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Thread: Solar ignition?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    South Carolina

    Exclamation Solar ignition?

    Primitive skill? Survival skill? Brushcraft skill? Anyway Iíve been making fires with solar ignition just trying to learn about it. I would not consider solar ignition a survival skill. If you are in a true survival situation chances are you are in a worst case situation. Lost and the sun is setting, storming, night time and freezing. Magnifying glass is not going to work. Primitive skill? I donít know, how long have people used magnifying glasses to start fires? I know magnifying glasses have been around a long time. Brushcraft skill absolutely! Conserve your ferro rod flint and steel. Just start your fire before the late evening if the sun is out. If you canít use your whatever else. Or just put it to sleep and keep coals smoldering. Anyway I started with a cheap 1 dollar plastic magnifying glass from Dollar General. It pretty quickly lights charcloth. It will also ignite charred punk wood. Finely processed pine needles it will ignite to a flame but it takes some time. It will creat and ember in a hand full of pine needles which can easily be blown into flame. It takes a good 30-45 seconds but it works. I went to staples and bought a big magnifying glass the dollar store magnifying glass is just under 3 inches wide. Probably like 2.75-2.85 inches I do not know the magnification. The new one is 5.5 inches wide and 2x magnification. Itís a lot thicker and made of acrylic. Right away I noticed a huge difference. When the light is focused it is way brighter and the focal point is way smaller. Less diffusion if thatís the correct word. It instantly ignites charcloth charred punk wood lights almost instantly. Pine needles start to smoke immediately and within 10-15 seconds they will ignite to flame without blowing on them. I grabbed a few pieces of charcoal left over from last nights fire. I was able to light a small chunk right on the edge with the dollar store magnifying glass but it took a long time. With the big one it lit the chunk of charcoal very quickly. I took that chunk of charcoal plopped some pine needles on top of it then stacked some kindling on top the needles. Within a minute or two it was smoking pretty good I blew on it and it popped into flames. The big one I think is to big to be worth it for a survival pack or backpacking so Iím gonna look for a smaller one made from better materials. Iím also thinking about trying a small fresnel magnifier. As well as an A4 size that I saw at staples. I actually found starting a fire with the magnifying glass to be easier than flint and steel or a ferro rod. Super easy seems like a thing you can do a few times and have it down if you practice with flint and steel or a ferro rod. What other stuff have you lit with a magnifying glass? Do you keep a magnifying glass with your survival or brushcraft fire kits?

  2. #2


    It's definitely dependent on direct sunlight naturally. I do not have one in my survival bag. There are just so many better ways. But I have a big one in my bushcraft and rendezvous bags unless I'm cutting weight. Which is the limiting factor with the big magnifiers.


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