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Starting a fire without matches in the wild

Starting a fire without matches in the wild


The ability to start a fire in the wilderness is a very important skill to have. It will help dry out clothes/equipment, warm up your shelter, boil your water and cook your food. So how can you do this if your matches and lighters have got soaked through in the last deluge? Here’s a step by step way to set up a fire and get it started.

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Create a tinder nest

To start any fire, you need to create a tinder nest. This is to cultivate any sparks that you have created to get the fire going. You need to gather some dry wood to maintain the flame. It needs to be dry or the flame won’t catch. Certain trees burn better. Look for information about the area you are travelling to and find the best trees for burning. Birch, for example, even when damp will burn extremely well. You can now use one of the following methods to create your fire.

Flint and steel

This is a well-known method for starting fires. An outdoor bushcraft store may sell pre-packaged flint and steel for your convenience. Carrying them around should be an essential part of any survival kit. If you don’t have a kit find a grey stone or a quartz if you cannot find flint. Strike against a piece of iron or your knife. The ensuing sparks will help your tinder smoke and start your fire.

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Batteries and steel wool.

This is another great method for making fire. Find the terminals of the battery, preferably a nine-volt battery. The terminals are the two prongs at the top of the battery. Take the steel wool and rub it against the terminals. You are creating a current that will heat up and ignite. The finer the wool, the better the outcome. A paper clip will also work instead of steel wool if you can’t find any. Add the items to your survival kit. You can buy survival kits from outdoor retailers such as www.angloforro.co.uk.

Use a magnifying glass

This is something we learn at school. Tilt the lens of the magnifying glass towards the sun until you see a circle of light in the middle of your tinder nest. Hold in place until it starts to smoke and flame. Sunlight is essential for this method!

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