By February 1, 2012

Burn-O-Ball Update

Almost four years ago I wrote about how to make “Burn-O-Balls,” simple firestarters constructed of a cotton ball and petroleum jelly. They seemed like a cost effective alternative to the similar objects that were packed in with my Spark-Lite lighter.

I made a bunch, and put them in my home emergency kit, my car kit, and my motorcycle kit.

I pretty much forgot about them, until a former co-worker suggested we have a marshmallow cookout on his last day. I dug some out of my kit at home, and thought I’d give them a try.

They’d been sealed in a Ziploc bag for about four years. I wondered if they would still work.

In short, it sparked up and lit on the first try.

To be honest, it worked so well that it was a touch anti-climatic. I expected it to at least take a few snaps of the Spark-Lite.

Bottom line: Burn-O-Balls are good to go. I may remove the bag I have in my kit just to try them out every two years or so. Kind of like a time capsule. With fire.

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