How to start a fire without a lighter

Using a lighter, matches, or fire piston to start a fire is easy. Learning how to start a fire without a lighter may save your life.

Starting a fire with any "Plan A" fire resources such as a lighter, matches, or fire piston, is reasonably simple. We are mosting likely to cover the "Plan B" fire sources that are a lot more hard, yet a lot more useful in a survival emergency. The heat, capability to prepare as well as psychological uplift of fire could wind up saving your life.

* Warning: technique at your very own risk. Recommended to only to be exercised by a grown-up, in a safe area away from potential fuel sources as well as with a huge water supply close by.


Strategy A Fire Sources = Primary: "Plan A" fire resources generate a fire or melt coal for you. These primary sources can also be thought of as "at-home fire sources" that are commercially produced and also are offered for purchase. Examples: lighter in weights, matches, fire pistons. You only need to provide the materials that will certainly catch on fire. It spends some time to find dry, burnable materials in the woods and some skill to build a fire with proper airflow to maintain it shedding, yet the mass of the fire-starting work is done for you.

Plan B Fire Sources = Last Resort: "Plan B" fire resources require you to develop a flame using much less traditional approaches, some perseverance, and also ingenuity. These are frequently exceptionally challenging to use and also in some cases, could be extra theoretical than functional. However, with some techniques, these can come to be a lot easier.

The goal is to generate enough warmth or stimulation which will develop a tiny cigarette smoking coal or coal. This can after that be dropped into a completely dry tinder package to light a fire. There are 4 primary methods to start a fire without matches:

1. Friction: Friction is the most common method of developing fire and needs you to rub timber with each other using a bow, rake or a hand drill.

2. Sparks: Using materials like rocks, flint, and also a battery with wool is a basic way to develop sparks that will start a fire.

3. Sunlight: Concentrating the sunlight to generate enough warmth to make a fire is a less conventional technique, however, it can work if you have the right products as well as weather.

4. Chemicals: You can carry chosen chemicals that will combust when they are mixed. This is the least usual approach as a result of the threats of needing to take potentially flammable products on the route.


There is a primal link between man and also fire. Every guy must recognize how to start one. A macho guy knows how to start one without matches. It's a crucial survival skill. You never ever recognize when you'll find yourself in a situation where you'll require a fire, yet you do not have matches. Perhaps your solitary engine plane goes down while you're flying over the Alaskan wilderness, like the child in Hatchet. Or maybe you're out camping and also you shed your knapsack in a tussle with a bear. It need not be something as dramatic as these scenarios-- even exceptionally windy or wet conditions can make matches practically useless. And whether or not you ever need to contact these skills, it's simply damn cool to understand you can start a fire, whenever as well as wherever you are.

With any luck, you'll never be in the placement where you will not have any type of matches or lighters to start a fire with when you're out outdoor camping-- asking yourself, "How do I start a fire without matches?" Nonetheless, despite how cautious you have to do with taking fire-making tools with you, it's good to understand more than one way to start a fire when you spend a lot of time in the open air. For example, if you're captured in an unanticipated thunderstorm, your matches might get wet, regardless of your best efforts to maintain them in a water-resistant container. Since anything can occur, be planned for anything. Right here are 6 ways you can start a fire without a match.


Starting a fire from square one is hard enough even with matches. Without matches, it's also harder. To provide your own head-start on starting a fire, bring a tinder package with you. A tinder kit ought to include material that is dry as well as easy to use in the production of fire. You can tease apart rope fiber right into soft, thin threads; cotton spheres soaked in vaseline job specifically well; as well as you can constantly acquire tinder kits. If you're caught with no tinder material on you, or if what you have has splashed, search for cedar trees or birch trees. The bark of these trees can be shredded to develop some quick tinder. Cattails also function as an all-natural tinder product.

Friction-Based Fire Making

Friction-based fire production is not for the faint of heart. It's possibly one of the toughest of all the non-match approaches. There are different techniques you can utilize to make a fire with friction, however, one of the most vital elements is the sort of timber you utilize for the fire board and pin.

The spindle is the stick you'll utilize to rotate in order to create the rubbing between it and also the fireboard. If you create sufficient friction between the spindle as well as the fireboard, you can develop coal that can be used to create a fire. Cottonwood, juniper, aspen, willow, cedar, cypress, and walnut make the best fire board and pin collections.

Prior to you can use wood to start a rubbing-based fire, the wood has to be bone dry. If the wood isn't dry, you'll need to dry it out first.

The Hand Drill

The hand drill method is the most primitive, the most primal, as well as the most difficult to do All you need is timber, steadfast hands, as well as some sandy determination. Therefore, it'll put more hair on your breast than any other approach.

Below's how it's done:

Build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be utilized to develop the flame you get from the spark you're about to create.

Make a tinder nest out of anything that ignites easily, like a completely dry yard, leaves, as well as bark.

Make your notch. Cut a v-shaped notch into your fire board and make a tiny clinical depression adjacent to it.

Area bark beneath the notch. The bark will be made use of to catch a cinder from the rubbing in between the spindle and also the fireboard.

Start rotating. The area spindles right into the anxiety on your fireboard. Your pin must have to do with 2 feet long for this to work correctly. Keep stress on the board and also start rolling the pin in between your hands, running them quickly down the pin. Maintain doing this up until a cinder is formed on the fireboard.

Start a fire! As soon as you see beautiful coal, touch the fire board to drop your ember onto the piece of bark. Transfer the bark to your nest of tinder. Delicately strike on it to begin your flame.


One of the simplest match-free methods to start a fire is to use flint and also steel. Flint, as well as steel packages, can be bought reasonably cheaply and are very easy to start a fire with if you have a tinder set, particularly if your tinder kit includes a charcloth.

Making a fire with flint as well as steel has 3 crucial steps: First, you need to produce a trigger. Second, you need to capture that trigger. Third, you need to transform the spark right into a fire. To complete the initial two actions, take a small bit of charcloth and lay it level against the flint. Next off, strike the flint with the metal demonstrator. You need to see sparks immediately if you strike the flint at the appropriate angle.

Among these sparks should ultimately land on the charcloth, offering it a tiny orange radiance. That little glow is enough to start a fire with; you need to transfer the charcloth to the tinder nest when the glow appears, gently covering the charcloth right into the tinder nest and then blowing on it. The tinder nest ought to smoke and produce a flame virtually immediately. You can feed the fire with little kindling, such as dried grass, pine straw, or twigs, and afterward utilize the extra stable flame to light your browse through fire.

Bow Drill

The bow drill is possibly the most reliable rubbing-based technique to make use of due to the fact that it's much easier to maintain the speed as well as stress you require to create sufficient rubbing to start a fire.

In addition to the pin as well as the fireboard, you'll additionally require a socket as well as a bow.

Obtain a socket. The socket is utilized to tax the other end of the spindle as you're revolving it with the bow. The socket can be a stone or an additional piece of wood. If you use one more piece of timber, try to find a harder piece than what you're utilizing for the pin. Wood with sap and oil are good as it produces a lube between the spindle as well as the socket.

Make your bow. The bow should have to do with as long as your arm. Make use of a versatile item of wood that has a minor contour. The string of the bow can be anything. A shoelace, rope, or strip of rawhide functions great. Just find something that won't damage. Hang your bow as well as you're all set to go.

Prepare the fireboard. Cut a v-shaped notch as well as produce anxiety beside it in the fireboard. Below the notch, area your tinder.

String up the pin. Catch the spindle in a loop of the bowstring. Area one end of the spindle in the fireboard and use stress on the various other ends with your socket.

Start sawing. Using your bow, begin sawing to and fro. You've generally produced a rudimentary mechanical drill. The pin needs to be revolving promptly. Keep sawing up until you develop ash.

Make your fire. Drop the ember into the tinder nest as well as the impact on it delicately. You got yourself a fire.


A few of us found this technique quite on mishap as youngsters when we thawed toys with a magnifying glass or accidentally captured pests on fire. With any luck, you won't be utilizing your magnifying glass to torture bugs when you're on your following hiking trip, but if you have an unblocked sight of the sun, you can conveniently make use of the magnifying glass method to start a fire. A magnifying glass that revolves in and out of a vinyl situation, rather than a magnifying glass with a manager, is excellent for taking a trip with.

This method is very easy. Put your tinder nest on the ground or with your kindling, after that intend the light beam of the sun at the tinder nest till it begins to smoke. When it starts smoking cigarettes, gently impact the tinder nest up until you create a fire.

Making use of a magnifying glass to start a fire is very easy, however, it depends upon having a decent amount of sunshine. Given that you can't constantly depend on the sunlight out, it's great to have even more techniques on-hand than simply the magnifying glass.

Flint and also Steel

This is an old standby. It's constantly a great suggestion to carry around a good flint as well as steel set with you on an outdoor camping journey. Matches can splash and also become to be basically ineffective, but you can still get stimulation from placing steel to an excellent piece of flint. The Swedish FireSteel Army model is an excellent set to utilize.

If you're caught without a flint and steel set, you can always improvisate by using quartzite and also the steel blade of your swiss army knife (you bring your penknife, aren't you?). You'll additionally require char. Char is a cloth that has actually been developed into charcoal. Char captures a trigger and also keeps it smoldering without bursting into fires. If you don't have char, a piece of fungus or birch will do.

Grip the rock and also char fabric. Grab the piece of rock in between your thumb and forefinger. Make certain an edge is socializing regarding 2 or 3 inches. Realize the char in between your thumb as well as the flint.

Strike! Comprehend the back of the steel demonstrator or make use of the rear of your knife blade. Strike the steel versus the flint a number of times. Sparks from the steel will fly off as well as arrive at the char towel, triggering a glow.

Start a fire. Fold up your char cloth right into the tinder nest and also delicately blow on it to start a flame.


Besides making use of a glass lens to catch the rays of the sun and create a fire, you can also make use of a water-filled balloon or a mirror to accomplish the very same result. When utilizing water inside a balloon, attempt to make the form right into a round. The more spherical the container is, the more effective it will certainly go to concentrating the rays of the sun.

If you do not have a mirror handy, you can brighten the bottom of a soda/beer can with toothpaste or delicious chocolate and also turn it right into a mirror. By the way, if you use this last approach, do not eat the delicious chocolate after you've polished your aluminum can with it; the chocolate might contain harmful residue.

Fire From Ice

Fire from ice isn't just some dumb cliché made use of for high school senior prom styles. You can actually make a fire from an item of ice. All you need to do is develop the ice right into a lens shape and then use it as you would when starting a fire with any other lens. This approach can be specifically helpful for wintertime camping.

Get clear water. For this to function, the ice has to be clear. If it's cloudy or has various other contaminations, it's not mosting likely to work. The very best method to obtain a clear ice block is to fill a dish, mug, or container constructed out of aluminum foil with clear lake or pond water or melted snow. Let it freeze till it forms ice. Your block must have to do with 2 inches thick for this to function.

Form your lens. Utilize your knife to form the ice right into a lens. Bear in mind a lens shape is thicker between and narrower near the sides.

Polish your lens. After you get the harsh shape of a lens, end up shaping of it by polishing it with your hands. The warmth from your hands will certainly melt the ice enough so you obtain a wonderfully smooth surface area.

Start a fire. Angle your ice lens in the direction of the sunlight just as you would certainly any other lens. Emphasis the light on your tinder nest as well as watch as you make an as soon as stupid cliché come to life.

Batteries as well as Steel Wool

Like the chocolate as well as soda can technique, it's difficult to think of a situation where you will not have matches, yet you will have some batteries as well as some steel wool. Yet hey, you never recognize. As well as it's fairly easy as well as enjoyable to attempt at home.

Stretch out the Steel Wool. You want it to be about 6 inches long and a 1/2- inch wide.

Massage the battery on the steel wool. Hold the steel wool in one hand and also the battery in the other. Any kind of battery will certainly do, yet 9-volt batteries work best. Massage the side of the battery with the "contacts" on the woolen. The wool will start to glow and melt. Gently impact on it.

Transfer the burning wool to your tinder nest. The woolen's flame will extinguish quickly, so don't throw it away at any time.


What happens if you're in a worst-case situation type of situation? Your matches as well as your lighter have actually both gotten wet as well as won't work. You have a tinder kit, together with some flint and steel, however, your tinder package has actually gotten wet, also. The rainstorm has actually additionally made the forest around you damp, so there is basically no dry kindling or logs anywhere to be located. Are you stuck at this point? No. If you're clever, you can still start a fire.

Beginning by locating some dry tinder. The aforementioned birch or cedar bark functions well in this scenario, however, you'll need to peel off a few layers of bark to get to the completely dry bark.

When it comes to finding dry timber, search for a standing dead tree. Unlike a dead tree that's pushing the forest floor, a standing dead tree will typically be completely dry within. Peel away the deteriorated, wet, external section of the tree to get to the completely dry timber on the inside. You can use this dry timber as your kindling. Once you have a suitable blaze going, you can utilize also moist limbs and twigs in your fire, since the warmth of the fire will be solid enough to capture moist timber at that point.


  • Warning: unsafe, just to be exercised in a life-and-death emergency scenario.
  • Things Needed:
  • Potassium Permanganate.
  • Glycerin.

How to Make Fire: Unlikely to have chemicals readily available. However, it deserves discussing this method. Pour some of the Potassium Permanganate onto an item of rock and also develop a tiny well in the middle of the heap. Add some glycerin to the potassium permanganate and wait a few minutes for the mixture to break into flames. Beware to save the Potassium Permanganate away from the glycerin while you are taking it. You additionally can use sugar as opposed to glycerin. Simply include equal amounts of Potassium Permanganate and sugar and use the blunt end of a stay to squash them with each other to start a fire.


  • Warning: unsafe, only to be exercised in a life-and-death emergency scenario. 
  • Things Needed:
  • Ammonium nitrate.
  • Salt.
  • Zinc powder.

Just How to Make Fire: Mix together around 4 grams of ammonium nitrate and also one gram of sodium chloride (table salt) as well as extensively grind with a rock. After that mix in 10 grams of zinc powder. Include a couple of drops of water to start an exothermic response that'll generate a flame. Be careful when lugging these chemicals in your pack. You do not want them to blend mistakenly and ignite while hiking.

As well, there you have it! You've simply learned 11 tried and tested ways to make a fire without matches. Leave us a comment if you've tried any one of these and also allow us to know how it went.

Have we missed something? Just how do you start a fire without an evening?

The methods above are one of the most vital indicate recognize when considering constructing an outside fire without matches. Whenever you go camping or walking, you must have at the very least three various devices for fire, along with your tilling set.

Have we missed out on any other beneficial means to catch fire without a match? If so, please discuss your favorite ways to capture the fire in the remarks below.

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