How to light a fire



Fire in both survival and normal everyday life is essential.

The fire is useful for a thousand uses such as: cooking food, heating (especially in cold climates), boiling water or food to eliminate them from bacteria, keep predators or annoying insects away, heat the water to wash, signal, dry clothes etc …

When you leave for an adventure in the wild nature it is always useful to start bringing with you a lighter or some matches (better if windproof and anti-humidity), or a flint or bar in magnesium.


The firesteel is always recommended in survival guides as it always works and runs out over very long periods, to use it just rub the knife or any other tool in steel against the bar in order to create sparks that with the right bait lighter a fire.


To create waterproof matches, immerse them in liquid paraffin or nail varnish.


If you find flint stones (pyrite, flint …) you can use the sparks created by their rubbing to set fire to the bait, or by rubbing against a steel tool like a knife.


If the sun is warm, the power of its rays can be exploited using a lens.

You can use a magnifying glass, a spectacle lens, the lens of a watch face, the lens of a camera, the bottom of a bottle or any other glass object that can concentrate the sun’s rays. Lighting the fire with this method requires patience and steady hand, the time it takes to turn it on depends on: from the area in which you are (in an equatorial area you will do very quickly), from the power of the rays and also from the weather. The bait that you will use with this method should be as dark as possible (dark colors capture more sunlight than clear ones).


The bait is of primary importance for starting the fire and for setting it must be dry, soft and soft and possibly dry.

For the bait you can use: mosses, lichens, bark splinters, dry leaves, fuzzy flowers like thistles, dry grass, grasses, wild panicles, dry dung of herbivores, marrow of plants like elderberry.

It is always advisable to keep the bait in a dry place and keep a stock ready to light a fire.

If you have some alcohol or gas, wet the bait to start combustion faster.

Resin of pine cones and pine logs are excellent fuels, as is the resinous birch oil.

Once a fire is accessed, baits can be prepared for future ignitions, burning parts of marrow or fibrous plants, dry wood and dung. They are allowed to carbonise on the fire and then stored in a dry place.


Friction method: The principle of the bow is based on friction, that is on the friction between two parts between which friction is present.

The bow is a very ancient method of ignition and requires patience, time and effort.

Take a green branch (flexible but resistant) at least 50 cm long and tied at either end a rope, a lace or a strap not so tight, so as to create an arch.

Wrap the rope around a stick of about 30 cm with a diameter of 2cm (not resinous) the driest and hardest possible. The stick will act as a drill, then create a point at one end.

In order not to hurt your hand and to put pressure on the stick, cover the top point with a hard wood or a convex stone or a shell or a shell.

Now prepare a dry wooden board at least 1 cm thick, which will serve as a base.

Never use resinous wood such as pine but orient yourself to wood such as willow, poplar …

On the wider side of the tablet dug in the upper part a shallow hole (at least 1 cm from the edge), while in the lower part corresponding to the hole make an inverted V-shaped groove, which will serve to collect the dust produced by the rubbing of the bow with the table.

Just in this blackish powder produced, the spark will form.

Insert the stick in the hole of the table and holding it steady with the foot rotate the drill moving back and forth the bow (as if it were sawing).

When you smell combustion, increase the speed.

The drill runs better if lubricated with a little bit of grease. If it is too stiff it is necessary to twist a little rope around it again.

While making the movement do not stop otherwise the area will cool immediately and you should start again.

When enough blackish dust has accumulated in the V-shaped incision, blow slowly into the groove and bring the bait closer together. When the flame is created, add more bait and then the firewood.