Alright, so you and some friends are out on a camping trip and its raining. Its time to get a primitive fire started. The paper matches you brought are wet. And there’s not even a cigarette lighter, because you just quit smoking last week. No fire starter, no fire starting aids, no nothing.
Oh, and you’re not in a campsite where you can get help next door. You are out in the middle of a national forest on the 3rd day of a 7 day hike. Don’t ask me how you made it through days 1 and 2 without fire basics or fire starting tools.
Yeah, I know you wish you had matches, but….what if… you had a radio with a battery in it, and a few other things. If you play your cards right, you just might have a nice warm raging fire for everyone in just a few minutes…If you play your cards right, you just might have a nice warm raging fire for everyone in just a few minutes…. Your middle name is McGyver, right?
The reason why campers get stuck in these kind of situations is they rely on the same old things to support them. Matches, Lighters, etc. But what if you dont have the obvious stuff with you?
As soon as you are done reading this article, I promise that you’ll know 6 ways to start your next campfire without a match. We’ll talk about some fire starting tips that you might not have been aware of before. And hopefully you’ll be able to upgrade your survival kit with a few primitive fire starting items.
To start a fire in an unconventional way, you’ll need to bring a few pretty simple items. We’ll cover the lens method, the battery method and the soda can methods.
The Lens Based Method: Fire From Balloons and Ice
This is where you need a sunny day. You’re going to use the sun and a lens to start the fire. Remember when you were a kid and tried to light leaves on fire with a magnifying glass? Same concept, but in this case, we’re going to take a left turn. Let me show you what I mean.
For starters, this method uses the sun, a lens and something to light off the fire with. Some kind of tinder nest or something. So you hold your lens over the material. This can be some tinder, a leaf, a piece of toilet paper or anything very light.
Have a smalll tinder bundle or dryer lint near by to catch fire as soon as the leaf or paper gets lit. Hold the lens between the sun and the material. Move it back and forth until you focus the sun on the material. wait until you see smoke.
By filling a balloon or condom with water, you can transform these ordinary objects into fire creating lenses…you can transform these ordinary objects into fire creating lenses…. Fill it with water and tie off the end. These have a shorter focal length than a lens so you’ll need to hold them 1 to 2 inches from your tinder.
Another variation is to use ice cubes as your lenses. This method works best in the wintertime. But you have to have clear water. The ice has to be clear. The best way to get it clear is to put water in a bowl and freeze it. Make the block about 2 inches thick. Shape the lens with the heat of your hands, and when its ready, use it like a glass lens.
The Battery Method: Using Steel Wool
With this method, we’ll use a battery and some material to light off. This is definitely the fastest method, and as a matter of fact, its probably faster than using a match. Check this out.
Here’s what you do. Take a 9 volt battery and start rubbing it on a piece of steel wool. The best is to use fine steel wool as it catches fire more quickly…use fine steel wool as it catches fire more quickly…. In no time flat you’ll see sparks and fire. But get ready with some tinder pretty quickly. Toilet paper works great to catch the sparks and fire.
This method is so simple, there’s no explanation to give for it. Just put the two together and fire happens.
The Soda Can Method: Chocolate Or Toothpaste
This is a variation of the lens based method. So you’ll need a sunny day for this one. There are 2 variations that I’m going to show you.
The basic idea is to use the bottom of the coke can as a reflector to aim at the fire starting material. But you have to have an almost mirror like surface on the coke can. So you’re going to use chocolate to polish it. Chocolate is a great abrasive. Start polishing and when you’re done, aim the can and start your fire.
A variation of the chocolate bar theme to light fire is to use toothpaste.…a variation of the chocolate bar theme to light fire is to use toothpaste… Same result.I’ve seen a lot about people using the stick and bow method. Where you take a stick between your hands and rub it. But it can take days to perfect that process. There are definitely faster ways to start a fire, and with more contemporary materials!
In the end, these methods beat the fire saw, friction fire, bow drill method. And the next time you need fire on a moments notice, you’ll smile with confidence and break out your special fire starting kit, and have a little fun with everyone while you work your mastery in front of everyone’s eyes.
This week… no! Today! Get yourself a 9 volt battery and an SOS brillo pad and see if you can start a little test campfire. Amaze your friends! Suspend their belief! Believe me… after today, starting a campfire for you my friend… will never be the same.