vaseline burning. Once the Vaseline is burnt out your tinder will usually be dry enough (because of the time the Vaseline took to burn) to continue burning and get your precious fire going.

One problem fixed. I just carry Vaseline now in this simple container whenever I am in the bush.

 Vaseline can also be used for other things, here are a few:

  1. When your feet are dry and seem to want to crack. Put some on your feet before going to bed, put on your socks and they should be a little softer the next day.
  2.  Apply it to your lips. This acts as a moisturizer for dry, chapped lips.
  3. Protects skin exposed to adverse weather.
  4. It will help remove sticky pitch (from trees) from your hands.
  5. Can also be used to protect leather and softens it. It also protects wood. Keeps moisture out of it. Also prevents your steel from rusting.
  6. When applied under the eyes it can be used to prevent dirt or sand from getting in and irritating the eye.
  7. Put it on scrapes and cuts to use as a barrier to keep moisture out.
  8. It helps to heal minor burns and rashes.
  9. When placed under the nose, Vaseline can help minimize allergies by trapping pollen before it enters the nostrils. Note: DO NOT apply Vaseline to the insides of the nose due to the risk of lipoid pneumonia. Using petroleum jelly on the skin should be used in small doses when needed. It can block your skin from “breathing”.
  10. It helps heal poison ivy lesions.
  11. It is also a great firestarter.

Anyway I heard once that there are 101 uses for Vaseline! Talk about versatility.

I will stick to this smaller list thank you!

Well there you go my bushcraft friends……Hope this was helpful.



14 thoughts on “Man Made Tinder

  1. Nice tip. Was using the vaseline and cotton balls as well. Thanks for all you do for us.

    Tip for the website: Even though the pictures are in jpg format, you may want to try shrinking them a bit because they take a long time to load. For intense, the very top picture of the orange waterproof container is 1.33mb at 3072×2304 pixels. Perhaps shrink the picture to 1/3 of its current size to speed up the loading of your webpage and save on bandwidth.

    The website looks great.

  2. Congrats on the website ! It looks great..I’ve enjoyed your videos on YouTube and look forward to enjoying your web page…

    Joe D

  3. That’s a great tip. Says something about being lazy. You can come up with some creative DYI ideas.
    Love your new site! Nice addition to the videos.

  4. Mike , put a short 4″ piece of paracord with a knot in the end ,in the bottom of the plastic matchbox to help pull the cotton balls out ( one at a time>) Try it , it works great !

    Pete in Edmonton

    1. Thanks Peter, that seems to be a great idea but in my matchbox there’s only vaseline, no cotton balls. But I will be sure to try your method next time I make cotton balls, it sounds like a winner!

  5. What a great idea. I have one of these containers that came with some matches that don’t seem to work really well. Vasoline is one of my favorite fire starters. A great big jar of it for a little money goes a long way. I usually carry the pre-soaked cotton balls, but I really like this idea. A more versatile and efficient carry method. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Great idea for carrying Vaseline. I carry Vaseline and cotton balls separately in two 35MM film containers and the containers have lasted for many years. Originally I kept them in what was purely my first aid kit but eventually I amalgamated my first aid kit and my fire making kit. This way its one less thing I need to remember when I load my pack.

    Great tip! Keep up the good work!

  7. Hi,
    There are stories about people saved their eyes by applying vaseline on the eye after severe sunburn from snow blindness and welding. Its not recommended because its not sterile, but still better than going blind.


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