Are you planning your first camping trip and want to be as prepared as possible? Or do you simply want to add to your already extensive survival set? Either way, knowing how to light a fire without matches is an excellent skill that could make the difference between life or death or, of course, can be used merely to impress your friends and family.
The most important starting point is your material, so gather a collection of tinder (dry leaves and moss), kindling (twigs and smaller pieces of wood) and fuel (larger logs/wood) before setting your bundle ablaze through the following sure-fire methods:
1) Flint and Steel
Experienced campers will know the benefits of carrying this handy pair of items, which can be particularly useful if matches become wet.
This is also arguably the easiest way to light a fire as you simply strike the flint with the steel, above the tinder, to create sparks and ignition.
2) The Hand Drill
Another friction-based method. This technique is the complete opposite to the above, requiring huge amounts of effort and determination. The first step is to fashion a fire board – basically a piece of wood with a v-shaped notch carved into it.
Then you will need a spindle – preferably a strong, dry stick of about two feet in length. Lodge the spindle into the notch and roll it quickly between your hands.
Continue until you see a flickering ember or until your patience runs out – whichever happens first.
If the sun is strong enough, it can be a powerful weapon. A magnifying glass is the easiest tool to use for focusing the sun’s rays directly onto your tinder.
Adding a few drops of water to the lens will intensify the beam. If you have forgotten to pack your magnifying glass, any piece of glass will work for this method, and if times are particularly hard, it is even possible to craft a lens out of ice.