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Thread: Fire Starter Info.

  1. #1

    Default Fire Starter Info.

    Has anyone on here actually been able to do this? I remember trying this years ago at a class at a summer camp. I have no clue how people get this to work? I must not have the patience.

  2. #2


    It is one of the easier ways to make fire. Compared to rubbing sticks together using flint to spark is super easy. They even have flint "lighters" that take any guess work out. In fact I'd rather have one of those than matches because matches can get wet or ruined.

  3. #3


    I think we tried that when I was a Girl Scout leader. I never had any luck with it, but I have seen people that have done it. I think it must be an acquired skill, and it must be practiced often to keep the skill.

  4. #4


    Useing flint is very diffcult. I used it in girl scouts, and the leader was terriable at it.

  5. #5


    LOL's like we all tried it once. I, too, tried it in Girl Scouts. We managed to get a fire going, got a badge, and after that, I never tried again!

  6. #6


    You need charred cloth in order to catch the sparks. Without it it's VERY difficult. Just heat the cloth without burning it, and it will turn black. I make some every once in a while and save it in an airtight plastic bag. Charred cloth makes the job much much easier.

  7. #7


    I saw that charred cloth trick on an episode of survivorman, it was neat.

    By the way, these are the lighters I was talkign about:

    You squeeze the sides together and inside the dish at the end the flint sparks.

  8. #8


    I make a charcloth oven from two tin cans. One is a soup can (small) and the other is a vegetable can (a little bit larger). I drilled a small hole (1/8") in the bottom of the smaller can. This opening will be pointing up when the oven is in use.

    I put the 1 inch by 2 inch pieces of 100 percent cotton t-shirt into the smaller can and turn it over and put in inside the larger can. It is critical that the cans are set up so the small can is inside the larger can and the hole in the bottom of the smaller can is pointing up so the smoke can escape. I set it on the fire source.

    When the smoking from the small hole has stopped and the occasional flames out the top, too, I know the cloth has charred. I pull it out of the fire and set it to the side to cool.

    Don't open the can till you can pick it up with bare fingers. If it feels too warm, leave it alone a little longer to cool further. If the pieces of cloth are entirely black, it's done. If there is a hint of brown to the cloth, put the cloth back in the small can and put the small can down inside the larger can and put back on the fire for another fifteen minutes.

    I've noticed that 100 percent cotton t-shirts (thin fabric) ignite easier with smaller sparks than thicker fabric like denim jeans. The thicker charcloth burns hotter, but you'll need a hotter spark source to make it ignite. I use a steel made from an old file that casts small, but numerous sparks, so I use the thinner charcloth with it. My magnesium bar with the manmade flint casts very heavy sparks and when used with natural flint, sets the heavy fabric charcloth to burning easily.

    Once the charcloth is ignited, place it in the center of your tinder bundle and fold the tinder bundle around it. Blow gently at first on the charcloth to create a larger burning ember to ignite the tinder bundle. Blow as hard as necessary to ignite the tinder bundle once the charcloth is glowing brighter from the gentler breaths. When the tinder bundle is flaming, place it under a pile of dried sticks to start the beginnings of your campfire. You can use the burning tinder method to light reed-bundle torches, too.

    I am currently experimenting with charring the dried, pithy centers of plants like dog fennel, poke weed, elderberry and such to create a charred material from natural sources. The pith of the poke plant is delicate after being charred, but will burn a tiny ember. I would drop the burning charred pith into a tinder bundle of shredded cedar to ignite it. Shredded oak leaves were a little bit too hard for the charred pith to ignite right away.

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    The welder lighter Chris is referring to is easy to use. I've seen welders create really big sparks when attempting to light a welding torch by squeezing and releasing it several times quickly. Should set charcloth ablaze quickly. Great for folks with handicaps who need to light charcloth or make a lot of sparks fast.
    Last edited by Bowcatz; 03-04-2007 at 02:30 AM.
    With Christ, all things are possible.

  9. #9


    Thanks for the tips. I had no clue that they had flint lighter out now? I am glad to see it wasn't just me that couldn't get the hang of it.

  10. #10

    Default How to light a fire

    Do you know how to make a light or light a fire the old fashioned way?You can simply get two stones and rub them together and then you can put some sticks whenever you see some little fire or a piece of paper to catch the fire.Then it will be finished.

  11. #11


    Yeah, but how easy is it to do that - isn't it very time-consuming and tiring? I guess if you didn't have a choice, it's good to know.

  12. #12

    Default Another way to start a fire

    Another way to start a fire is by using a glass or a piece of mirror to catch the sun's rays and direct it to paper or even dry leaves to catch fire.

  13. #13


    Reminds me of all the fires I've started as a kid using a magnifying glass.

  14. #14


    Yes, my kids are fascinated with magnifying glasses! They definitely are useful for starting fires. Unfortunately, they don't always use their noodle when deciding to do so. I guess on a cloudy day, you could always rely on the old flint trick to start that fire.

  15. #15


    I must admit I've never been successful at lighting a fire this way. Even in my childhood pyromaniac days.

  16. #16


    This page has a video on starting a fire using sticks:


    If it doesn't work, go to, videos, friction fire.

    I'm planning on trying this in the spring. If I can do it, I want to use it for starting campfires. I'm all about impressing the family.

  17. #17


    I've played around with some of the alternative fire starting methods, the bow drill seems easiest IF you have a piece of cord, dry wood, and low ambient humidity.

    I carry a magnesium fire starter in my survival kit, along with an trioxane fuel bar, I'm confident that with those two items I can start a fire in a storm, even if the available firewood is wet.

  18. #18


    I can do it pretty much all the time in all weather, It took me a good couple of days to get good with it. It's definitely something you have to practice at and likely don't be good at right away. It's useful though. I carry a little bit of it in an emergency kit. Water proof matches have made it pretty obsolete to carry but there is still a time when it can be used. Plus it's fun!

  19. #19


    Thanks for the info about the charcloth. I'd never heard of that method before.

  20. #20


    Bow drills and friction fires are VERY difficult to make. I wouldn't expect to be succesful on your first couple of tries and it can make a grown man in good shape extremely tired trying. I've been making fires like this for many years and even I have trouble getting them going. It's a general pain to do so I don't do it as often as I should to be great at it but I wouldn't say it's easy, even for people who are professional outdoorsmen and survivalists.


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