5 Ways to Start a Fire Without Matches January 24 2012

5 ways to start a fire without matches


Whether the outdoors are a huge part of your life or not, every man must know how to start a fire without having to rely on matches. How can you create a fire with some basic objects such as tinder (easily combustible material) and other materials that you may find?

(credit: sticksblog-sticks.blogspot.com)

The fire plough

This method uses both a spindle and firewood. It needs proper wood and a very dry climate to be successful. If you use cedar wood, you will notice that it creates its own natural tinder. Once you have cut a groove in the firewood, rub or plough the tip of a harder shaft against the groove. This friction is going to push dusty particles off the firewood. Once the temperature increases enough due to friction, these particles will ignite. 

The hand drill

The hand drill is another method that is friction based. Although it is a favorite method to use in movies, probably because it provides for some dramatic visuals, it is the most difficult friction based method to use to start a fire. You need a particularly dry environment and good tinder and wood. Most people are unable to start a fire this way because they do not generate enough speed in their circular motion. It involves cutting a v-shaped notch in your fireboard and generation enough circular motion to create friction that leads to a fire.

Using a magnifying glass

Although the conditions have to be right, (you obviously need a sunny day to use this) this is a remarkably effective method of creating fire. Once you have collected some tinder, throw it on a pile. Tilt the magnifying glass until you direct it into the smallest beam possible. The smaller the beam, the stronger the focus will be.  If the sun is strong enough, you should have the beginning of a fire under a minute. If you tinder starts smoking, you want to make sure you keep the fire going by placing some small branches against it.

Steel and flint

There is a reason that hikers, campers, and outdoorsmen carry steel and flint as part of their basic equipment. Flint is a exceptionally hard rock, has very sharp edges and a dark color. If you are in the wilderness, you can often find flint. If you cannot, other hard stones may do. One way to find out whether it will work is by striking the stone against a piece of steel and see if it creates a spark. You want to separate the steel against a small nesting area, this is going to catch your spark. After it caught the spark you blow, very gently, at the base of the smoldering area. Once the fire starts going you can add small tinder to keep it going strong.

Batteries and steel wool

This is considered the quickest, most reliable, and easiest way to get a fire going without having to use matches. Though most batteries will work for this, 9-volt batteries tend to be best. Stretch your steel wool, and then rub the battery against the steel wool. Place your battery in one hand, and your steel wood in the other. Rub the contact side of the battery against the wool. You will first notice the steel wool begins to glow, and eventually burn. At that point, you move the wool to your tinder, keeping in mind that the flames on the wool will quickly extinguish.


And if all else fails, we’ve got a nice assortment of Zippo Pocket Lighters.