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I see all these techniques and tricks to start a fire, but to be honest, I have never started a fire other than using matches or a lighter.

I want to start trying with some of the methods and every so often come back and revisit the technique. One way other than flint, steel, bow and sticks is to try the fire plow method where you rub two pieces of soft wood together to create a ember.

What methods have you actually tried other than a lighter and match and have you been successful?
 

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The bow in the stick & bow method is not necessary. I use this one years ago when teaching Pathfinders (it's like scouting with my church). I prefer extremely dry grass, or dry enough if luxuries aren't headed my way. You need to get as many points of contact with the grass in the female carved V. It is all about getting friction which creates heat. I place my hands flat against the stick and push one hand forward and the other one back alternating as quickly as I can. I move my moving hands very slightly side to side until I find where I get the most rough spots then work it till I think I have an amber. If I am very lucky and have the extremely dry grass that works best, I will usually have an amber before I see smoke. Before I start, I obviously have a small amount of tinder and kindling ready to start, as the little grass fire I am starting won't last long. When I see a tiny red spot, (I usually see several) it's time to start huffing. It often takes a couple trys, and sometime much more, but that is what I find to be the best method.
 

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Magnifying glass
FireSteel
1 Watt 445nm Laser (light that camp fire from 5 feet away!)
 

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I have done fuel, matches, (much harder) the tipi stack method, the spark method (that was amazing, I really wowed myself with that one. Felt like I'd just practiced black magic) the chemical method, the magnesium method (ass backward as a football bat) lighters are my most used methods. Tinder and a lighter- gotta love it. But Hank will do bowdrills, as my legs and feet are all f*** up I prefer a fire PLOW made of fresh cut pine. Jack pine is best but just about any will work. You get that fresh sap hot enough it bursts into flame even in the nastiest conditions. I also like pine knots. Tinder, tinder tinder.
 

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Various firestarters, matches and lighters, magnifiers, electronic spark and wire heating from battery sources, chemical reaction, friction techniques with sticks, and nature flints. Some have worked better than others, but all are useable if you've got the materials, time, energy and patience.
 

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magnesium rod and steel with dryer lint and other easy methods..gas, oil, ashhes with kerosene. I need to practice other ways
 

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Hey new preppers, don't get over-obsessed with fires! Always ask yourself "Do i really need one?".
In all my camping/hiking trips over the years I've never ever bothered to start a fire, and I don't even take a camping stove because can I happily live off cold food and drink.
So only start one if you've got food types that HAVE to be cooked, or if you need to boil river/lake water to kill germs, or if your clothes are wet and you need to dry them.
And remember, smoke will reveal your presence to zombs for miles around (as will cooking smells) here's a telephoto shot from my window of somebody's fire a mile away-

 

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The bow and spindle works great. I've done that many times. I would suggest you learn how to do this. You may be in a situation where man-made fire starting stuff isn't around and you'll have to use what nature provides.
 

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fire is psychological....fire means feeling safe and secure and sometimes in a survival situation, there is nothing better.

I have started fire with flint, matches, dryer lint, cotton balls covered in wax, vasoline and cottons balls, magnesium striker, fire striker. I have even polished the bottom of a pop can and directed the light beam into a little pile of grass and it has worked. Took about an hour and a half to start. But it did work!!
 

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Magnesium Striker and I'll second the Magnifying Glass. The glass I had as a kid smouldered and smoke for a while good for terrorizing ants. But the glass I have now flames up instantly in bright sun. I had cotton balls once...(I was limping for a week)

punch
 

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I am a big fan of mag and steel. The bow drill method is fine for VERY experienced survivalists. One little slip and you now have a new set of problems! A big hole in your hand or thigh kind of defeats the need for fire. Go with the safest method always. In any situation we prep for, the need for medical attention before you bleed out trumps having 100k gallons of water or 5yrs of food.
 

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Tracer round stared the the whole darn field on fire.
 

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I used fireworks once to start the field on fire. Outdated boat or railroad flare work well also.
 

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you can also open a shot shell and remove some of the gun powder and repack it....then shoot it into your kindling.
 
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