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Fire-making Methods and Information

  • Can of Coke and a Chocolate Bar
    No joke ... it has been done! Here's how!
    A Wildwood Survival exclusive - featured on Mythbusters (but it was here they got the idea)

  • Fire by Cans, Part II
    Further explorations of "Fire from a Can of Coke and a Chocolate Bar"

  • Fire From Ice!
    Yes, it is possible! See it here!

  • Fire from Water!
    Yup, no kidding! Thanks to Rob Bicevskis for this!

  • Materials
    Information about what meterials to use to make fire-making equipment

  • Bow Drill
    The old standby. Uses a bow to spin a drill on a second piece of wood, creating friction and heat.

  • Hand Drill
    The same principle as a bow drill, but with the hands spinning the drill.

  • Pump Drill
    Harder to construct than a bowdrill, but a lot less work to use.

  • Fire Boards
    These are what seats the drill at the bottom in the "drill-type" fire making methods.

  • Fire Piston
    A  rather unique method of making fire that relies on air heating up under compression..

  • Fire Plow
    Not just a tropical alternative! See pictures and a movie of this using native materials in Ontario. Also one from Arizona.

  • Fire Saw
    Pictures and movies of this bamboo-based fire-making method

  • Flint-and-Steel
    Info, pictures & a movie of a flint-and-steel set making fire

  • Reflectors
    Mirrors, etc.

  • Magnifiers
    Magnifying lenses, including fire from a light bulb!

  • Two Stones
    Starting fire using just two stones

  • Spontaneous Combustion
    Oil-soaked rags and the like

  • Lava
    The easiest one of all, if you happen to be near a liquid lava flow!

  • Carbide
    Not really a primitive method, but here it is

  • Magnesium & Ferrocerium
    An easy but non-primitive fire starter you can buy in any outdoor store

  • Batteries
    It's actually quite easy to make fire using a small flashlight battery or two

  • Other fire-making methods
    Miscellaneous other methods

  • Something's burning in the kitchen
    Experimentations by Rob Bicevskis

And for something entirely different (on the lighter side) ...

HomeSurvivalFire

  

Fire

Indian makes small fire, sits close.
White man makes big fire, sits far away.

  
-- Stalking Wolf
Fire is one of the basic essentials for our survival on this planet. Whether it be for warmth, cooking, light, or a sense of security, humans need fire. There are very few, if any, environments on the Earth where humans can survive (over the long term) without it.

In the days before we had matches, lighters, electricity, and various other means of providing ourselves with heat, cooking, and light, people had invented a myriad of ways to make fire. Some of these ways are outlined in this section of the website.

The famous Fire from a Can of Coke & a Chocolate Bar and
Fire From Ice articles are here on this site!


Photo by Allan "Bow" Beauchamp

 

General Fire topics

  • Fire Basics
    A section covering the basics of fire and fire starting. Go here first if you're new to making fire without matches.

  • Uses of Fire (now only on the Stone Age Skills website)
    A list compiled by Storm

  • Tinder
    Tinder is material that can catch a spark readily or is easy to blow into flame when a coal is added - absolutely essential to primitive fire starting.

  • Tinder Fungus
    This is a type of fungus that holds a coal very well for a long period of time, and ignites easily. It can also be used as a stove, or worked into a material called amadou -- a soft, felt-like material.

  • Friction Fire Methods
    A diagrammatic overview by Joseph Longshore II

  • Scout Fire
    A low-detection fire - by Joseph Longshore II

  • Miscellaneous Tips and Information about Fire
    Various tips and tidbits about fire: technique, construction, etc.