This week’s Trailblazer Tip is straight, to-the-point, and is something that every Modern Pioneer should know how to do: Know How to Start a Fire Without Matches. Okay, we might sound like your fourth grade Boy Scout troop leader when we say this but not only is it important if you somehow find yourself alone in the woods or if you are trying to impress some friends on a camping trip, but it is also just a damn cool thing to know. So for those of you out there who are comfortable enough with yourselves to admit that you don’t know how to do this, keep on reading because we have got three unique ways to start a fire without matches (or a lighter) up our sleeve!
If you happen to find yourself needing to start a fire but are lacking in the matches and lighter department and miraculously happen to have a magnifying glass you are in luck! (And we are also a little concerned about your wilderness skills….). In order to start a fire with a magnifying glass you first have to gather a tinder pile and focus your magnifying glass by tilting it until you direct the sun’s light into the smallest beam possible. If you do this correctly and the sun is strong, you should have a fire within a minute. Once you get the flames up, throw in some small branches to really get your fire going.
Soda Can & Chocolate
Although not nearly as effective as the magnifying technique, the soda can and chocolate fire technique is not only extremely awesome but will produce a fire. To do this, start by polishing the bottom of the soda can with a cloth and chocolate if you have it (if not, chocolate can easily be substituted by some clay, wet sand, or damp dirt). Similarly to the magnifying glass technique, use the bottom of the soda can to create the smallest possible beam of light directed at your tinder.
Easily the most simple and quickest way to start a fire in the wilderness, a magnesium stick will produce a flame of over 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. Start by shaving off a few pieces of the magnesium into your tinder bundle. Take your knife (because a modern pioneer always carries their pocket knife remember?) and strike it down the side of the fire steel to create a spark into your tinder pile. Some sparks will hit the magnesium resulting in a 5000 degree inferno that will get your tinder lit! Easy right? And perhaps the best part is that a single magnesium stick will start a dozen fires, can get wet, and only takes a few seconds to work!
So next time you’re headed out to the wilderness don’t forget the essentials: a magnifying glass, a soda can, some chocolate, a magnesium stick, and most importantly, a bottle of Lost Republic to warm you up if you fail miserably. Or you could save yourself some time and always carry some matches and a lighter… but that’s not nearly as fun.