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Creek Walker Creek Walker is offline 6 Boys and 13 Hands Join Date: Dec 2008 Location: Southeastern Illinois

Posts: 6,344 Thanks: 3,871 Thanked 12,112 Times in 3,780 Posts Default Well it's not Esbit tabs but a way to make your own Sterno. How to Make "Sterno " A solid camping fuel like Sterno or Magic Heat was discovered several years ago wh en a group of campers forgot to pack fuel for their camp stove. Because the area prohibited use of campfires, the campers needed to use an alternative fuel sour ce. One of the campers made a gel that they could use as a solid fuel. To make t his gel, chalk was crushed and mixed with vinegar. The resulting mixture was fil tered through a napkin and the liquid collected was heated using a solar reflect or. Some rubbing alcohol was poured into the solution to form a gel which burned . You can repeat this process and make their own gelled fuel at home with alcohol and calcium acetate (C4H6CaO4). Either methanol or ethanol can be used for fuel. Calcium acetate (C4 H6CaO4) can be purchased or made by slowly dissolving calcium carbonate (eggshel ls or chalk) in vinegar, filtering, and allowing to dry Here's how to do it Step 1: Place about 1 oz. of chalk (or egg ind to small pieces. Transfer chalk to pint container and add 4 What s Happening: A reaction between chalk acid, dilute) to produces carbon dioxide, water and calcium shells) in a mortar and pestle and gr oz of vinegar. Stir for 5 minutes. (calcium carbonate) and vinegar (acetic acetate

Step 2: Pour the chalk-vinegar mixture into the funnel lined with a coffee filte r and collect the liquid in a pint container. What s Happening: Filtration of unreacted chalk from the mixture to leave a soluti on of calcium acetate in water Step 3: Pour 2 oz of the liquid into the dish. Gently heat the dish with a Bunse n burner until the volume is reduced by half. Turn off burner and allow concentrated solution to cool. What s Happening: Removal of excess water will concentrate the calcium acetate in the solution Step 4: Add 1 oz. of alcohol to liquid in dish. DO NOT STIR! The gel should form rapidly. Pour off any excess alcohol. What s Happening: Mixing alcohol with calcium acetate will form the gel fuel I have not made this yet but I have a whole bag of egg shells saved up. Read more at xSyler.99

=========================================== These cotton fire-starting wafers are much easier to make, safer to stash in an emergency kit or go bag, and all you need to make them is a candle and some cosm etic cotton pads from your local drug store or pharmacy. Making the wafers is easy: just put the candle into a pan you don't mind getting some wax in, and turn up the heat, low and slow. Wait until you have about an 1 /8 to 1/4-inch of liquid wax in the bottom of the pan. Then use some tweezers or tongs to put a few cotton pads at the bottom of the pan, all in one layer so th ey don't overlap. In a few seconds, they'll absorb a good bit of the wax, but ju st enough to coat the outside. Take them out and let them cool on a sheet of wax paper completely before tossing them into a zipper bag. That's all there is to it. Popular Mechanics says that a cotton ball smeared with Vaseline or ChapStick is "a foolproof fire starter." The Vaseline works as your Read The next time you need to start a fire quickly, just grab one of the pads, tear it open partially to expose the cotton fibers inside, and light it up. You'll ge t a slow-burning fire-starter that won't go out before the rest of your kindling has caught on too. ------------------I just tried smearing some vaseline into the center of a cotton pad and folding it over like a taco. It lit instantly and burned for about 5 minutes. Much less mess than the cotton balls. ------------------Very cool idea, my problem with all the wax based ones are that they melt togeth er in my camping gear / go bag. Once you get above 100 degrees they all melt int o a mass. Just stack them with an extra pad between each. Anything that melts just pulls o ff and leaves the other fibers. Probably quicker to light as well. 6/21/12 9:29am