Hopefully, you'll never be in a position where you don't have any matches or a lighter to start a fire. Whether that is when you're out camping or in emergency situations.

6 Ways To Start A Fire Without Matches or a Lighter

In this blog we'll give you 6 ways to start a fire without matches or a lighter.  

Hopefully, you'll never be in a position where you don't have any matches or a lighter to start a fire. Whether that is when you're out camping or in emergency situations. You should always have a few backup ways to keep warm during a survival situation, so lets get prepared. A perfect way to keep prepared is to have waterproof matches in your emergency kit, but what if you don't have that kit with you. Let's explore 6 other ways you can start a fire. 

1. To Start A Fire Without Matches or a Lighter With A Tinder Kit - Starting a fire from scratch is difficult enough even with matches. Without matches, it's even harder. To give yourself a head-start on starting a fire, bring a tinder kit with you. A tinder kit should consist of material that is dry and easy to use in the creation of a fire. You can tease apart rope fiber into soft, thin threads; cotton balls soaked in Vaseline work especially well; and you can always buy tinder kits. If you're caught without any tinder material on you, or if what you have has gotten wet, look for cedar trees or birch trees. The bark of these trees can be shredded to create some quick tinder. Cattails also work as natural tinder material.

2. To Start A Fire Without Matches or a Lighter With Flint and Steal - One of the easiest ways to start a fire is using flint and steel. Flint and steel kits can be purchased relatively inexpensively online or in stores. Using a tinder kit with flint and steal will create a fire pretty easily especially if you have magnesium as well, but if you don't have a tinder kit and you can use charcloth, scrap dry bark off of cedar or birch trees, look for old dry moss or other small very dry materials. Magnesium starts on fire fast and super easy, I highly suggest having some in your emergency kit. 

Making a fire with flint and steel has three essential steps:
  1. Create a spark by striking the flit with your steal in a downward motion
  2. Catch that spark in your tinder kit or dry material bundle.
  3. Turn the spark into a flame by gently blowing into the spark in a slow steady way, over and over until it burst into flame.
To complete the first two steps, take a small amount of charcloth or tinder and lay it flat against the flint. If you have some Magnesium, scrape some shavings in a small pile on top of your tinder bundle. Next, strike the flint with your metal. You should see sparks immediately, but only if you strike the flint at the right angle. One of these sparks should eventually land on the charcloth or tinder, giving it a tiny orange glow. That tiny glow is enough to start a fire with; you should transfer the charcloth to the tinder nest when the glow appears, gently wrapping the charcloth into the tinder nest and then blowing on it gently and steadily. The tinder nest should smoke and produce a flame almost right away. You can feed the flame with small kindling, such as dried grass, dry pine needles, or twigs, and then use the more stable flame to light sticks, building up to get your logs on fire.

3. To Start A Fire Without Matches or a Lighter With A Glass Lens - Some children discovered this method on accident as children when they melted toys with a magnifying glass or caught a bug on fire.
With a magnifying glass and an unobstructed view of the sun, you can easily use the magnifying glass method to start a fire. A magnifying glass that rotates in and out of a vinyl case, as opposed to a magnifying glass with a handle, is ideal for traveling with because it is small and more effective.

This method is simple, but might take a few minutes, so be patient. Put your tinder bundle on the ground or with your kindling, then aim the beam of the sun at the tinder nest so the beam of sun coming through is a tight stream of sun, the more condensed the sun stream the better. Keep it steady in the same spot on the tinder bundle until it begins to smoke. When it starts smoking, gently blow on the tinder bundle until you produce a flame.

Using a magnifying glass to start a fire is easy, but it depends upon having a decent amount of sunlight. Since you can't always depend on the sun being out, it's good to have more methods on-hand than just the magnifying glass such as a Tinder Bundle Kit with Windproof/Waterproof Matches.

4. To Start A Fire Without Matches or a Lighter with An Alternative To A Glass Lens. Besides using a glass lens to capture the rays of the sun and produce a fire, you can also use a Solar Lighter, water-filled balloon or a mirror to achieve the same effect. When using water inside a balloon, try to make the shape into a sphere. The more spherical the container is, the more effective it will be at focusing the rays of the sun.

If you don't have a mirror on hand, you can polish the bottom of a soda/beer can with toothpaste or chocolate and turn it into a mirror. By the way, if you use this last method, don't eat the chocolate after you've polished your aluminum can with it; the chocolate may contain toxic residue.

5. To Start A Fire Without Matches or a Lighter by Using Friction. One of the most famous ways to start a fire without a match is also one of the most difficult: using the friction between two pieces of wood. To use this method, make a v-shaped notch in a board or log, and choose a spindle that will create the friction. Rub the spindle between your hands as fast as you can, moving your hands up and down the spindle rapidly. When the board or log begins to smoke, use your tinder nest to catch the glowing spark you've produced.

You can also create a bow drill instead. The bow drill is easier than the primitive method described above, but it requires you to make a proper bow first, which is harder.

6. WHEN IT'S WET OUTSIDE. What if you're in a worst-case scenario situation and your wet and cold? Your matches and lighter have both gotten wet and won't work. You have a tinder kit, along with some flint and steel, but your tinder kit has gotten wet, as well. The downpour has also made the forest around you wet, so there is virtually no dry kindling or dry wood anywhere to be found. Are you stuck at this point? No. If you're resourceful, you can still start a fire.

Start by finding some dry tinder, I know that everything is wet, but here's how. The aforementioned birch or cedar bark works well in this scenario, but you will need to peel a few layers of bark off to get to the dry bark.

As for finding dry wood, look for a standing dead tree. Unlike a dead tree that's lying on the forest floor, a standing dead tree will usually be dry inside. Peel away the rotted, wet, outer section of the tree to get to the dry wood on the inside to get to the dry kindling. Once you have a decent blaze going, you can use even damp limbs and twigs in your fire, because the heat of the fire will be strong enough to catch damp wood at that point.

The 6 ways to start a fire above are the most important ones to understand when thinking about building a fire outdoors without a match. Whenever you go camping or hiking, it's a good idea to have at least three different tools to start a fire with, along with your tinder kit.

Did we miss any other useful ways to start a fire without a match? If so, mention your favorite ways to start a fire in the comments section below and receive a discount code to purchase your fire making kits.

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