Going through some old camping supplies I came across an old tube of fire starter paste I hadn’t even used beyond a field test or two. It was at least five years old. I split open the metal tube and crumbled the dried, yellowed gel into granules and sprinkled a little onto a surface where I could throw a spark onto the “crumbs”. It ignited instantly! I then used a cotton ball to wipe the film of powder from the inside of the tube and then worked a few crumbs/powder into the cotton ball. Again, the sparks ignited the cotton instantly. It’s common to incorporate some vaseline into the cotton to extend the burning time (it’s not needed for the spark to ignite)…Using the crumbs of the dried fire starting paste was simply an aid to ensure a quick light and good burn with the cotton. These can be kept in a waterproof container as part of your fire starting kit.