Next to water, there is little to the prepper lifestyle that is more important than fire. It can provide heat to keep you warm and make water potable. Fire can, of course, also cook your food, provide light, or if the situation calls for it, offer you protection. In short, fire can keep you alive. It is essential you understand the mechanics of how to successfully start a fire. Most preppers know the importance of having a fire starting kit. However, there may be times when you find yourself in certain situations where you either do not have a kit or it becomes ruined. Apart from that, much like knowing how to suture a wound and ways to naturally cure or prevent illness, it is always best to know how to do things in the absence of convenience. In those situations, it is imperative you are familiar with the variety of ways to start a fire without any prepared supplies.
Elements For Any Fire Making Method
To successfully build any fire, you will need dry pieces of wood of varying sizes, ranging from small twigs to larger branches. Look for wood that may be snagged in other branches or small bushes below. If there has been any sort of rain shower lately, wood that is on the ground may still be damp. You will also need tinder (something that is dry and flammable – paper or wood are the most common) to create a nest. This will sit under the area you are working to create the spark, and it is what you will transfer to the built fire. The tinder is one of your most important components of a fire. You may have one the best fire making methods available, but if you do not have good tinder, it will take longer to start. Pocket lint, cattails, dry grass, and wood shavings can make excellent forms of tinder.
Making Fire Using Friction
Probably the most common method of creating a fire is to use friction. It is also one of the most difficult. Fire making based on the friction method requires some of the simplest supplies: a base of some type (typically considered a fire board), tinder, and a spindle to rub against the fireboard and create the necessary spark. All wood must be completely dry or it is tantamount to shoveling excrement against the tide or herding invisible cats.
Friction Fire And The Hand Drill
This is the most common method of starting a fire without any specific supplies. It can also be one of the most difficult because of the sheer strength it requires to start a fire with this method.
- As with any method, you want to begin with making your tinder nest and building your firebase.
- Once that has been accomplished, use any sort of sharp edge to create a small notch in the shape of a V into your base fireboard with a small depression near the edge of the V.
- Your tinder nest can be placed under the V so it can catch a spark and can then be transferred to your firebase.
- Using a spindle that is at least two feet long, begin spinning it in the depression at the edge of the V. Keep constant pressure on the spindle as you roll it between your hands until an ember is formed.
- See the following link for more explanation: https://www.schoolofhowto.com/8-ways-start-fire-matches
Friction Fire And Bow Drill
The bow drill method is often more difficult to create because it requires more supplies; however, if made correctly, it can be one of the most efficient ways to make a fire. As with other methods, you will need a tinder nest, spindle and fireboard. You will also need a bow and a socket.
- Begin with making your tinder nest and fire preparations.
- Find a socket from your surroundings. This can either be wood or a small stone. It needs to fit in the palm of your hand and can be lubricated with either tree sap or some type of oil between the socket and the spindle.
- Find a flexible piece of wood the length of your arm to create your bow. Wood that has a slight curve makes the best bow. Any sort of long material that will not break, such as twine, a shoe string, or piece of leather will work as the string of the bow.
- Create a V notch and small depression as mentioned in the other methods.
- Place the spindle into a loop of the bowstring and place the socket on top of the spindle.
- Saw the bow back and forth, keeping constant pressure on the spindle until an ember is created.
- See the following link for more explanation: https://www.woodcraftwanderings.org/fire_1.html
Friction Fire And Plough
Similar to the other methods, the plough method requires a tinder nest, spindle, and fireboard.
- Cut a small groove into your fireboard, making it the length of the board.
- Run your spindle along the groove, moving it up and down until an ember is formed.
Making Fire Using Lens And Reflection
A favorite pastime of many American children can easily be a lifesaver when stranded in the woods without fire making supplies. Using any sort of lens shaped device to catch the sunlight and focus a beam of it can ignite a spark.
Fire With Traditional Lenses
Although this method works with a good amount of patience, it only works as long as there is sunshine available.
- Create your tinder nest and base for your fire.
- Use some sort of traditional lens such as an eyeglass lens, magnifying glass, or other similar lens to focus the light from the sun onto your tinder nest.
Making Fire Using Unusual Methods
Of course, when we are stranded or caught in an unprepared situation, we may have to become creative with the any supplies we have on hand or that we can scrounge up. Below, are some very interesting ways to start fires with unusual fire-starting supplies.
- Steel wool and a battery can be used to create a fire simply by rubbing the contact side of the battery (usually the positive side) against a stretched out piece of steel wool. Nine-volt batteries work best, but others will work as well. You have to move quickly with this method though because the fire will not last long.
- Balloons, condoms, and ice also work to generate fires using the lens method even if you do not have a traditional lens. In winter conditions, clear water can be frozen, cut, and polished to create a lens that will capture the sun’s rays. If you are in a situation where you have water and balloons or condoms, it is also possible to create a fire by filling the items and holding them to mimic a lens and reflect the sun into your tinder nest.
No matter the source, fire is crucial to survival. It is something you must be prepared to make. The best thing you can do for you and your family is to keep a fire starting kit on hand at all times. However, it pays to be proficient in utilizing the world around you and practicing other fire making methods.
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