14 Crazy Ways To Light A Campfire Without A Match

14 Crazy Ways To Light A Campfire Without A Match

14 Crazy Ways To Light A Campfire Without A Match

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Your ability to start a fire without a match has a high value. For instance, think about this. Imagine your bug out bag and fire starting materials outside of your reach. They are miles away. To make things even more stressful, you can’t get to them at the moment you need them most.

This would be the moment when your knowledge and skills take on life saving value. If by some chance, you are able to start a fire without that gear, then guess what? The knowledge in your head has just become more valuable than your gear.

So wouldn’t it make sense to know as many fire making alternatives as possible? What I’ve done in this article is list fourteen ways to start a survival fire without matches. I’m not saying that you have to pull these all off at the same time. But, it is possible that just one of these methods may be perfect for your emergency situation.

To help you make better sense of these, there are 5 groups or basic techniques. So let’s jump in.


Fire Craft Type 1: Friction Based

Friction based fire making is the oldest of all the techniques. Problem is that it’s also the hardest to master. You’ve got to have the right technique and the right wood. Preferred woods include aspen, willow, cottonwood and juniper.

So here’s how it works. There’s a spindle which sits on a fire board. The spinning of the spindle creates particles that generate heat. Once they reached 800 degrees, a coal starts to glow and form. OK, that’s it. And here are the three methods of friction based fire making.

Hand Drill

The hand drill method is the same as the Bow & Drill except there’s no bow. Just your hands. This method takes sheer determination. With this and the Fire Plough, as soon as smoke appears, start looking for the glowing ember.

Fire Plough

This consists of 2 parts. The base and the stick. The base has a channel in it that the stick goes back and forth in. You just push hard and keep pushing back and forth until you see smoke.

Bow & Drill

The most famous of the “friction” methods. This is the one we think about the most. Here’s how it works.

1. Build the bow with wood that is about the size of your thumb. It’s got to have some curve and play in it.
2. Get some string or a shoelace. Tie to each end of the bow.
3. Get a thicker piece of wood for the “spindle”. Put a rounded tip on one end and a point on the other end.
4. Make a “spindle block”. Carve an indentation on one side to hold the spindle.
5. Make an ember block. Cut notches in it to let embers fall through.
6. Now make a “tinder bundle”.

Fire Craft Type 2: Strike Method

The “strike” method is even older than the friction method. Flint and steel go way back. Even cavemen had pieces of flint laying around.

Flint and Steel

This is older than the friction method. Neanderthal caves have been found with flints laying near fire pits. The good part of this, is that it doesn’t matter if your ignition generating tools get wet. The downside? It takes a while. But, if you have some char cloth in your kit, it may go faster than you’d expect. Although the method is simple, there are a couple of twists to the theme.

Here’s how it works. Place your tinder in front of you. Start striking the steel against the flint towards the tinder. Keep striking until your tinder catches a spark.

Rock and Screwdriver

Same theme, different players. In this case, you want to get quartz as your rock. The steel gets replaced with a flathead screwdriver. And again, if you have some char cloth in your kit to catch the sparks, you’ll be golden.

Fire Craft Type 3: Pressure Based

Of all the methods that exist, this is the weirdest. Well, maybe not the weirdest, but definitely interesting. I’m not sure I’d like to lug around a rock and screwdriver around in my bug out bag, but a fire piston? Yeah. This makes sense. See how to make one here

It’s important because the parts are foolproof. The operation is simple. All you need is the tube, the piston and some char cloth. Press the piston quickly into the tube, and watch for the char cloth to show an ember.

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