Now that September is coming to an end and things are starting to cool off people are starting to go camping and having bonfires. Everyone always has trouble starting a fire, i know my friends usually just throw gas on it and hope for the best, but that can be extremely dangerous and we have had more than one close call using that method. It is much better, and safer, to use some sort of fire starter and tinder to ignite a blaze then it is to use gasoline or lighter fluid. I have heard from seasoned campers that cotton balls soaked in olive oil make really good fire starters, but tend to not last very long, maybe one to two minutes, but I liked the idea so I decided to try it with coconut oil instead.
I soaked ten to fifteen cotton balls in about a table spoon of melted coconut oil and let them sit to absorb everything and dry out a bit. Once the cotton balls had some time to dry out I lit a few up and started to time how long they burned for. I was impressed, the cotton balls burned for about five minutes a piece, which is great if you are starting a fire. I would like to try doing this again with something like cotton makeup pads because I thing those could end up burning for much longer than the standard cotton balls.
When you make these cotton balls I would suggest storing them in small sealed container, I use an empty aspirin bottle. Having these cotton balls on hand while camping can be useful for more than just starting a fire, if you get any bug bites coconut oil is great for reducing the inflammation and itch, also I find that it helps removing anything sticky from your skin like sap. For other uses of coconut oil while camping I recommend taking a look at our Coconut oil Camping blog for some more useful tips and tricks.