#1 – Lighter
Again my preferred way to start a fire is with locally gathered dry materials and a flick of my Bic lighter. I have made fire! But if you find yourself without your normal supplies, there are still many ways to build a fire if you know what to use.
#2 – Fire From Water
My #2 way to make fire is using water, why would that be #2. Well because the way you can make a fire with water is either already in your pocket or something very easy to find. It is not likely you can scrounge up a flint and steel, but it is very likely you can scrounge up a water bottle, or a scrap piece of Saran wrap from your belongings or the trash. Either one of these items will give you fire. You can also substitute an old or new light bulb to hold the water. You just dig out the bottom and rinse out the bulb until it is clear glass, fill with water and it will work just like a magnifying glass. The top part of a water bottle will also act just like a magnifying glass and also start a fire. The Saran wrap can be used to make a ball of water that works as a magnifying glass or it can be stretched over a frame, like a cut out square in cardboard so when water is poured onto the saran wrap is makes a pool of water. With the sun shining through the pool of water it will create a focal point of hot white light. That focal point may be a foot or more below the water so it can be suspended on framework. It can also be built up on rocks or blocks.
#3 – Battery Power
The next best way to start a fire is with battery power, a car battery can be shorted from + to – with a thin wire, or a thick wire. The sparking can be transferred to kindling and you have a fire in seconds. You can use any battery you have available, with a AA battery you can use a thin piece of gum wrapper, or tin foil. You need a thin strip and then touch positive and negative at the same time, pop it bursts into flame. The flame does not burn long so you need your kindling to be dry and very close to the tin foil at the time of ignition. With batteries you can also use steel wool but this is a little tougher to scrounge most of the time.
#4 – Bow Drill
Now we leave the world of easy, most other ways to make fire without your packed items become labor intensive. Most of them involve friction and wood. This means it is tough to actually start a fire, they will take a lot more skill and determination to accomplish. Using a bow made from a basically straight stick and your bootlace.
Then a straight stick, a cap or holder of green wood or stone. Then a dry piece of wood to hold the ember, it is actually a drill that produces friction which makes the ember. In the bottom of the drill hole you will need a dent or notch to help collect the ember. You will also need a very nice bundle of tinder to drop the ember into. You can make fire this way but it will be a little tougher than the first few choices.
If you learn to carry a lighter on your person every where you go, it will very likely be there on that day you suddenly need it. A good pocket knife can also give you life so make sure you always have that pocket knife in your pocket as well. This is step 1 of becoming a survivalist, there other things we can carry in our pockets or on our person every day, so on that day we will already have a head start.