Who Knows The Council Fire Secret?

#11
WARNING SPOILER!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully not killing the Tooth Fairy

I was "Firestarter" for a YMCA Indian Guides group for a couple of years. It is only against the council rules to reveal the firestarting secrets to people under the age of 21. One fire start involves 2 wires, a 9 volt battery, a model rocket ignitor, a dixie cup full of black powder and a liberal amount of liquid vitamin K (low volatility, no flash) poured over the logs to be ignited. Use your imagination.

Then there's glycerin and a powder that shall remain nameless. Mixing the two creates a pretty good burn (after a respectable delay for beating drums). And finally, sulfuric acid and another nameless powder mixed with sugar. Acid on powder = gunpowder like fire flashover immediately.

All three methods create a very impressive amount of thick white smoke (the blackpowder version also creates an 8 foot column of fire first if the dixie cup is inside a K soaked toilet paper roll, which is in turn inside a coffee can)

If anyone has a legitimate use for these recipes I can provide them with the proper information.
 
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Al Rosen

Holed-up in a Hotel in South Florida
Staff member
Super Moderator
#12
Icy Mountain said:
I was "Firestarter" for a YMCA Indian Guides group for a couple of years. It is only against the council rules to reveal the firestarting secrets to people under the age of 21. One fire start involves 2 wires, a 9 volt battery, a model rocket ignitor, a dixie cup full of black powder and a liberal amount of liquid vitamin K (low volatility, no flash) poured over the logs to be ignited. Use your imagination.

Then there's glycerin and a powder that shall remain nameless. Mixing the two creates a pretty good burn (after a respectable delay for beating drums). And finally, sulfuric acid and another nameless powder mixed with sugar. Acid on powder = gunpowder like fire flashover immediately.

All three methods create a very impressive amount of thick white smoke (the blackpowder version also creates an 8 foot column of fire first if the dixie cup is inside a K soaked toilet paper roll, which is in turn inside a coffee can)

If anyone has a legitimate use for these recipes I can provide them with the proper information.
This info is readily available on the web.
 
#13
Al Rosen said:
This info is readily available on the web.
Make sure you double check any recipe with an experienced starter and/or multiple sources. I have seen reliable websites with incorrect ingredients for some of these starts. Changing and "ate" to "ide" suffix on some of the ingredients changes the result from entertaining pyrotechnics to a poison cloud.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#14
Icy Mountain said:
Changing and "ate" to "ide" suffix on some of the ingredients changes the result from entertaining pyrotechnics to a poison cloud.
I can think of occasions when a combination in the order given might be nice. :lol:
 
D

David Hartman

#15
Icy Mountain said:
Make sure you double check any recipe with an experienced starter and/or multiple sources. I have seen reliable websites with incorrect ingredients for some of these starts. Changing and "ate" to "ide" suffix on some of the ingredients changes the result from entertaining pyrotechnics to a poison cloud.
I can remember as a kid mixing glycerin with one of the "ate"s and burning a hole in my aunts kitchen table. I had actually seen this concoction first used on Mr. Wizard - but must have missed some of the warnings. Just think what our kids are missing out on.;)
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#16
My father and I were in Indian Guides many years ago. I seem to remember he said the trick had to due with a flash bulb which had its protective cover removed (exposing the filament). I suppose though that flash bulbs are hard to come by these days:(
 
#17
Steve Prevette said:
My father and I were in Indian Guides many years ago. I seem to remember he said the trick had to due with a flash bulb which had its protective cover removed (exposing the filament). I suppose though that flash bulbs are hard to come by these days:(
Yes, but rocket motor ignitors and black powder aren't.;) -Icy
 
R

raito

#18
It was generally thought at the 2009 reunion that no one alive knows the secret. Apparently, Coach knew it and passed it to Hal Tonkins. The medicine men never knew the secret.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#19
I'm *WAITING*!!!

But - You had to have been there to see it. It was like a streak of fire (as I remember like a small fireball) out of the sky, right to the set (ready to be lit) campfire.
 
G

GeorgeH

#20
May we remember that there were two kinds of council fire lightings. . . .the one that remains a mystery to most of us happened as "Coach" beat the Tom-Tom faster and faster until a little smoke erupted from the unlight fire and it mysteriously burst into flame. In my time (1952-55) usually the last council fire of the season was lighted by "fire from Heaven" where a fine wire was attached to the assembled firewood - the other end high in a tree back of the Tee-Pee. A trusted older camper shot a flaming arrow down the wire into the fire. Many of us were able to see through this technique as a sharp eye could see the wire as the flaming arrow shot downward toward the assembled firewood. I expect some kerosene was used as an accelerant. I seem to remember that a flaming, kerosene soaked roll of toilet paper was attached to the arrow. George Hausser 1952-55
 
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