Seven Ways To Light a Fire Without a Match | Field & Stream

10:53 p.m. on October 30, 2010 (EDT)
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12:25 a.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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a great fire starter is actually the lint from your laundry dryer. I save these in a bag and bring them with me camping and hiking. When hit with enough sparks or flame, the stuff is like napalm.

12:52 a.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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iClimb, totally agree about dryer lint taking a spark well, you should try adding petroleum jelly to the lint and mashing it all together into a glob, it will burn a lot longer than the lint by itself.

11:19 a.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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My dad used to make Napalm when I was a kid. Gasoline and styrofoam. Used it to blow up gopher holes.

3:31 p.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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I like this article because it describes ways to start a fire WITHOUT any outside chemicals or preparation other than what you might already have with you. Vaseline is an awesome firestarter, but most people don't carry it.  Gasoline and styrofoam? Nope, don't carry those either. Lint? Check the corners of the pockets of your all cotton blue jeans.  Oh, wait, cotton jeans are a bad choice in the wilderness too. Guess you'll just have to follow the advice from the original article.

Please don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying preparation is unnecessary, it absolutely is.  If you've ever tried ANY of the techniques in the article, you know that they are neither easy, fun, or efficient.  as a matter of fact most of them can cause minor or serious bodily harm to the person attempting them. Personal injury; Another thing you don't want to have happen in the backcountry.  Be smart, prepare, carry a lighter...

4:13 p.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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I have a 8.5 by 11.5 Fresnel lens. You have to have sunlight to make it work but it starts better than matches. Weighs almost nothing and fits in the map pocket in my backpack.

I also built a fire piston but I broke it already. I need to make the next one a bit more sturdy.

I have also looked up starting a fire with sticks. The thing you need to know is which ones made a good fire. I don't have a list handy but the wood types make a big difference. The article talks about some of the wood types.

 

5:33 p.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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F Klock, you could always use ChapStick.  

11:38 a.m. on November 1, 2010 (EDT)
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How about belly navel lint?

12:57 p.m. on November 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Google "nanosrtiker" for a way to make a spark.  Look for and watch Youtube video by John Glass on the subject.

4:43 p.m. on November 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Seems like all of the backcountry hikes in my area of SoCal don't allow fires anyway...

But at Edna Mode says, "luck faiffuhs zee pweppehed"

9:38 p.m. on November 1, 2010 (EDT)
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I'm going to agree with f klock here.

While all the little tricks with vaseline, hand sanitizer, wax, lint, cotton, etc. make fire starting easier, and I use them, having the knowledge to start a fire in worst case scenarios is very important in my opinion.

 

12:48 a.m. on November 2, 2010 (EDT)
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I have actually been working on my fire skills for a few years now and totally agree with you trouthunter, if you know the basics you can make a fire, and if you have any of the extra novelties it makes it a lot easier. My fist major fire accomplishment was the 1 match fire with only wood, as time progressed I saw the necessity of a well built tender bundle which led me to being able to start a fire with only good tinder and a ferro rod. My next step in my fire adventure is learning how to make fire with friction, as some of these diagrams elaborate on. My question about friction fire is simple, where do you find a fireboard at in nature? I have in my research not found any explicit info on the production of a fireboard in the woods does anyone have any info on actually making one in nature?

7:10 p.m. on November 7, 2010 (EST)
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Dryer lint works if you have been drying cotton, not so well if synthetics.

I always have a fire steel with me (in my car also).  In the woods you can find fatwood, even if you have to look around for it.  Fatwood shavings will catch a spark from a fire steel quite nicely and burn for plenty long to light other tinder.

Cotton balls with vaseline are faster, but I know I can usually find fatwood in the woods.

 

9:58 a.m. on November 12, 2010 (EST)
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Fatwood is usually from the stump of a pinetree that is rotting down. We used to collect that in New York and in California when I was in Boys Scouts there. We would find a old stump and chop down into the lower root area. Then split out the old resin filled wood and use it for firestarter as it ignites very easily.

One on a camping trip in Yosemite in the spring of 1980 I had to use a small roll of Toilet Paper doused with fuel from my gas stove to get the ponderosa wood to burn. It was on top of El Capitian and 99% of the wood was damp and would not light.

5:22 a.m. on November 13, 2010 (EST)
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Reminds me of one of Dave Barry's more memorable riffs, which I was able to relocate on his Official Website:

"By this point Goble was getting pretty good times. But in the world of competitive charcoal-lighting, "pretty good" does not cut the mustard. Thus Goble hit upon the idea of using -- get ready -- liquid oxygen. This is the form of oxygen used in rocket engines; it's 295 degrees below zero and 600 times as dense as regular oxygen. In terms of releasing energy, pouring liquid oxygen on charcoal is the equivalent of throwing a live squirrel into a room containing 50 million Labrador retrievers. On Goble's World Wide Web page (the address is http:// ghg.ecn.purdue.edu/) you can see actual photographs and a video of Goble using a bucket attached to a 10-foot long wooden handle to dump three gallons of liquid oxygen (Not Sold In Stores) onto a grill containing 60 pounds of charcoal and a lit cigarette for ignition. What follows is the most impressive charcoal-lighting I have ever seen, featuring a large fireball that, according to Goble, reached 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The charcoal was ready for cooking in -- this has to be a world record -- three seconds."

You can read the rest here.

5:30 a.m. on November 13, 2010 (EST)
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P.S. The original link is dead but here's the You Tube version. Apparently it's one of the first viral videos.

Clearly I 'm going to have to take a flask of LOX on my next camping trip.

6:59 p.m. on November 13, 2010 (EST)
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Ooooh.....I want some of that.

That was cool, plus I learned something. Thanks for passing it along.

10:35 p.m. on November 13, 2010 (EST)
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I dont get it, how does super cold oxygen light a lit cigarette and charcoal?

6:22 a.m. on November 15, 2010 (EST)
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The rate of combustion in the cigarette is limited by how fast oxygen can get to the burning tip to react with the tobacco and generate heat. Blow on it (or take a drag, yuck), it burns faster and hotter (same as with starting a fire). Pour LOX on it, and you remove that limit -- the burning reaction can proceed (nearly) as fast as possible, and as it gets hotter it gets even faster. As the vid shows, you can get a pile of charcoal to completely burn in seconds, releasing all the energy that would normally be released of the hour or so of a slow burn.

This IS rocket science!

July 25, 2014
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