Get new VR Troopers fire-starting lumps- with extra UGLY!

Seriously. This isn’t a product review as much as product instructions.

You like campfires? Me, too. Do you like nice, roasty toasty campfires when you’re expected to be the boy scout that starts ’em? Everyone looking over your shoulder and asking if you know what you’re doing, and offering advice “Blow on it!” “No, fan it softly!” “Pile the sticks like a TeePee!” “No, like a log cabin!” Not so much, right?

Okay. You have a dryer? If you do, then you have dryer lint. You know what dryer lint is good for? Burning down your house. Google it. Lots of stories about houses burning down involving dryer lint.

Know what happens when you try to use dryer lint as your tinder? (Just to backtrack- when you’re building a fire, you start with Tinder- the tiny stuff that burns easily) The lint will burn too fast and won’t have time to get the kindling going (the kindling is the larger, yet still smallish, slightly harder to burn twigs and junk. You know that.) So, bottom line, you can burn down a whole house with some dryer lint, but starting a fire on purpose is tricky. Damn it, isn’t that just the way?

So what to do with the tons of dryer lint that your dryer supplies you with? What’ll make it GOOD dryer lint? I’ll tell you what. Paraffin. Yep. Wax. You know why candle wicks (string, for heaven’s sake) don’t burn away and leave a little wax tube? ‘Cause the wax won’t let it.

So you go to the hobby store. You get some blocks of paraffin. You get a couple of pans you will never want for anything ever again. And, depending on the instructions that come with the blocks of paraffin, you melt that stuff.

I used a sort of idiot’s version of a double boiler, melted my paraffin, and started tearing up my dryer lint (saved for months and months, so I had PLENTY) and chucking it right into that hot paraffin. I mixed it around til it started getting sluggish, then carefully started burning my fingers by pulling out bits and shaping it into slugs or briquettes, or lumps or lozenges or whatever you’d like to call them.

And when you’re starting a fire, you no longer have to look for tinder, just for kindling and fuel (fuel is the log you’ll eventually stare at for hours). You still need a lighter, but you won’t have to singe your fingers holding the lighter to damp leaves and pine needles and other rotten tinder that’s not worth singed fingers. You light a lump and set your kindling on top while it merrily sizzles along.

Because my lumps were going into some sandwich baggies inexplicably printed with ‘Saban’s VR Troopers’, my fire lumps became ‘new VR Troopers fire-starting lumps- with extra UGLY!’

They are ugly, too. But most of them (some don’t have quite the amount of dryer lint/dog hair you’d like to have for fire building) catch fire quickly and burn a good long while. Plenty long enough for you to figure out what you’re doing wrong and fix it before the lazy eyes of your fire-greedy co-campers.

Try it. Make you some ugly fire-lumps and keep them in the bottom of your pack for that damp day when you’ll be very, very glad to have them.

Oh, and if the title here or the dryer lint/dog hair comment earlier wasn’t a tip off, these things are not the most aromatic things in the world when aflame. Not that I’m advocating scented paraffin, either, mountain man.