There are many scenarios in which starting a fire without matches can be helpful. But, sometimes it’s a matter of life or death.
Fire provides warmth, but it can also be a distress signal, animal deterrent, or a means for cooking.
Moreover, the earliest estimates for fire manipulation, according to scientists, occurred nearly 1 million years ago. One thing is for sure, though. They didn’t have matches back then!
As a key part of survival, any survivalist should have a handful of ways to make fire, especially in the event that you wander off the trail.
Read on to learn some key ways to start a fire without matches, as our ancient ancestors once did.
1. Use an Aluminum Can
The first step is to find an aluminum can. An old soda can work perfectly for this option.
The next step is to polish the bottom of the can so that it’s very reflective and shiny. Toothpaste, chocolate, or clay work well for this part.
Lastly, create a pile of tinder and begin reflecting the soda can off of the sun at an angle that hits the pile. Soon enough, it should be smoldering.
2. Use Batteries and a Gum Wrapper
Take the gum wrapper and cut it into three sections, each with a thin section in the middle and two thick ends.
Then, take one of the three strips and touch the metal side of the strip ends, and the middle should ignite. Use this to light your tinder pile.
3. Use Water and a Plastic Bag
It may seem absolutely counter-intuitive to use water to start a first, but bear with me!
Water can actually act as a magnifying glass to harness the sun’s light. Simply fill a plastic bag with water, form it into a sphere, and hold it above the tinder pile until, with patience, it sparks.
4. Use a Flashlight
This method requires some disassembly of your trusty flashlight. Simply take off the top of the flashlight, and remove the silver cone that holds the bulb is.
Then, once the bulb is out, place dry tinder into the center of the cone to reflect the sun’s heat directly on the tinder. Soon enough, sparks will fly.
5. Use a Piece of Dowel Wood and Rope
This method is for those who want the most traditional way to start a fire. But, it does involve many more steps and should be reserved for the most passionate or the most desperate.
You will need a total of four pieces of dry wood to form a bow drill. One should be flat and free of knots to form the base.
Next, look for a dowel-like piece of wood to use for friction. A sturdy and straight piece that is at least one foot long should do.
After, find a handheld piece to hold the dowel in place. Focus on how it feels in your hand, as this is the most important part.
Lastly, a branch with a curve to it is needed to form the bow. It should be at least eighteen inches long. Attach a rope to either end of this branch, or a boot lace if need be.
Carve the appropriate holes to keep it in place, then position the tinder. You will be warm in no time.
The Best Ways to Start a Fire
In terms of the best way to start a fire without matches, it truly depends on your situation and preference. At times, it may be good to experiment with different methods to prepare for less than optimal situations.
In addition, if you are a true survivalist, experiment with minimalist methods for starting a fire to best prepare for whatever is next.
No matter what your survivalist style is, make sure you check out our blog for more tips on the survivalist lifestyle.