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Firemaking Guide – Building a Fire Without Matches

photo of kindling

After reading this firemaking guide, you will be able to make a fire using anything.
Do you know how to make a fire with a battery and a chewing gum package? Did you know you can start a fire with a zip-lock bag? How easy is it to start a fire without matches when you are out in the wilderness bugging out? Let,s take a look at what you need to make a fire, how to build a fire, and 11 fascinating ways to start a fire without a lighter.

Fire starting is among the most important needs of survival. In fact, it was the first thing I discovered when I was a boy scout many years earlier. Since those days I have studied on a lot of ways to make a fire, however the fun part isn’t the real structure of the fire, it is knowing how to light a fire, of which there are a variety of methods of which some are a lot easier than others.

When I am outdoors, it may look like a simple endeavor to light a fire with matches or a butane lighter, but for me, I take pleasure in trying to light a campfire without matches, as not only is it fun to try, but if you were ever without matches, it would be nice to have been through the procedure of starting a fire before.

There are a variety of factors in this firemaking guide that we need to know in order to make a fire, and how to light a fire. With a fire, you can have heat, boil and sanitize water, prepared food, light and signal for help. These are just some of the reasons that the fire making skill is on the leading list of things you need to learn to endure in the wild.

For preppers, outdoor survival is an important skill as you never really know when you are in an emergency situation and have to endure outdoors and in the wild. In that ideal circumstance, a box of waterproof matches, some dry wood and a fry ground would make the perfect fire, but we don’t always have that, specifically the first bit, matches. And what if you remained in a damp environment like the jungle, or wintery snow-covered landscape? Your wood will be wet, you might be without matches, and you’re most likely going to freeze to death.

It is in survival situations like these that we must know about this firemaking guide and learn how to start a fire with:

  • Flint and steel
  • Sticks utilizing the fire plow approach
  • Bow and drill
  • Two-man friction drill
  • A soda can
  • A magnifying glass
  • A bottle of water
  • A sandwich bag
  • A battery and steel wool
  • Battery and chewing gum wrapper (tin foil).
  • A 9V battery and steel wool.

But first in this firemaking guide, let’s have a look at what we need and how we can construct the fire so that as soon as we have our initial spark, we can get our bigger fire going.

Materials Required to Start a Fire

The first thing we need to go over in this firemaking guide is understanding how to make a fire by choosing the best combustables, such as wood or anything else we can gather up. In a metropolitan environment where there’s not much wood available to gather, we could use a great deal of other accelerants for a roaring fire, but in the woods we require 3 kinds of materials:.

Tinder– Tinder is a dry product that ignites with really little heat. When tinder is dry, all it takes is a spark to start it on fire. We utilize the tinder in a fire as a fuel to ignite less combustible material like wood. You can’t simply light a log up with a match, the fire needs the tinder to corroborate the strength and effect of the fire.

So how do you make tinder for a fire? There are a variety of sources of tinder such as:.

You can get tinder from tree bark (like paper), cotton balls, tampon cotton, steel wool and cattail fluff.
Dry wood shavings that can be made quickly with a pencil sharpener, knife or the slashing off a stick.You don’t need any tools do make this sort of tinder at all.

In snow-covered areas utilize fungus from trees. It holds the heat quite well.

Kindling– Kindling is what we contribute to the tinder to provide a fire a more strong form. Due to the fact that kindling is such an accelerant, it will just last for a short of time. Basically tinder is the initial start and then kindling is the next necessary component.

It is really simple to gather as it is just little sticks and twigs. These need to be dry. Any wood the exact same thickness as a finger is suitable for tinder. An efficient method to make tinder if you are in a wet location is to find a larger piece of wood and break it with rocks or bigger pieces of wood. The inside of this wood is dry and will appropriate if turned towards the inside facing the tinder of your fire.

Fuel– Once we have started a fire, we need fuel to keep the fire going. Generally, everything much thicker than tinder or kindling that burns for longer is an excellent source of fuel. Typically fuel remains in the form of thick logs. If you do not have an axe to cut these down try looking for a dead or fallen log and dragging it over your fire. As soon as you have enough kindling you can efficiently use your fire to cut the longer piece of wood into multiple pieces offering yourself more fuel.

Whichever technique we select to use in this firemaking guide, these 3 ingredients are necessary in the development of a good fire. Dry tinder must constantly be utilized in all of these circumstances to capture the preliminary stimulate and become fuel the fuel for the kindling to capture a fire.

Firemaking Guide – Methods to Start a Fire

photo of a man starting a fire with magnesium flint starter

11 Ways to start a fire without matches
Now that we know what we need to make a fire with the type of wood we need, and an outstanding method to build the base for a good fire, let’s take a look at some alternative methods to start a fire without utilizing matches or a lighter. This list is broken down into three main sections, that include the conventional primitive fire-making techniques, using sunshine to make a fire, and after that some of the more appealing approaches to start a fire that you may not have become aware of.

1. Flint and steel

Flint consist of either quartz, chert, obsidian, agate, jasper and a few other less common ones. Basically, what you prefer is a stone that is more hardened than steel. If you’re in upper Canada you’re in luck as they are plentyful in those places, but anywhere else it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

If you can’t identify any of those sort of rock, merely grab some of the numerous variations around you and attempt them out versus the metal you have or a steel knife.

Step 1: Move the stone across the knife in a shaving movement– it will trigger sparks. These sparks are little splinters of steel being ‘shaved’ off and are heated up by the friction. If you have a piece of dry material try wrapping it around the stone, the spark will begin heating it up. Having rotten wood is likewise a great method to capture the spark that stems from the steel.

Step 2: Shave the triggers into the rotten wood, material or tinder bird’s nest.

Step 3: Place it in the bird’s nest and carefully blow up till you have a flame that will not vurn out.

Step 4: Put the nest in the kindling tee-pee, and the fire will start.

2. Using sticks to start a fire (Fire plow)


No doubt have heard of the famous old way of starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together? It’s an old survival skill referred to as a fire plow. Fire plow is difficult work but a good and simple way to start a fire when there is no matches or lighters available. The fire here is originating from the friction triggered between two bits of wood. The primary concern here is having dry wood, without it you’re going to be hindered – as it needs friction in between the wood to light the wooden dust particles that gather in the plow.
Photo of a guy using the stick hand drill method of starting a fire

Step 1: Find a large piece of wood to use as a plow board. A log that has been divided down the middle longways would be ideal. If you stay in moist environments a fresh piece of wood split in the middle can also be used as it will be dry.

Step 2: Make a divit in the middle of the wood longways down the rake. This will be the course that your stick will deal with.

Step 3: Get a stick that is strong enough to run it regularly through the groove made in step 2. Make sure the stick has a blunt end which you can make by using a rock to blunten the guideline of the stick.

Step 4: Once you have done this a while, tilt the plow so that the wood dust gathers in your divit, the stick friction made running along the divit will hit the wood dust causing a hot ash.

Step 5: when you see a little ash or 2, blow gently to get the dust lit up and position some tinder on it also.

Step 6: Once you have a sustainable flame – put the nest in the kindling tee-pee, and then you will have a good fire started.

3. Start a fire with a bow and drill

photo of a man using a bow drill to start a fire

This technique is a level above the last method to start a fire with sticks because it utilizes string, twine, or other naturally forming rope to make the bow. You could use your shoe laces for this as well.

Step 1: Make a bow– it must be atleast 30 inches long. It should be somewhat flexible however it ought to not be pulled like a bow. It needs to be more of a slight flex in the wood. Notch your cord onto the bow loose enough so that you can wrap the excess in the center around your drill.

photoof a man using a bow fire starter

Step 2: Get a peice of wood to use as a drill– it should be as thick as your thumb and soft wood – much like cedar. Make certain this drill wood is dry. The drill length shoud be 8 inches long and should be blunt round on one end and blunt on the other.

Step 3: Get a fire plank. This would be the same as the one used in the fire plow above. Make a V shape notch in the middle of the plank. At the tip of the V make a small hole for the drill. The pointed end of the drill needs to rest in the hole, not go through. This is where the drill will sit and the wood dust will gather around it.

Step 4: Find a rock to hang on top of the drill. Preferably it would be a stone with a concave cup-like location to hold the drill in place as it drills the slab. You might also use the knot of a branch or bone to hold it in place.

Step 5: Place bird’s nest of tinder under the slab to capture the ash when it forms.

Step 6: cover the cable around the drill as quickly as and begin moving the bow left and right while holding the top. Utilize a small bit of pressure on the top while doing this. There should become some smoke originating from the dust gathered.

Step 7: When the sawdust stack is smoking cigarettes, carefully raise the drill out place and put a light quantity of tinder on the dust and carefully blow into a flame. Consist of the sustainable flame to the bird’s nest. You have a fire.

4. How to start a fire with a two-man friction drill

For the bow drill, 2 individuals are better than one. Partner with somebody and do the exact same however much easier.

Step 1: instead of making use of a bow – wrap the cord around the drill and pull left side initially – then right. This will make the drill rotate to produce friction.

photo of a two man friction drill starting a fire

Step 2: have your partner press down on the top of the drill.

Step 3: When the sawdust pile starts smoking, raise the drill out and put a small amount of tinder on the dust and blow lightly on the flame. Put the flame to the bird’s nest and you will have started a fire.

Methods that use sunlight for a fire

Using sunlight is one of the unique ways to make a fire without a lighter or matches and has been used for a long time. There has to be a strong amount of sunlight to start a fire with a magnifying item – magnifiing glass, a plastic bag with water, or to concentrate the sunlight, such as a soda can. If you have strong sunlight at the area you need to build a fire, this is a great way to start one. Watch each of these videos below to learn these effective methods of starting a fire.

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