How To Start A Fire Without Matches Or A Lighter

I've heard this question often...

"How to start a fire without matches or a lighter?" and that's what I'll attempt to answer today.

Picture the scene; you've decided to go camping.

You're smelling the open air, feeling the wind on your face and it's beginning to get dark so it's time to light the fire…

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Oh, sh*t! You knew you had forgotten something. You didn’t bring the matches!! 

Or the lighter...and your family and friends have left you in charge of lighting the fire for the night. 

How to start a fire without matches

The last situation you want to be in is where you are stuck without matches or a lighter. You may be kicking yourself for not bringing any, but there is no need for that. We can show you how to start a fire without them! 

There are many ways of starting a fire that doesn't even require matches or a lighter. These techniques are often more useful than using matches. So, we might just up your camping game with these methods. 

There are some crucial elements that you must consider when trying to start a fire without matches or lighters. These factors are vital in creating some flames.

The most common of the elements is friction. This is the method you have seen in movies where someone rubs two sticks endlessly together to create a spark. 

Sparks are another crux of creating fire. You can use rocks, flint or a battery and some wool to get those sparks going and catch alight. 

You can also use the sunlight to concentrate light through glass to create a flame and get the ball rolling.

If these seem like something you can do, then the night is saved and we will have that fire started in no time.

We’ve created a guide for you for the easiest ways to start a fire without matches or a lighter...

How To Start A Fire Without Matches Or A Lighter: 4 Simple Methods

If you are lost in the wilderness without any of the essentials like a pack of matches or a lighter, then do not panic, we have you covered!

There are a few ways you can start a few without them.

Here are some of our favorites ways to start a fire without matches or a lighter...

1) With A Magnifying Glass

Ever seen kids burning ants in a movie? This works the exact same way. If you have a magnifying glass, and it is a sunny, clear day, then this is a super quick method of bursting those flames! 

This method works best with some sort of tinder that will catch alight easily. For this method to work you need something that can burn quickly. You can use an old newspaper if you have one with you. Grab 2-3 sheets and crumple them into a ball. 

If you do not have a newspaper, grab some dry leaves, grass or needles to use as tinder. Make sure it is actually dried all the way through or you will have some trouble lighting.

Next, you can start the fire. Simply hold the magnifying glass up between your tinder and the sunlight. There should be a small dot on your tinder where the light is concentrated. Tilt your glass to change the size, but try to keep it as small as possible to create enough heat to start the fire. 

Light ‘em up! After about 20-30 seconds you should notice your tinder start to smoke and you have your fire.

This method can also be done with other glass, or any reflective object where you can concentrate the sun’s rays onto your tinder.

2) Let’s Create Some Friction

Using friction to start a fire is one of the most common and well-known ways to catch a light without matches. However, it is also one of the most difficult and most time consuming. 

To start a fire with friction, you must create a v-shaped notch in a log and choose a spindle. You have to repeatedly rub the spindle between your hands as fast as possible to cause a spark. You can do this by moving your hands up and down the spindle as quickly as you can. 

If it starts to smoke, then you can use your tinder to catch the sparks and get the fire glowing. 

3) With Flint and Steel

If you’ve left your matches at home, you can use flint and steel to start a fire. You can purchase flint and steel kits like this one to take camping with you.

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They are inexpensive and can be lifesavers when you are left with nothing else. Using a flint and steel kit will help you make a spark and catch it for your tinder. 

You must strike your flint at the correct angle and you will see sparks fly out. You need those sparks to hit your tinder and start to smoke. Once you see smoke, start to blow on your fire to fan it. 

4) With Tinder

It’s going down...I’m yelling tinder! This is such a useful hack for lighting a fire without matches! We recommend that you take tinder on whatever camping trip you are going on.

Starting a fire without matches or a lighter is hard enough as it is. You can make your life so much simpler if you bring a tinder kit like this one with you. 

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A good tinder kit should have dry materials and tinder in it that will help you start a fire and a way of lighting it. You simply lay out your tinder and strike your flint to ignite!

Fire Safety When Starting A Fire Without Matches Or A Lighter

Always make sure that you are starting a fire in a safe and secluded place.

You should choose a clear area so that you do not catch fire to the forest or any natural environments, and always stay away from homes or built up areas.

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