The DIY World Store

Make your own solar panels for $1 per watt
Get the book
The Complete DIY Solar Panel Book

Help us keep posting valuable experiments.

Posts Tagged ‘survival fire starter’

PostHeaderIcon Cattail Fluff Tinder for Survival Fire Starting

Cattail fluff is the brown part of the cattail on top of the plant. This is the seed head. Cattail fluff is very light and makes great fire starting tinder. When the cattail seed head dries out it sends off little floating seeds on fluffy parachutes like dandelions do. These parachutes are the part that makes good tinder.

You can collect the cattail head in the fall, after it has dried out. They are very light so you can keep a bunch of them in your tinder box. You can see some cattails in the photo below. They stand about 3 – 5 feet high and have brown cigar looking heads on top. These can be pulled apart easily as shown.

Using Cattail Fluff As Tinder For Fire

To start a fire with cattail fluff, take our your cattail head and pull some of the fluff out. Put it into a pile. Fluff it up very well. It expands as you pull on it. Spread it out into a nice fluffy pile.

Cattail Fluff For Fire Starting Tinder

Next add your small tinder such as dried grass, leaves or small twigs on top of the cattail fluff. Leave an opening so you can reach the fluff with a match, lighter or spark. Cattail fluff burns very fast, so you should practice this method before your life depends on it. When it is hit with a spark, the fluff ignites and burns out quickly. If you built your tinder pile well, you should have a fire.

Cattail Fluff Survival Fire Tinder

Watch the video demo:

During the recent Do It Yourself World survival weekend we headed into the mountains with our survival camper to simulate a bug out situation. We had only the gear that was packed in our camper. We practiced many survival skills. Check out the full story here:

The Do It Yourself World survival weekend
Scroll down to see all the articles.

PostHeaderIcon Flint Match demonstration and review

I just got a flint match off the internet to try out. I must admit that I was very skeptical at first due to the low price. But I when I finally got it in the mail, I was surprised at its effectiveness.

Flint Match Demonstration And Review

The flint match is a simple cross between a flint and steel and the zippo type refillable cigarette lighter. The flint match has a chamber which you can fill with kerosene or lighter fluid. There is a screw on end, which when removed, reveals the match itself.

The flint match is a long steel rod with a small wick on the end. The body of the lighter has a ferrocerium rod striker on its side. You simply strike the steel on the striker rod and you have instant fire.

In theory, this is a lifetime investment, but the wick is not replaceable. This may seem like a limitation at first, but you could simply tie on a new wick to the end of the steel if yours ever wears out. The striker rod will also eventually wear out, but that could be replaced with a few spares as well.

Starting a fire with the flint match is extremely easy. Strike it on the ferrocerium rod and you have instant fire.

For ease of fire starting this is a good buy.

PostHeaderIcon How to start a fire with an emergency magnesium and flint fire starter

In a survival situation fire is necessary for heat, light and cooking. If you get stuck in the wilds with now way to build a fire, your chances of survival are greatly reduced. There are many ways to make a fire in a survival situation ranging from rubbing sticks together to survival fire starting kits. I prefer the easy methods.

A magnesium emergency fire starter consists of a block of magnesium with a piece of flint embedded into it and a piece of metal for cutting the magnesium and striking the flint.

Magnesium and flint emergency fire starter
Magnesium emergency fire starting kit

To start a fire with the magnesium block is very easy in theory. But, depending on the quality of the magnesium you get, it can be a whole different story in reality. You may have seen nicely formed magnesium shavings in videos and commercials. But the cheap magnesium blocks do not shave off so neatly. Rather, they sort of chip off in tiny little pieces. They still work, but it makes starting a fire a bit harder. Read on and see why.

To make a fire, first get a good sized flat leaf or a piece of hollowed out wood. Then gather up some fine, dry tinder. Break up the tinder onto your leaf or hollow piece of wood. Then use a knife or the piece of metal that came with your kit, to shave off some magnesium shavings onto the tinder. If you have a higher quality magnesium block, this process will be easier. But if you get a cheap Chinese made block of magnesium, then the stuff sort of flakes off in tiny little particles and flies all over the place. This makes it harder to get the shavings onto the tinder properly.

Anyway, you do not need too much magnesium to start a fire. Just a little pile about the size of a penny or a dime in diameter. Push the magnesium into a pile right up against the tinder. Place a little bit of the tinder on the edge of the magnesium pile.

Turn the magnesium block around to the flint side and hold it close to your tinder pile. Using the blade that came with your survival fire starter or the back of a knife blade, strike the flint sharply in a downward motion. Sparks should start to fly off and towards your tinder pile.

Striking Flint To Start A Fire
Striking the flint to make sparks

When a spark hits the magnesium, it will ignite, which will ignite your tinder. The magnesium catches fire very fast and burns bright and hot.

Starting a fire with magnesium shavings
Igniting the magnesium to start a fire

Quickly place some sticks and twigs on top of the tinder to keep the fire going.

Thats it. See the video demo here:

Some notes about the magnesium fire starter. The flint wears down pretty quickly. It is advisable to get two or three of these magnesium fire starters. Use one for practice and normal camping trips or just for fun. Put away two more of them in your bug out bag or emergency backpack for future use. They are great to use in an emergency, but will wear out eventually.

It is even better to have multiple methods of fire starting in your survival bug out bag. See Emergency Fire Starters for more fire starting ideas. This article shows you how to start a fire with a magnifying glass on a sunny day. It also advises you to keep butane cigarette lighters in your survival back pack as well. If you keep a combination of all three, then you will be sure to have fire for years to come.

The magnesium emergency fire starter works well.

And it sure beats rubbing sticks together!

PostHeaderIcon The Best Survival Fire Starters – Cheap And Simple

Here are two survival fire starting methods that require no work or effort and together can provide a lifetime of fires. There are many tools, ideas and techniques out there that claim to help you start a fire. But some of them are too expensive. Some are too fragile. And some are just too much work. If you are ever caught in a survival situation, be sure to take these two items with you.

No rubbing sticks together for me. I will never be sitting around in the cold with blisters on my hands while trying to make a fire.

On a sunny day, use a magnifying glass to start a fire. Even the cheapest dollar store childs toy will start a fire. Simply hold the glass over your tinder and direct it into the sun. Concentrate the focal point on the tinder while gently blowing on the smoking point. Within seconds, you will have a nice roaring fire going.

Keep your magnifying glass in its original case, if it came with one. Or keep it wrapped in a soft cloth or material to prevent scratches. Project it from being broken in your backpack or survival kit. Keep it clean and free of sand and grit when not in use and it will last a lifetime.

A magnifying glass can even work on partly sunny or cloudy days. It depends on the strength of the sun and the magnifying glass and tinder quality.

On rainy days, use a cheap cigarette lighter. Yes, a cigarette lighter for survival. Forget about one time use expensive water proof matches. A single cigarette lighter can light between 2,000 and 3,000 fires before the fluid runs out. That equals about 6 – 9 years of rainy days folks. If you use your one, single cigarette lighter for rainy days only and your magnifying glass for sunny days, you have a lifetime of fire for two bucks. The dollar store often sells cigarette lighters in 6 or 8 packs. That equals multiple lifetimes of fire, if used sparingly.

You often find lighters laying by the roadside or lost along forest trails. I always pick them up. You can repair lighters and keep them going for many years. Often either they run out of fuel, (it takes years), or the flint gets damaged or broken. Sometimes just the wheel comes loose from its mountings. No matter the case, you can usually make a good lighter out of two bad ones.

If a lighter gets wet, simply take the top apart and dry off the flint and the striker. Put it all back together again and it works.

After your lighter runs out of fuel, keep it for fire starting. The flint and striker will still ignite fires. No bruised, bloody knuckles while trying to smash two rocks together in the hope that a spark will fly.

I highly recommend adding these two survival fire starters to your survival kit right away. It may save your life.

Or you can rub sticks together for hours if you get bored.

Watch the video: