Do It Yourself, Fire-Starting Material

Tarlite Wax Fuel

There are probably a thousand different ways to make a fire, so the most common methods are a bit pointless to cover. This mixture is easy to make and works like a charm. It can be stored indefinately, and it can be used for more than just making a fire. You will also be using some very “uncommon” items…meaning that while scavenging for supplies at the end of society, you will certainly come across the ingredients fairly easily. Be careful though, as this is extremely flammable – don’t leave this mixture anywhere where it will be exposed to flames or sparks.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

You Will Need:

– Floor polish of any kind, or shoe polish (the tinned one). Both works very well, we just used floor polish for this example.

– Charcoal.

– Saltpeter / Potassium Nitrate. (Pharmacies are excellent for this)

– Sugar.

– Heat source.

– Spoon or mixing stick.

– Container for storage.

Tar 1

Step 1:

First things first. Take the charcoal and grind it to a powder. How you choose to do so is up to you. We personally used our mortar and pestle for this. Try to get it as fine as possible but not fine powder.

Tar 2

Step 2:

Measure out equal amounts of the powdered charcoal and floor polish. No need to be technical about this (we checked)…just try to get it as even as possible. The formula is simple: one part of each. Next, add about one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of saltpeter. At the ratio of one t/s sugar and one t/s saltpeter, we recommend two t/s of the polish and coal.

Step 3:

Now, go to your stove or hotplate and fire it up. No need to make it too hot – otherwise you’ll ignite the mixture. Take any pot, pan or heat-proof container and place it on the heat source (yes, even a can will work just fine). Add the ingredients to the container and melt them all together. Do not, we repeat, make it too hot. When you mix it, remove it from the heatsource, then return it to the heat etc. It will seem a bit of a mess, but not all useful things are pretty to look at! As you mix it, be sure to do so properly. Some of you may choose to do this outside or by wearing a respirator mask with goggles – the fumes are a little bit toxic…but you definately won’t die from it – unless you decide to huff it! We personally made this indoors, in our well-ventilated kitchen, with a fan angled towards the door…and what do you know, we’re still here!

Step 4:

When completed, you might want it to cool down a bit before transferring it to your storage container. And you’re done! Let this set overnight.

Tar 5

This delightful tar-like mixture (which we dubbed as Tarlite) is almost completed, now all that is left is the test. Yes, you can cook meat, boil water etc on a fire fueled by this, after all – this is just the fuel to get it started. If you made it properly, you don’t need to add too much of this in order to see it’s effects.

Tar 6
It burns well, but it does drip – be careful.

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