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4 Unusual Yet Ingenious Ways To Start A Fire



Fire is one of the most important necessities for survival.

While we do not feel the need to start a fire in our day to day affairs living at home, knowing how to start a fire when you are facing a difficult situation like a power outage in extremely cold weather or when you are out on a hiking trip can come very handy. Our basic survival needs have fire as one of the top most priorities and it is imperative to know how to light a fire with what you have.

The necessity of fire is so much that survival instructors explicitly recommend keeping at least two primary forms and two secondary forms of fire starters in a survival kit. By primary and secondary fire starters, what is basically being referred to is the ease with which they can be used to light a fire. Primary fire starters are the easy ones to use at just about any time while the secondary fire starters are a little harder to make use of for creating a fire. This is why the secondary fire starters are used only when there is a lack of primary fire starters available at your disposal.

Any fire has three basic requirements:

  • Oxygen
  • Fuel
  • Heat

The oxygen already exists in the air that we breathe so that is not something you have to worry about. The fuel is what we are planning to burn. Once smaller pieces of combustible material are ignited, it is used to start a fire in the larger pieces and keep the fire going.

There should always be a good supply of primary fire starters in your backpack, especially when you are going out for a hiking trip. The two most common primary fire starters are matches (preferably waterproof ones) and butane lighters. The issue is that these two have their drawbacks. Lighters can be discharged by mistake, which allows all the gas to escape and matches can be lost and don’t work properly when it is too cold.

The 4 unusual yet ingenious ways to start a fire come from the secondary fire starters because they are something that you would never consider in your day to day affairs yet they work like an absolute charm. Secondary fire starters are all those fire starters, which are not match sticks or lighters. They can be categorized into a few different classifications.

While there are bound to be plenty more methods which can be used as secondary fire they are not the techniques which are befitting for a survival situation. Here are 4 unusual yet ingenious ways to start a fire.

Starting a Fire with Batteries

If you have ever seen how a fuse is blown, you already have an idea about how batteries can be used to start a fire. That is why it’s one of the 4 unusual yet ingenious ways to start a fire. When the electricity contained within a battery is travelling through a conductor, which is not big enough to accommodate the electric current, the conductor starts to heat up and it burns up if there is an adequate amount of oxygen around it. For any sort of fire starter, which involves the use of batteries, it is important for both poles of the battery to come into contact with the conductor. A 9-volt battery and steel wool is perfect for starting a fire with batteries. Rub the battery’s poles with the steel wool and use the resulting sparks to ignite combustible material to start up the fire.

Using the Sun

Using the power of the sun, any lens can be used to start a fire. If you do not have the facility of a magnifying glass with you in your kit, you can make use of a waterproof clear plastic baggie. Fill it up with water and twist one corner of it enough to change the shape of the water-filled baggie to being as close to a convex lens as possible. Hold it in the right position so that the sunlight crosses through the baggie and converges onto the tinder so it can heat up the tinder and spark a fire. It’s an unusual method but an effective one. That is why it is a part of the 4 unusual yet ingenious ways to start a fire.

Using a Spark

This is one of the more conventional secondary fire starters. Take a ferro rod (it usually consists of a block of magnesium and a steel striker). Place the rod on the tinder and strike the rod with the steel striker. It will let off sparks and light up the tinder.

Starting Fire with Friction

You already know this one if you’ve seen enough movies and survival shows. It is the age old method of rubbing two dry sticks together to create heat using the friction and then using their heat to light up a tinder. It is the ultimate fire starter but you really need to know what you’re doing for it to actually work.


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