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Lighting fires without matches

Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3953
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
The Tales from the Green Valley series showed how to light a fire using a flint and a piece of steel.



The segment starts at 3.18.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this? Any links to share? Or any knowledge of other low-tech fire-lighting techniques?


What is a Mother Tree ?
M Marx


Joined: Feb 14, 2012
Posts: 57
Location: Los Angeles
I like to scavenge big screen projection tv's on the way to the dump, making high tech into low tech that is pretty hi-tek-- inside are 3 glass lenses encased in plastic -- they make for perfect fire starters but you need to open them up and get rid of the plastic lenses inside. Close back up and you have an ant burner (hey I was a kid once).
The fresnel lens inside of the tv works well -- youtube "fresnel lens" good emergency cooking machine.
You can buy a magnesium fire starter kit for real cheap, similar to flint.
Any welding shop has cheap fire strikers.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    6
Traditional flint and steel works really well, but there is definitely a knack to it and a correct way of holding things. Without the know-how one can be spectacularly unsuccessful. I can't remember any specific links but the 'traditional muzzleloading forum' would be a good place to start searching. The steel striker is a good blacksmithing project, you will learn something about steel types and tempering, and the history of the various styles. Having charcloth is important.

The trouble with lenses is that a lot of the times when you might really desperately need a fire there isn't any sun.

Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    6
This thread has some good still photos of technique, scroll down about halfway to posts by 'jethro224'
muzzleloading forum
have fun..
M Marx


Joined: Feb 14, 2012
Posts: 57
Location: Los Angeles
Yeah, I agree and I think it is fairly obvious lenses don't work without sun, no? Plus, where I am we get 330 days of sun per year, so basically any day it works, not nights.
I am just offering alternatives in response to the question.
Respect ( I like ali g)
On the pluss side, one can start a fire in 3 seconds when the sun is shining, it takes almost no skill sets, where other methods can be "spectacularly unsucessful" as a wise one said cheers.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    6
Cheers, friend...no disrespect intended i am jealous of all your sunshine. The winter nights are looong and dark here, and plenty of overcast.

You're right, making and using a striker and flint isn't a light undertaking, and will mean spending time and learning a whole bunch of new skills. But I like to encourage the handful who are interested to keep some of these heirloom technologies alive. We have become so terribly reliant on specialists and industry to support us with even our most basic needs that it's frightening.

Maybe someone here has experience with a fire bow and drill? That's another classic method and you don't even need steel.
Kirk Mobert


Joined: Jan 07, 2011
Posts: 128
Location: Point Arena, Ca
    
    2
I've learned how to use a fire-bow.. They're GREAT as long as you keep everything dry. With some practice you can get a fire going in just a few minuets. There is so much good information on using a fire-bow in the internet, I won't bother writing out the instructions here.. Just google it.
What I want to try is the "fire piston". It uses compression to start a little piece of char-cloth (or some such). Check it out!


Build it yourself, make it small, occupy it.
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 177
Location: SW Missouri
    
    2
If you are in a position to need fire and have absolutely NO TOOLS with you to make it with, you still can get a flame if you have two simple things -- a piece of grass or other flexible plant stem and water. You can even use saliva in a pinch. This only works if you have some sun, however. Just make a tiny loop with the grass and dip it in water or spit. Hold that close to whatever tender you are using (leaves, dry grass, etc.) and focus sunlight through it like you would with a magnifying glass.

Believe it or not this really does work. I've made fires this way many times, and it isn't at all hard. Be careful who you teach though! I made the mistake of showing the technique to my young nephews once and they nearly burned the house down later when they did it unsupervised!
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 453
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
When out in the bush I carry 2 things, my Leatherman multitool and a firepiston. The latter is simple to make from store bought materials and small enough to easily carry anywhere.


It can be done!
Morgan Morrigan


Joined: Oct 16, 2011
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
Firepiston.

Now if only i could find some for 20 bucks instead of 100......


Get involved -Take away the standing of corporations MovetoAmmend.org
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 453
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
How about a couple of bucks??

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1169797/fire_piston_diy_diesel_lighter/
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 177
Location: SW Missouri
    
    2
Wow -- I am definitely making one of those! I even already have all the parts in my assorted hardware box. Nothing to buy-- I like that!
Ray Cover


Joined: Apr 11, 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
I like my magnesium starter but the firepiston is a close second. Definitely simple tp use. If you make one the only thing I can recomend to add to the vids construction technique is to add a bigger knob of some kind on the ends. If those get too small diameter whacking it hard and fast can get uncomfortable on your hand. A larger surface to hit definitley makes it nicer.

Ray
 
 
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