making a fire with no lighter

5 Ways to make a Campfire in the Woods without Matches

One of the best things about camping is the food. There’s nothing quite like a delicious, smoky meal cooked on the grill. That is, until you realize you left your matches at home! When you get stuck up a creek without a way to start a fire, you can still save the day with these easy ways to make a campfire with no matches. Now go forth and MacGyver the crap out of this!


Ok this one you already know. I bet you’ve all made a fire using a magnifying glass, so this is no different. Create a tinder nest. A tinder nest is made from super flammable materials such as dry grasses and leaves. My personal favorite is to use my knife to cut thin slivers of dried cedar bark.

Now hold the glasses lens so that the sun’s rays travel through the concave side until it sets your tinder nest on fire.

Don’t have glasses? If you have a clear plastic bag, fill the bottom corner with water and it should have the same effect.

See the video here:

In the winter? Heat some water until tepid using your body heat. Place it outside to freeze so that you get clear ice. Shape your ice into a lens (thinner on the edges), then use the heat from your hands to polish the lens to a smooth surface. Use the lens to start a fire.

See the video here:

Battery and Steel Wool

You need one of those batteries that have both terminals at the top. Rub the terminals back and forth over the steel wool. This creates a small current and the friction will set the steel wool on fire. You can blow gently to facilitate this process. Add sticks and other dried materials to create a fire.

See the video here:

Gum Wrapper and Battery

Cut a metallic gum wrapper so that it is long enough to join the two ends of an AA battery. Cut the paper thinner in the middle so it looks like an hour glass. When you touch the paper to the two terminals, the center will catch on fire. You need to be holding the battery right on your tinder nest when connecting the gum wrapper because it will catch on fire instantly and won’t last long.

See the video here:

Make a Hand Drill

Find a piece of wood to make your fireboard. Cut a V-shaped notch in your fireboard. Find a softwood stick or flower stalk about 2 feet long and an inch in diameter as your spindle stick. Place a piece of bark under the notch in your fireboard to catch the ember. Have your tinder nest ready. Place the spindle stick in your notch and rub between your palms, pushing one hand down and then the other. The spindle stick will create sawdust as it rubs against the fireboard. The friction of the spindle will set the sawdust alight. Once your ember is burning, tip it out onto the bark and transfer it to your tinder nest. Blow gently to start a fire.

See the video here:

Soda Can Firestarter

Use your toothpaste to polish the bottom of your soda can so that it looks like a mirror. Don’t have toothpaste? Use chocolate bar (I’m not joking!). Use the bottom of the can as a parabolic mirror to reflect the rays of the sun to start a fire in your tinder nest.

See the video here:

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Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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