Unique Fire Starting Methods

There are a litany of things involved when it comes to being found by a Search and Rescue team. As just about any “lost at sea” Tom Hanks award-winning movie will show you starting a fire is the easiest way to help an elite team of S&R Officers save you from a pack of starving wolves.   

Having a lighter or matches obviously is something that isn’t always handy, as Go Bags can often be compromised. So the FT Blog team wanted to take a deep dive into some of the more unique ways a fire can be started with items most people have with them on a quick day trip.

The Battery and Gum Wrapper Method

This method is interesting in that it is fairly handy. Who doesn’t have a battery powered flashlight and gum as part of their EDC? Simply cut the gum wrapper along one of it’s pre-folded sides, leave a bridge like gap in the middle (the tough part), place one side of wrapper on the negative side of the flashlight’s battery first and touch the other side to the top.  Make sure to have some kindling ready.

The Soda and Chocolate Method

Your lunch can help in a pinch as well. As best seen on Survivor Man (take your Bear Grylls love somewhere else) a fire can be made with a bar of chocolate and an old can. This method is achieved by taking your chocolate bar and rubbing it underneath the can of soda, then wiping it off with a napkin. Repeat this step until the bottom of the can reflects like a mirror. (Do not eat the chocolate after). Then place the can so it reflects direct heat onto a pile of kindling. Check that out here.


Having a condom in your wallet can have multiple benefits, fire starting is one of them. Similar to a magnifying glass, a condom can use direct sunlight when filled with water and held over some kindling.  Some experts claim you can use this as a method to purify water as well.

Tried-and-True Flint and Steel

This is cheating a little but flint is definitely something you should have in your go bag. Flint and steel can be paired with a lot of unique items to start a fire. Say you don’t have dry source of kindling: bust open the medical kit and pull out the Petroleum jelly, hand sanitizer, or tampons and you have a flame.

Have a cool fire starting method? Keep the conversation going by emailing Editor@firsttactical.com with your ideas. 



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