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Questions tagged [fire-starting]

Questions about how to start a campfire/bonfire in the outdoors

42
votes
11answers
10k views

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

Assuming firewood can be found, but it's likely to be damp, how can I best be prepared for getting a fire going? This is for a light hiking situation, so I'm not going to carry a sack full of kindling,...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

Can you start a wood fire with a Spark Bunsen Burner/Laboratory Lighter?

Someone suggested using a Safety Spark Bunsen Burner/Laboratory Lighter with 5 Flints to start tinder for an emergency fire. I don't currently own one so can't try it. I have used them to light ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Start a fire with nail clippers?

My inexpensive nail clippers are chrome plated steel. All the keys on my key ring are brass or some other non-ferrous metal (I checked with a magnet). The nail clippers have that small nail file ...
7
votes
2answers
269 views

Start a fire with key fob battery?

We know that you can start a fire with a battery. the better prepared you are the easier it is going to be. I am not prepared and all I have in my pockets is my car keys, which includes a keyless ...
11
votes
3answers
745 views

Are there any natural materials that can work for a “fire roll” friction fire?

I have seen a few videos of people using an interesting friction-fire technique, and a couple of them called it a "fire roll." To do this, they fluffed up a cotton ball, put something in it such as ...
6
votes
2answers
231 views

What is the most reliable way to start a friction fire?

What is the most reliable way to start a friction fire using foraged materials? Not necessarily just the overall technique (ie: "drill" or "plow" or whatever); it's good to compare specific ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Eye safety when starting a fire with a magnifying glass

TL;DR What are some reasonable (ie: safe, portable, reusable) ways to start a fire with a magnifying glass without damaging my eyes from staring at the focused sunlight? Background I recently ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Unconventional ways to light a fire [closed]

In a survival situation, lets say post apocalyptic, what are some unconventional ways a campfire could be lit? Obviously there are the classic flint and steel, rod and bow, and of course matches. But ...
10
votes
4answers
550 views

Camp fire starting for the novice?

We have several posts about fire most of them are about specific challenges. A recent question had myself and others searching for fire starting basics. We don't seem to have a post about it. What ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Should I add holes to my fire pit/bowl?

I own a cheap but relatively effective solid metal bowl-shaped fire pit: (football [soccer ball] provided for scale) We sometimes have difficulty getting it lit - the smallest kindling takes well, ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

Are there any techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in snow?

What are the techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in a survival situation when snow is present? I would like to know if there are any known techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in ...
8
votes
4answers
737 views

Is it possible to use a flint and steel with wet tinder?

We carry a flint and steel instead of lighters to light our camp stoves when backpacking because the flint and steel always works and weighs very little. One of our routine camp activities is to try ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

Is dryer lint worth using as a fire starter even if it's also a pollutant?

I have been reading about dryer lint as an effective kindling material, but I keep having the feeling that in some way it implies burning "plastic": all the artificial materials, coloring (although it ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

How to store tinder on a hike?

What do people use to carry tinder whilst hiking? I was thinking of using a tobacco tin but on a multiday hike I'm not sure it will fit enough or if it will keep dry. Tinder I would be using would be ...
8
votes
1answer
188 views

Method to test if wood is suitable to start a friction fire

As far as I know a wood (for the "hearth board") has to full fill several characteristics (at least they've to be soft) to be suitable for a friction fire. When in a survival situation, how can I ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Starting a Fire with a Battery - what are the fundamental guidelines for safety and efficacy?

There are numerous videos online demonstrating that its possible to start a fire using a battery. Here are four examples using different starting materials. But I have not found any tutorials that ...
2
votes
3answers
595 views

Can a 'Flameless ration heater' be used to safely start a fire?

It appears that you can accidentally & unsafely have an unsafe occurrence with a 'Flameless ration heater'. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (...
9
votes
1answer
992 views

Does any Household Object Function as a Passable Fire Steel?

Suppose I am trying to teach a class of 12 children how to build campfires. I would like each pupil to have a flint and steel for the lesson. As it turns out ferrocerium rods can be acquired cheaply ...
18
votes
2answers
701 views

Is a tepee, log cabin, or lean-to configuration most effective for starting a fire?

As long as the wood is dry and you have good kindling, does it matter how I start a fire?
11
votes
2answers
757 views

Can fire starting liquid be used in a kerosene lamp?

Supermarkets often have "fire starting liquid" on sale - that's usually transparent oil-like liquid looking much like kerosene. The label typically says the product it "mix of paraffins". It behaves ...
14
votes
3answers
22k views

Where can I expect to find naturally occurring flint in the wild?

Where would I look if I was in a survival situation and wanted to find some rocks for fire starting? Where does flint occur naturally? What environments could you expect to find some in? I've created ...
9
votes
2answers
256 views

Lighting a fire using a flint and steel

On the spur of the moment I bought a flint and steel. This was mainly because it seems manly and cool. My main problem is I really struggle to light a fire with the thing and normally give up and use ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

What kinds of wood work well in a bow drill?

I've been working with the bow-drill, and I notice that certain types of wood may be so hard that hardly any powder forms (like african mahogany) and others may be too soft and crumbly. Pine appears ...
5
votes
1answer
437 views

How can I ignite coal on a grill device without using kindling?

Today I tried to ignite coal on a grill device, without using kindling (we ran out of it). I gathered a lot of small twigs and a bit of medium ones. I managed to set all this on fire, but the coals ...
7
votes
1answer
235 views

Primitive fire starting in northeastern Brazil

I live on the coast of the northeastern part of Brazil (Rio Grande do Norte). As you go inland, the terrain becomes very arid. There are cactus and a lot of xerophilic plants that remind me a lot of ...
8
votes
2answers
126 views

How do I reduce bow string travel on a bow drill?

I have created a bow-drill for the purpose of starting fires. The wooden shaft's diameter is about the diameter of a typical male thumb, and is approximately 11 inches in length. The bow string is ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

Wax paper as a fire starter

One thought led to another and I started wondering how effective wax paper would be to bring along as tinder to start a fire. I've seen suggestions of using paraffin in conjunction with other ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Recommended windproof matches?

I was looking for some good windproof matches - not for any specific use, but just because I considered they may come in useful in some environments. Has anyone any experience with any particular ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

How to choose a fire steel and use it most effectively?

Fire steels, ferrocerium rods -- oversized versions of the "flint" in a lighter or torch starter, are an apparently popular survival/backwoods fire starting method. Why would one want one of these ...
12
votes
2answers
955 views

Is there a way to light a fire in the wild using rocks?

Just for fun, how would I go about lighting a fire with naturally shaped rocks by striking sparks? It might be useful if I were to camp in the far north, where there are no trees. What should I use ...
16
votes
3answers
816 views

Are there any specific techniques that should be used when starting a fire in the rain?

Starting a fire can sometimes be hard enough when it's dry, let alone when it's tipping it down. But when it is, what steps should you follow to try to ensure the fire gets going successfully? I'm ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Gas or liquid fuel lighter?

My backpack of course has a rechargeable gas lighter. I am considering buying a good Zippo, as I feel it more resistant, and it does not need to be kept with your hands to stay on. Would you suggest ...
28
votes
4answers
51k views

How can I start a fire by rubbing two sticks together?

When trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, what does one need to consider? I am assuming I can't just grab any two sticks and start rubbing... Should they be dead or green? Hard ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the most effective ways to start a fire in the cold?

I frequently hike and camp in the forests of the Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, etc). Considering this climate can get quite cold in the Fall & Winter, what are the best strategies to starting ...