In the past, fire was traditionally used to provide protection against predators, cook food, prepare hunting poison, harden hunting tools and as a source of warmth during cold nights. In the modern life, fires still continue to play these roles, albeit using different technology such as match boxes, lighters, etc. However, you may find yourself in a survival situation without matches, and need to go back to the primitive techniques to be able to start a fire without matches. There’s more than simply rubbing two sticks together, and any good survivalist will know several ways to start a fire without matches.

1. Flint & Steel

start a fire without matchesFor any seasoned camper, flint and steel remain one of the best methods that can be used to light fires when the matches are out in the outdoors. If lost in the woods or elsewhere, you may need to have a char piece of cloth to trap the sparks. The steel piece can be improvised from the edge of the camping knife or separately. To start a fire without a match using a flint and steel piece, start by placing the char material or pieces of dry material on the ground. Holding the flint and steel about 3 inches from the char pieces, simply strike the steel piece against the flint piece several times. Sparks will fall of the steel and onto the char piece into a glow. Immediately consolidate the glow; blow until the glow is big enough to start a fire. One awesome feature of flint and steel is that you can get it wet, which is perfect for swampy, wet environments.

2. Chocolate & Soda Can

start a fire without matchesThis method is pretty creative, and if you’re lugging around a chubby friend who likes to snack, you may have what you need to start a fire. To achieve this, simply apply some chocolate at the base of the can. This polishing creates a parabolic shining mirror at the base, which can be used a focal point in the mirror. Positioning the can directly towards the sun will reflect light straight to the tinder, through the focal point of the polished parabola, forming fire.

3. Lens Methods

start a fire without matchesThe lens method of lighting a fire without matches bases its working on the strength of ray reflection just like the soda can method. This lens can be derived from a piece of glass, spectacles, or binoculars. When focused obliquely from the sun to a tinder nest, enough energy from the sun can be consolidated to the tinder to produce a fire.

4. Bow Drill

start a fire without matchesThe bow drill is considered one of the most effective methods of making fires. This one works on the principle of friction. To work with this, you need to prepare a fireboard, a shoe lace/ rope/strip of rawhide bow, a socket, fireboard, hard wood spindle and a tinder nest. Once you have these, start by cutting a v-shaped notch in the fireboard and place a tinder nest below it. Proceed to hold the wood spindle using the bow string; place one of its ends in the fireboard and with the other end, apply ample with your socket. Start sawing with the bow to produce an ember; once the ember is formed, drop it onto the tinder nest and blow into a fire.

5. Steel Wool & Battery

start a fire without matchesThis method simply requires you to rub the parts of a small steel wool bundle with terminals of a 9 volt battery. This will produce flames, which you can insert into a loosely packed tinder bundle.

In a survival situation, fire is one of the most essential tools you’ll need. It is essential to boil water, provide warmth and for cooking food. In the outdoors, fires also play an important role of keeping away predators. This ensures safety and therefore, it is very important to know how to start a fire without matches in case you find yourself in a desperate situation and have no matches or lighter.  Of course, the best survival advice would be to always carry a lighter, just in case.

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