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The 6 Methods Of Starting Fire Without Using Matches

by Michael Martin


The link of fire and man can be traced back through the ages. Before empires and civilizations were established, early man has already learned how to make fire and use it to his own advantage. Today, we continue using fire to our convenience and one of the most common ways to starting one is with the use of a match.

But what if you are going on a survival trip and you ran out of matches to use? Well, it would still be easy to start a fire with a use of a flint and steel, but it so happened that you let one of your companions brought it along with him and he’s currently miles away from you… Can you still make fire even if these supplies are far beyond your reach at the moment?

Today, we are going to explore the 6 amazing methods of starting fire without using matches to cook your food during the day and to keep you warm at night while surviving in the wild.

1. A better version of a friction-based drill – Most of us are very familiar with the ol’ bow drill method of starting fire and we find this to be very effective indeed. But there is actually a better way of using this system and that is by replacing the bow with a makeshift pump fire drill. The first thing you have to do is to prepare all the things you need to make the pump fire drill and these are: a piece of string/rope/shoe lace, a fireboard, a tinder nest, a spindle which is slightly longer in length than the usual, a round piece of wood to act as a flywheel, and another piece of wood to use as handle. Once all the materials are prepared, then next thing you have to do is to assemble your pump fire drill.

I. Punch a hole in the middle of the flywheel and attach it at the bottom end of the spindle.

II. Punch a hole at the corners and at the middle portion of your wood handle using your survival knife and attach it on upper end of the spindle. Then, make a hole at the upper end of the spindle and let the string pass through to be connected at both ends of your handle. Make sure the length of the string is just about enough to cover a third of the entire length of the spindle.

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III. Place the spindle at the fireboard along with the tinder nest underneath and move your handle in an up and down motion to turn the spindle. Continue with the process until you see smoke coming out from below.

2. Glycerin method – Glycerin is a chemical which is commonly used in soaps and cosmetics. And while we use it mostly for beautification purposes, glycerin is also an efficient fire starter if it’s being mixed with the right chemicals. If you want to make fire with the use of glycerin, you have to prepare the following:

– A small bottle of glycerin
– A small amount of potassium permanganate powder
– Dry twigs and leaves
– A rock slab or a moist-proof flat surface to place all the other materials

Making a fire using this procedure is very easy to do. Just pour the potassium permanganate on top of the rock slab and cover it with dry leaves and twigs. Make sure there is enough space for the glycerin to pour into the other chemical to start a reaction. Pour a small amount of glycerin and wait for seconds until fire will be produced.

NOTE: Glycerin is also an ingredient in making dynamite. So make sure you know how strong your glycerin solution is as this will become highly combustible if you are going to use a more potent solution.

3. Balloon or condom method – Condoms in your survival gear? These items can also be used to start a fire if you happen to include them in your bug-out bag. Just fill them with water and shape it into a sphere. Then, place it under direct sunlight and use it like a lens to point out the focal point to the area where you want to start a fire. Now that’s how you blow a balloon!

4. Ice cold method – Really?! Can you possibly start a fire with ice??? The answer to this is a big YES! Simply form the ice like a convex lens and follow the same way you start a fire using a traditional lens by pointing the focal point to the area where you want to start a fire. Now you have found a cool way to survive during the winter season.

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5. Battery- steel wool method – It’s quite unconventional, but still effective if you know how to do it correctly. Take your steel wool and stretch it out about 6 inches long and then rub the contact points of the 9 volt battery to create flame. Blow to ignite the fire and quickly transfer it to a tinder bundle to create camp fire.

6. Soda can and chocolate – This method is so famous that the Youtube video about this was able to gain countless views. If you happen to bring along a chubby friend who likes to snack, then surely he has all these things you need to start a fire. All you need to do is rub the chocolate at the bottom portion of the can to create a mirror-like base. Then, position this directly into the sunlight and use the focal point to light the tinder bundle to start a fire.

Which of these methods of starting fire intrigued you the most? Do you think these methods are very useful during emergency situations? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments here.

About The Author:

Michael Martin is a former Navy Pilot who believes no matter the circumstance, one should always be prepared. Upon entering the civilian world, Michael spent his time traveling the globe and observing different cultures. Growing up in as the son of a serial entrepreneur it was only a matter of time before he took his love of the outdoors and passion for helping others to new heights by founding Bug Out Bag Pro.

As a survivalist & entrepreneur, his vision is to help educate and prepare families everywhere with the information, skills and tools to survive any situation they may face! 

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