You can use white gas such as Coleman's camp fuel. It burns cleaner than something like kerosene which will have a lot of soot-like smoke. Pour some of the white gas into a glass jar, dip your wicks into it, and make sure you spin your hoop around a couple times to fling off the excess fuel. You don't want to light up right there either. Get a good distance away from your fueling area, make sure you have wet towels in the event of an emergency, ALWAYS spin with someone else present who can be your "safety", wear only natural fibre clothing that doesn't have loose or flowy pieces, keep your hair out of the way, and have fun :)
I use 50% white gas, 50% lamp oil, because white gas burns very hot and bright on it's own and does not last as long. I use a squirt bottle over a metal bowl then funnel the excess fuel back into to squirt bottle when I'm done. I find it a lot easier than dipping was. Shekinah is spot on with the fire safety. It's really really important. I read somewhere that there are two kind of fire performers, those who have had their bad accident and those that haven't. I'm very very cautious and always have at least one spotter. You can wet down your hair if you want to leave it out (that's what I do). Other than that, have fun and remember that a moving flame will not burn you, a stationary flame will.
Ooohh, a squirt bottle is a great idea. Do you soak the whole wick, or just squirt some into it?
I've used a turkey baster. Since most squirt bottles are plastic I like the turkey baster because it never ends up being a plastic container filled with fuel. It's only full when I need it to be and then it's easy to make sure it's empty when done fuelling.
Oh yes, and the dipping component! I like the turkey baster method...
How I was taught by the super-safe fire spinning group I used to do stuff with:
Paint cans. You can get unused paint cans from most hardware/home depot/Canadian Tire stores. And of course, paint stores. We would mix our fuel (white gas/lamp oil mix) in the paint cans and dip in those.
Hoops with longer wicks work well using those half size paint cans. Any left-over fuel could then have a lid tightened over it and stored in a safe place until the next burn.
We would then squeeze any excess fuel off of our wicks while wearing those thick chemical-resistant work gloves (squeeze back into the paint can).
We would then spin-off any excess fuel, because the flames can "spit" if there is too much excess. (Spin off away from people in a safe place: I usually hand hoop because it is very easy to control when I spin off).
If we weren't using our hoops etc. right away, say in a show but you want things ready, we would firmly but not super tightly wrap our wicks in tin foil to avoid any fuel being exposed but also to avoid it evaporating.
I tried this turkey baster method tonight, and it was a MESS. I tried to just let it drip out, but it came pouring out onto my actual hoop tubing and spilled on the grass. I wiped the hoop down with a damp cloth but was still a bit frightened that I had actual fuel on my hoop that could be lit. How do make this work? Maybe I will try the squirt bottle, as it seems like it would produce a thinner stream to control the application better, and just put a minimal amount of fuel in it at a time. Hmmm.
You have some good fuel feedback, so I won't go into that.
You can light your wicks with a regular lighter but just keep in mind the direction of the flame (due to wind or breeze). Or you can have a fuel soaked lamp in a fire-sturdy bowl that has been pre-lit to light off of.
You can make the wick out of tightly-bound old towel strips wound in wire--just make sure the bowl it is in can stand fire, and don't pick it up until it has cooled down.
Check out this post by Caroleena, it's a great all around reference! You will love it, have fun and be safe chica!