Self Sufficiency

Ways To Start A Fire | 17 Unconventional Tricks And Techniques



Feature | Camper holds a lit match under the kindling to start a camp fire | Ways To Start A Fire | Unconventional Tricks And Techniques

Try these badass ways to start a fire so you can pull off more survival fire starting tricks up your sleeve when you need to!

RELATED: How To Start A Fire In Rain With Wet Wood

Wicked Ways to Start a Fire You Should Know

1. Water Bottle

We often look up ‘how to start a fire without matches or lighters at home' because we will find ourselves without matches some day. Chances are pretty good, though, that you'll have access to something as common as a water bottle around most of the time.

For this reason, this survival tip is important to know for those moments when you're not as prepared as you might like and need a fire.

 2. Reading Glasses

This is why you will find multi-tools with lenses in them. Reading glasses are proven effective in starting fires.

There's only one downside to it — you badly need the sun. You also need to sit out in the heat of the sun but you need to if you want to drink water safely and eat properly.

 3. Soda Can and Chocolate

There is a good chance of you having a chocolate bar with you at all times. If not, you should because it's great survival food.

It will help you start a fire too when paired with an aluminum soda can and chances are higher of you finding soda cans somewhere.

4. Urine

This follows the same concept as the water bottle filled with water. But what if, water isn't available?

Well, you can use your urine instead. Make sure to use a clear plastic bottle and paper with dark ink works as a better tinder.

5. Magnesium

How many of you only got to know magnesium or flint from the US TV series Survivor? Now we have accessories with flint or magnesium rods and it's more accessible than ever.

We've seen it in action, either in dry and wet surroundings, so always try to make room for a piece of flint whenever you can.

6. Vaseline and Cotton Ball

Your first aid or sanitary kit should have vaseline in it, not only for its intended purpose but for survival as well. That's because cotton (which is also in your first aid/sanitary kit) and vaseline makes a great fire-starter.

7. Bacon Grease

Any substance which fuels lamps also makes a great fire starter. Take bacon drippings or grease, for example.

You make an oil lamp using bacon grease and you can also use it to start a fire. Use it the same way you would with vaseline by using it with cotton.

 8. Bear Gryll's Fire Starter

It's even more difficult to start a fire in damp surroundings and wet materials. That's why it's smart to consider waterproof matches and a fire-starting kit.

9. Fire Piston

The fire piston itself looks complicated and takes some time to make but I think, well worth it. This video from the King of Random will show you how to make a slam rod fire starter.

It creates fire fast and doesn't take much space. So if you ask me, I think it deserves a spot on your survival stash.

RELATED: This “AA” Prison Hack Now A Fire Starter For Survivalists

10. Water

We've established by now that water or clear liquid helps start a fire by becoming a part in a makeshift lens that ignites a fire. So here's a video from The King of Random about the five ways on how to start a fire using water.

11. Lava


This fire-starting technique is pretty much straightforward and one of the easy ways to start a fire if you have access to flowing lava. But, you know the chances of you being near a river or pool of hot flowing lava.

12. Fungus Fireboard


If you come across this natural fire starter, lucky you! You only need to know what tinder fungus is, what it looks like, and where to find it.

With tinder fungus, you can make a fireboard and use the bow drill or the piston fire starter, easier and faster.

13. How to Make a Fire with Mirror

You can almost always start a fire with anything that reflects sunlight, and with a mirror, pretty fast, too. Check out this fire-starting video by Thomas Kim using a TRENSUM mirror from IKEA and see how the paper lit up in a matter of seconds.

14. Spontaneous Combustion


The idea is to use decaying matters like old clothes or grass, fuel with oil and oxygen, then apply heat to create spontaneous combustion. It takes some time but at least you can work on some other stuff while you wait and hope for ignition.

What Is Spontaneous Combustion? It is the sudden ignition of organic matters like hay or coal without fire applied. Building heat internally may cause the ignition.

15. Ice Sphere


This method to start a fire follows the same concept as using lenses — ice crystal ball with solar power. It's tricky, but when you have nothing else but ice, you'll have to do away with what is available around you.

16. Ravioli Fire Starters

This is a real fantastic fire starter you'll have some fun making.

Imagine, easy-lit ravioli. They're not the edible kind, though, but they're very handy for getting some ravioli cooked.

17. Wine Cork

Here's one more reason not to throw wine corks away — and well, to drink more wine. You can make amazing fire starters from wine corks which ignite easily and steadily.


See how to make fire the Cast Away way, in this video from Mike Boyd:

Knowledge of different fire-starting methods is a true survival skill. In fact, fire is one of the essential pillars of survival so it pays to know not only two but as many fire-starting tricks as you can.

Have you any fire-starting trick and technique of your own? Show it off and tell us all about it in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 4, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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