Posts tagged: fire starting technique

VIDEO: How To Make Fire Using A Plastic Water Bottle

I used to love doing little science experiments when I was a kid. Shows like Mythbusters really blew my mind. I used to experiment with exploding soda bottles using Mentos and I also tried cooking a quail egg with a magnifying glass just to see how much heat it takes for the egg to change its color. I also wasted sheets of paper just to do my so-called experiments!

This video by Grant Thompson – “The King of Random” reminded me of those times. Using a water bottle to start a fire is such an ingenious idea. Of course, not everyone can keep a magnifying glass in a bag everyday so a water bottle is a more feasible option. I loved how the guy showed us a few tips on how to make this work. Black absorbs heat more so that’s why you create a flame a lot quicker. If you want your paper to catch heat quickly, rub a bit of dry dirt on it so that it darkens in color.

Fire is very important when it comes to survival. It gives warmth and you also use it to cook your food and boil water. At night, it provides light and protection from predators. Its smoke can also be used to signal for help. It’s one of the most basic things that you should do first when you’re lost in the wilderness.

This tutorial not only shows you that skills can compensate for a lack of hi-tech equipment, but it also (sadly) reminds us of just how easy it is to start a fire by accident. So now you can really see how important it is not to drop litter in the countryside.

Related: How To Start Fire With A Soda Can

There are so many ways to start a fire. Using friction is a time-honored and “manly” way to create a flame but it’s time consuming and arduous. What if you’re stuck somewhere in a snowy mountain and you need to build a fire? A piece of clear ice will make for a great magnifying glass.

Survival starts with staying calm. When you’re calm, you can think more rationally. Don’t lose hope if you can’t start a fire after a few times. It takes a little bit of practice and patience.

So the next time you bring your water bottle with you on a special trip, don’t throw it away just yet. Who knows? It might just save your life.

VIDEO: How To Make Fire Using A Plastic Water Bottle

23 Ways To Make Fire

23 Ways To Make Fire
Photo – © volff – Fotolia.com – Fotolia.com

When it comes to basic survival tips, creating a fire is always top priority. That’s why I found it really amazing to read a list of 23 ways to make a fire. The link to the full list is after our commentary.

As I was going through the list, I noticed that most of the ideas used are based on two main principles: the lens and friction.

The lens methods basically use the rays of the sun to concentrate light on a particular surface, thereby increasing its temperature. This is by far one of the easiest ways to create a fire without using any matches. I loved doing this method when I was a kid. I once used a piece of broken glass – demonstrating easily why glass bottles can start a forest fire if carelessly dumped.

Another unique way to create a fire using lens principles is by using ice. I’m sure you won’t be able to use this method if you’re somewhere in the desert or in a forest, but you can of course, use this technique to create a fire in areas where it’s cold and icy.

Related: How To Make A Matchless Survival Fire Kit

And of course, who can forget the coke can and chocolate method? If you had not come across this one, I know your eyeballs are probably going out of their sockets right now but this DOES work if you set your mind to it. It also uses the principles of the lens method: All you have to do is to polish the bottom of the coke can using a piece of chocolate. Take a wet cloth and continue polishing until the bottom of the can becomes so shiny that you can even use it as a “parabolic enough to get the job done” mirror. Hold a small piece of tinder or char cloth at the best spot (where the beam of light is most concentrated), and then orient the can in an angle that will make the light more concentrated. This takes a bit of time of course, but you will see that it will soon start a spark which can be fanned to a flame.

The next principle of creating fire is by the use of friction. This is probably the hardest and most time consuming of all methods, but it’s very useful, especially during the night time.

If you’ve already collected a bunch of wood, always store it in a covered, dry place where rain cannot reach it. Birch is a good wood to use because it contains oil that repels moisture. Always keep lint and steel wool dry also.

Ok, here’s the link to the list of 23 awesome ways to make fire:

http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/ – 23 Ways To Make Fire!

Some of the techniques mentioned in the list are explained more in detail here: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/

VIDEO: How To Make Fire… Using Ice!

How To Make Fire Using Ice
VIDEO: How To Make Fire… Using Ice! Image – www.youtube.com/watch?v=thbSSuo1Z00

Here’s one of the more unusual ways to make fire – explained with an actual demonstration!

It’s been known since ancient times that the power of sunlight, focused into a concentrated beam, can raise temperatures high enough to start fire. Various writers from ancient times mention vases filled with water or angled mirrors – and used burning lenses to light fires in temples. Excavations have found rock crystal lenses made by the Vikings, though the purpose of these is not certain.

Related: 4 Super Useful Survival Fire Starting Tricks

The potential of the sun, when harnessed in this way, is immense: There is an old legend that Archimedes created a weapon that was used in 212 BC to burn Roman warships in a battle.

In modern times, the typical method of using the sun to start fire, known by all, is the use of a magnifying glass. Even a simple glass bottle, left in the dry brush, can start a fire – hence the warnings against it.

Depending on the size of the glass, more of the sun’s power can be harnessed – and I have even seen solar welding using a Fresnel lens a few feet in diameter! At the extreme scale, concentrated solar power stations make use of mirror arrays to collect sunlight from large areas for the purpose of using the heat to generate power.

In this video, our demonstrator proves that it is possible to use ice as the lens to make the fire, so long as it is shaped in the right way. Note of course that you will need sunlight, preferably high overhead, in order to effect this method – but it’s another valuable fire starting technique to add to your bushcrafting skills!

Ok, here’s the video on How To Make Fire Using Ice – let us know what you think! 🙂

ps. Wikipedia also has a fascinating page about burning lenses… check it out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_glass