A couple weeks ago I came home from REI with a shopping bag full of old bicycle inner tubes. The bike department's manager gave them to me for free when I told him I'd like some to make ranger bands (heavy duty rubber bands). And recently, I read on the Hill People Gear website that their preferred fire starter in the field is a 1.5" square of inner tube ignited with a lighter.
Tonight, my 12 year old daughter and I were hanging out when the idea to give the Hill brothers' method a try. So we rounded up a Bic lighter and a piece of inner tube about 1.5 to 2" square, and went out to our back patio where we have a fire pit.
I had the kiddo try it out. After a few seconds of exposure to the Bic's flame the piece of rubber ignited and burned with a hot flame for several minutes. We had no problems starting a fire with this and some small twigs.
I'm going to add a few ranger bands to my fire kit now. When cut as bands the pieces of rubber are multipurpose. They weigh next to nothing and being made from rubber are waterproof.
Scraps from an old bike inner tube may not be a bushcrafty fire starter, but they are a good addition to your emergency fire kit.
I'll have to do a video on this. Stay tuned....