View Full Version : Fire starting with magnifying glass

09-15-2012, 10:11 PM
This last weekend, I was teaching the scouts how to start a fire by three different methods. It is part of the wilderness survival merit badge. Anyways, this was my first time ever starting a fire with a magnifying glass. Eventually, all the boys got it as well. We also started it with a battery and steel wool, and a fero rod. I had one of the scouts hold the camera, so it is a little shaky. Someday I might actually bring a tripod.


09-15-2012, 10:40 PM
I love the comment....."Yeah - be careful. Don't burn yourself" as he hears his Scout Master yell out in pain.

09-15-2012, 11:36 PM
Magnifying glass fire starting is fun and rewarding!

But when its raining and cold, remember to have a vac packed (think: seal-a-meal) road flare in the bottom of your pack, it just might be the thing that saves your life... or least least fend off misery.

Thanks for posting!

09-16-2012, 11:48 AM
[QUOTE=remember to have a vac packed (think: seal-a-meal) road flare in the bottom of your pack, it just might be the thing that saves your life... or least least fend off misery.[/QUOTE]

I've used the Orion "Signal Flare/Fire Starter" and they are great for backcountry use. They're a smaller hand flare with a five minute burn time. I've seen them sold for $9.99 a two-pack, but I've bought my last ones from Walmart for $4.88 a two-pack. I checked the expiration date and they were good for two years.



09-16-2012, 03:07 PM
We were in the absolute best environment and conditions for starting a fire with a magnifying glass. He had a hot sun with little cloud coverage, in the supper dry desert with super dry materials. It couldn't have gotten any better. It is probably why we were so successful. It was also the first time I have ever tried a battery and steel wool. The principle for lighting both is the same, once you get a hot ember, put it in tinder and blow on it gently. To be honest, I was struggling to find 3 ways to start a fire, without matches. I had never done it with a mag glass, and I haven't done it with friction either. Before yesterday, I had only done it with matches, lighter, or fero rod. So, the scoutmaster learned a lot as well. I need to check out those signal flares.

09-16-2012, 05:02 PM
You did good finally, and as you said you had absolute ideal conditions. Its a great feeling when everything comes together and works! Especially when your demonstrating a skill!!!

What were talking about, is outside the desert and in areas like mine, wet & wooded....

For us, when you absolutely positively MUST have file: ROAD FLARE! HA HA!


09-17-2012, 10:47 AM
Magnifying glass is my favorite way to start a fire. It burns almost no calories and can be done on any sunny days if you can find dry materials.

09-17-2012, 01:50 PM
I kinda like the road flare method as well......
Quick draw road flares....

Of course pocket magnifier,

Parabolic mirror;

Flint (rock) and steel (fire steel patch knife)

10-06-2012, 01:38 AM
63, I like that knife a lot! Did you make it?


10-06-2012, 10:02 AM
I had completely forgotten about the Parabolic mirror cigarette lighter. What a great idea. i ordered one from Amazon just now for 12.99. Cool and thanks.

10-06-2012, 01:57 PM
I should vac pack my flares?
On it!