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Thread: Solar ignition?

  1. #1
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    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

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    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.

  3. #3
    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Have tried a small real glass magnifier? Might work even better!
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  4. #4

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    "Less diffusion" is a good way to put it. "Better focus" might be more technically accurate, especially if you're an amateur astronomer nerd-type.
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    The expense and efforts folks will go to just to avoid carrying a Bic!
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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    A magnifying glass can also be handy for finding chiggers and pulling splinters, good as a alternate source of fire starting🤓 I just normally use a Bic because it works every time!
    Sir Knife Collectin, Rocket Ridin, Girl Crazy Post
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    A magnifying glass can also be handy for finding chiggers and pulling splinters, good as a alternate source of fire starting🤓 I just normally use a Bic because it works every time!
    Have tried a small real glass magnifier? Might work even better!

  8. #8

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    At daytime, it assembles vitality from sun and stores the abundance in batteries which are then used to control its leds around evening time. On a full charge, it can give steady light to as long as 8 hours. In view of its size, it is perfect to be utilized on graves of your pets. So in the event that you had a feline or a canine that died, you can place this grave light in the patio or any place you need. It is solid and durable and accompanies a restricted one year guarantee.

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    Hey, did kind of enjoy the read as for magnifying Glass I only have on two compasses I use. But have played around a while back while camping with campfire already burning away as I was just killing time playing around and like yourself came to the same conclusion it would not be close to an ideal way to tray and make campfires. It's was nice seeing there is still a kid in this old man. One thing I do which I have never truly shared with anyone until now. I do wash my own clothing and remove all lint from the dryer catch screen and place them into a paper roll, like toilet paper cardboard and pack them as they are very lightweight. Once at a campsite and ready to build a soft campfire and this is not every time I camp as I still carry a gas stove. But will cut before a hike a toilet paper roll the cardboard into three parts with packed lint inside. I still also pick up small tender when hiking and put into my small tenter bag. Many times I come home having never used some tender. But when making a campfire will use one of my cut cardboard with lint and in some, I pack in them a bit of vaseline petroleum jelly which helps with the fast start-up and burns. I will also use the sap from Florida Pine trees cutting small tender of lighter wood as it is called as a firelighter.

    As for two compasses, I'm old school and never truly trusted a handheld GPS, My auto GPS has taken me to out of the way places and I don't want to use what I have not tried and know will work outdoors. One is for my MAPS and the other is from the military handheld directional. Sorry I know some of you younger folks love your GPS, but I'm so concerned about many things battery failure, Dropping, falling into water (which I have done and it saved my life knowing to never cross water without first losing your backpack as you want to be able to get out of your equipment fast as it will pull you down).

    But if I recall correctly back in the primitive days they used flint rocks, wood on wood friction to create fires.

    But YES, once on a trail I did play with my MAP compass magnifying glass. Feel like a kid even admitting to this. But in an emergence use what you have. I always have my cigar gas lighter and waxed matches. I carry two Faerialrods, one small one on my person, and a larger in my pack pocket.
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  10. #10
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I generally us my GPS on my phone or will use the one in the truck but I ALWAYS look at a map first. Always. Like you, I have had GPS take me astray or the long way a time or two. I had already looked at a map but wondered where the GPS was taking me so I followed it just to find out. Sort of weird the routes it picks out sometimes. My phone will often route me around construction or traffic or accidents. I have no idea how it knows that. Smoke and mirrors is all I can figure. It does the same thing on occasion for appointments. "Meeting with President in 10 minutes. Traffic on Pennsylvania Ave. is light" What the?

  11. #11
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Using the GPS on your phone, or the Tom Tom in the vehicle are different from the dedicated hiking and outdoor apps and GPS devices available now days.

    And the map and compass is a fine thing but I do remember situations where several very well trained people almost got into gun fights over where we were and which way we should go while standing over a map and compass. Now days the sergeant can point to the GPS and say "We're right here Lt, and we need to go right there!"

    Battery life? People have been told they need to bring extra flashlight batteries for about 100 years now. Get used to it. The need for extra batteries is not going away, and they make solar chargers now.

    And the next time you need land surveyed they will use a GPS and laser to do the job. They will get it down to a couple milimeters accuracy too, not the old fashioned "we think you own this strip next to the tree, you'll have to go to court and find out."

    If you don't trust the GPS you can at least trust one of the personal locator devices that will bring rescue right to where you are sitting, lost, cold and starving, staring at your map. Thy are pretty much fool proof. You press a button and summon help from anywhere on Earth.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  12. #12

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    This thread has kinda gone off track. From solar ignition to gps.

    I haven't spent very little time playing with solar ignition. Mostly in the dead of winter and haven't had any luck. I've got to give it an honest go one of these days.

    Keep Your Tinder Dry
    Chekmate

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