If you didn't get a Recovery Upgrade, you will need wadding to protect Estes flimsy plastic parachute.
Any ejection charge is HOT and full of flying particles that will melt and pierce any parachute, whether it is bin liner material or nylon. Estes wadding is 4.5 inches square and extremely fire resistant and cheap enough to strew liberally all over parks and farmer's fields. Good job that it is bio degradable, too, but you really should pick it up after your flight to keep the countryside from looking like a tip.
There's enough in the pack of paper wadding for a couple dozen flights or more depending on how large your rockets are and how liberal you are in its use. Don't forget to tidy the recovery area when you are done!
A model rocket motor's recovery ejection charge is hot and full of little bits of burning crud. Wadding is needed to protect the recovery system (a parachute or streamer.
The weakest link in any standard rocket kit is the recovery system. Estes' or Klima's standard components are built to a low price, not a high level of durability. the result of that, according to NAR research, recovery system failure is the No. 1 cause of unsuccessful flights.
To be sure you get your rocket back, our full-on Recovery Upgrade Kits provide the highest level of durability. They are principally for rocket builders that value the time and skill they put into their birds. That's not to say that failing to get back a beloved Starter Set rocket is any less traumatic (especially if child disappointment is involved). For more information click HERE FOR THE ULTIMATE RECOVERY "INSURANCE"
For those on a budget, we recommend Starter Set Upgrade Kits, an economical version of our Recovery Upgrade Kits that addresses the standard recovery components' short comings and is a bit kinder on the environment, too. For more information about bolstering that fragile element click HERE