Being able to make fire is essential for survival in hostile environments. If someone in your trail group drops the matches in a river or the lighter gets lost along the way, you'll need to know how to start a fire using homemade or natural objects to create friction, or even focus the sunlight. Learn how to make a fire without using matches or a lighter by reading the methods below.
Method 1 of 6: Getting Started
Step 1. Learn how to make a nest of sticks for fires, or have a wick.
In all methods here, you will need a wick or nest for sparks or embers to start the fire.
Step 2. Collect dry wood
To create friction and keep the flame, you will need very dry wood.
- Dry wood can be found in hidden places. If the location is damp, you can check inside logs, under rocks, and in other places protected from moisture.
- Get to know the trees. Each type of wood lights up differently. Depending on your location, some types burn easier than others. For example, fine birch fragments, even when wet, are very good for a fire.
- Look beyond the wood. While building fires is more conducive to remote places, you may have to adapt. In an urban environment where there are no trees nearby, you may have to look for old books, pieces of wood, furniture and the like to build your fire.
Method 2 of 6: Using Battery and Steel Wool
Step 1. Make a nest with dry flammable plant material
It can be dry grass, leaf, twig or tree bark. The nest will be used to create the flame from the spark produced with the battery and steel wool.
Step 2. Find a battery and locate the poles
The battery poles are the two circular pins located at the top.
It can be battery of any voltage; however, 9 volt batteries are more efficient
Step 3. Rub the steel wool onto the battery poles
The thinner the steel wool, the easier the process.
Step 4. Continue to create friction by rubbing steel wool into the battery
This process works by creating a current through the steel wires, which then heat up and spark.
Another way is to use a 9 volt battery and a metal clip. Rub the clip on both poles of the battery at the same time to create sparks. The process is similar to the threads in lamps and toasters
Step 5. Gently blow the steel wool until it starts to glow
This helps to feed and spread the flame.
Step 6. Wait for the steel wool to shine brightly
Then transfer it to the nest quickly, continuing to blow lightly until it creates a flame.
Step 7. Add larger pieces of dry wood to keep the fire going after the nest has a flame
Enjoy your campfire!
Method 3 of 6: Using Stone and Steel
Step 1. Again, make a nest with dry plant material
Step 2. Hold a flint or other sparking stone between your thumb and forefinger
About 7 centimeters of the stone should be exposed.
Step 3. Hold a piece of charred cloth cloth between your thumb and stone
This type of cloth is made up of small squares turned into pieces of flammable charcoal. If you don't have it, you can use some fungus found on trees.
Step 4. Hold a steel link or the blunt side of a knife and quickly scrape the steel against the stone
Continue until sparks start to form.
Step 5. Touch the sparks to the cloth and continue the process until the cloth starts to glow like an ember
These cloths are suitable for heating without igniting.
Step 6. Transfer the cloth to the twig nest and blow gently to induce the flame
Step 7. Add larger pieces of wood for the flame to grow
Method 4 of 6: Using a Magnifying Glass
Step 1. See if there is enough sunlight to make a fire with this Method
For the magnifying glass to work, the sun must not be obstructed by clouds.
- If you don't have a magnifying glass, eyeglass lenses or binoculars will also work.
- Adding water to the lens allows for a more intense light beam.
Step 2. Make the nest with dry material and place on the ground
Step 3. Tilt the lens towards the sun until it creates a small circle of light focused on the nest
You will probably have to experiment with different angles until you find the most concentrated beam of light possible.
Step 4. Keep the lens in place until the nest starts to smoke and create flame
Blow lightly to fuel the flame.
Step 5. Add larger pieces of dry wood so that the twig nest has the desired fire size
Method 5 of 6: Using a Hand Drill
Step 1. Make a nest with dry plant material
Material must be flammable.
Step 2. Find a piece of wood to use as the base of the hand drill
It will need to be perforated to create friction.
Step 3. Find a knife or other sharp object
Cut a small V-shaped notch in the center of the wooden base. The notch should be big enough to fit a stick.
Step 4. Place small pieces of bark in the notch
The bark will be used to capture the ember of friction between the stick and the base.
Step 5. Take a stick, which should be a thin stick about 50 centimeters long and 2 centimeters in diameter
Fit it into the notch in the center of the base.
Step 6. Hold the stick between your two palms and begin to rotate it in both directions
Firmly press the stick against the base.
Step 7. Continue to rotate the stick rapidly, until an ember forms at the base
Step 8. Transfer the embers to a piece of bark
At this point, you should have already placed pieces of bark next to the notch for this purpose.
Step 9. Place the red-hot bark in the nest
Continue to gently blow the nest until the ember is fully transferred and a flame is created.
Step 10. Add larger pieces of wood to increase the fire
Know that this method takes time and requires physical and mental preparation.
Method 6 of 6: Using a Bow
Step 1. Again, make a nest with dry plant material
Step 2. Find an object to use as a support
It could be a stone or a heavy piece of wood. The support will be used to exert pressure on the stick.
Step 3. Find a long, flexible piece of wood about your arm's length
It is best if the piece of wood is slightly curved. It will serve as the handle of your bow.
Step 4. Make the bowstring
Use a tough, abrasive material that withstands a lot of friction. It can be a shoelace, thin rope, string or even a strip of rawhide.
Step 5. Tie the string as tightly as possible to each end of the bow
If it doesn't have natural notches to secure the rope, make small notches in the wood so that it secures the rope.
Step 6. Find a piece of wood to use as the base of the hand drill
Cut a small V-shaped notch in the center with a knife or other sharp object.
Step 7. Place the nest of twigs under the notch
Position the nest next to the stick, in order to facilitate the production of flames.
Step 8. Loop the bowstring around the stick
Do this in the middle of the bowstring so that you have enough room to move the string.
Step 9. Scrape one end to form a tip to reduce friction
When this tip starts to char, avoid cutting it to make it last longer.
Step 10. Fit one end of the stick into the notch in the base, then place the support on the top end
Grasp the support with your non-dominant hand.
Step 11. Start “saw” the bow quickly
Hold the wooden part of the bow with your dominant hand. This will cause the stick to create heat in the base notch.
Step 12. Continue “sawing” until a ember is created in the notch
The nest must be close to the ember.
Step 13. Gather the ember on a piece of wood and place it in the nest
To do this, just slide the ember into the nest.
Step 14. Blow the nest
At the same time, add larger pieces of dry wood to create the fire.
- Turning the ember or spark into a flame is the hardest part of making a fire. Blow gently in this step.
- You must know how to put out a fire at an early stage, report a fire and/or put out a fire before attempting a fire.
- Make sure the wood is very dry before trying the friction methods.
- Poplar, juniper, poplar, willow, cedar, cypress and walnut are ideal woods for both base and twigs.
- The hand drill method is the most primitive and difficult, but it requires the least material.
- If you don't have any kind of lens for the lens method, you can also fill a balloon with water and squeeze it until it forms a light beam funnel; it is also possible to mold a piece of ice into a lens shape.
- Always remember to be careful when dealing with fire.
- Extinguish fire with water, sand or earth before leaving the fire pit.
- Pay attention to sparks and embers that come off when creating friction.