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305 Fire Ribbon 2010-11-10

Fire Ribbon and MSR Stove

A few years back, Amy was on her annual adventure trip to North Carolina with her 6th graders. It had been damp and a fire seemed impossible. After watching the young trip leaders try unsuccessfully to start a fire, Amy went off to find better wood.

Secretly, she returned to her tent and found the Fire Ribbon in her fire kit. Taking a piece of bark, she squirted a good dose of Fire Ribbon on the wood. Returning to the smoldering group fire ring, she claimed to have found some sap on a piece of bark.

All eyes watched as she lit the Fire Ribbon. Magically, there was a flame and soon a blazing fire. That special tree sap, Fire Ribbon, really worked. Amy smiled as she reigned as the queen of the fire and all because of the magic in the tube.

I have used Fire Ribbon for years, but I am not a fire builder. I generally camp without a fire, unless my wife is along and then she builds the fire. However, the other use for Fire Ribbon is to prime a gas stove. Years ago one of my first stoves, the Svea 123, did not have a pressure pump. You had to bring extra fuel to use as a primer or use an eye dropper to take fuel from the tank - either way it was messy and could be dangerous. Someone introduced me to Fire Ribbon and suddenly the stove was easier to use. Now days, I use the Fire Ribbon to prime the MSR stoves. No more gas spilling, instead you just squirt a little (very little!) Fire Ribbon into the primer cup and ignite it. In just a short while the stove will be ready to lite and I smile, as I reign, king of the stove.

The packaging is the only thing we do not like about the Fire Ribbon. It is too heavy to take backpacking. A smaller size tube would be better. Our packing alternative is to use a plastic pill container. Fill the container with Fire Ribbon and secure the lid. A stick works well as an applicator. The Fire Ribbon does dry out after being transferred to the pill container, but should be usable for a week at least.

A word of caution, we also store Sports Slick, an anti-chafing cream, in a pill container. The two products (Fire Ribbon and Sports Slick) look very similar. It would probably be a good idea to distinctively label both containers. You wouldn't want to get them confused!

As a fire starter and a stove primer, Fire Ribbon can't be beat.

Happy camp fire trails.


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