|Cotton balls, petroleum jelly and a magnesium stick are good firestarting choices!|
Criteria to be tested were: ease of operation, ability to use one-handed (in the event of an injury), reliability, widespread availability, durability, practicality and ease of carry. We ruled out any items that seemed to rely on expensive, gee-whiz technology.
Over the course of the next several months, we laboriously tested and re-tested conventional firemaking methods. When something showed promise after initial testing, we turned the scouts loose on it. If the method survived the torture test, we’d ask average outdoors people to try and then comment on the materials.
Here’s what we found: