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One of the most popular topics for extreme travelers is "How to make fire without matches?"
One of the most popular topics for extreme travelers is "How to make fire without matches?"
The most common answer in numerous survival manuals is "Lighter". All kinds of chemical methods are also proposed, such as: "Take such and such a substance and mix it with such and such and the result will be a flash." Probably they remember excerpts from the textbook "What is chemistry or how to make ruins from a native school." In any case, it is advised to prepare in advance for extreme conditions. Alas, we find ourselves in extreme conditions, as usual, suddenly and completely unprepared. If there are no matches, then there is no lighter, and, of course, there is no set of substances from the "Young Chemist" kit. There is nothing, but fire is needed. Stop. This does not happen, even if you are in Adam's costume, there is always something around. Again, a well-dried fig leaf from a suit might come in handy.
Let's start with the use of solar energy. Remember in The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne: Cyrus Smith made a lens from two glasses from a clock and with this lens he made fire. Today, few people wear watches in general and with such glasses in particular. But you can create a concentrator of solar energy from improvised items. For this, any transparent dishes filled with water are useful: a bottle, a vial, a plastic bag. A container made of translucent rubber will also work. All these and other similar objects can easily collect a beam of light at one point and eventually make some combustible material smolder: tow, cotton wool, powder from dry leaves, and so on. A solar energy concentrator can also be made of shiny material: metal cans, cooking foil, chocolate wrappers, etc. Try to make the focus of the concentrator shorter and use dry combustible material. Light it in a windless place. The time of arson can sometimes drag on for several minutes, so as not to get tired and, most importantly, not to interfere with the process, install your device so that your direct participation is not required. It will eventually light up.
Using a spark
Much more often there are cases when it is impossible to use solar energy. There are other ways. For example, using a spark. There are many materials ignited by the slightest spark: gasoline, thinners, black powder, tinder, etc.
Let's look at an example. We put cotton wool (or you can crumble a cotton rag) into an empty iron jar, from under a shoe cream, and add a little gasoline or acetone there. Let's close the box with a lid for now and prepare a spark-cutting device.
You can of course use a flint from a lighter, but we agreed that we have nothing like this. I want to upset, to strike sparks by hitting two stones against each other will not work. We need a crazalo (piece of iron) and a stone - flint. A piece of a large flat file, five, seven centimeters long and wide enough to be comfortable to hold in your fingers, is suitable as a chair. Any other steel plate, preferably hardened, will do. It is more difficult with flint, although this flint is just lying on the road. From soft stones such as limestone, a spark cannot be knocked out. We need to find a very hard stone. Usually such stones resemble glass of a dull or even transparent appearance. It is difficult to knock out a spark from a rounded pebble - flint, but if you break a pebble - flint and hit a sharp chip with a rocker, then the spark is knocked out quite simply. Try a few stones for a spark and take the sparkling one. Now everything is there and you can start producing fire. We open the jar, hit the flint with the chasal (in much the same way as we light the matches) and the spark falling on the fleece with gasoline gives a flash. If there is not enough gasoline, then there will be no flash, and if there is a lot, then you can start a fire or get burned. So do this. Let the gasoline burn out as soon as the fleece is covered with a black coating, close the jar with a lid and let the fleece go out without air. Now it is worth getting a spark on this layer of cotton wool and it (cotton wool) will begin to smolder, spreading an unpleasant odor. Again, don't worry about the gasoline evaporating. Such burnt cotton wool retains its properties to ignite from a spark for years.
You can do it a little differently. Make a wick out of cotton wool, something like a rope, set the tip of such a wick on fire with a match and extinguish the flame without access to air. During the Great Patriotic War, soldiers extinguished the wicks from cotton padded jackets, thrusting the burning tip into an empty cartridge case. There is no sleeve, it does not matter, you can take a piece of a tube that is suitable for the diameter. But before striking a spark, the wick must be positioned above the flint, not under. If you knock the top (fire) layer of ash off the wick with a chashal, the spark will not ignite. In the position of the wick from above, it is a little more difficult to knock down the fire layer, although the main part of the sparks flies downward. Don't worry, some sparks will fly up and ignite the fuse. By the way, the cotton-like fluff of many plants ignites directly from the spark.
In the old days, instead of cotton wool, they used the white core of the tinder fungus. They impregnated it (the core) with potassium nitrate, boiled it in a bush solution on water, in black powder, or simply in a solution of ash. They used this tinder as well as cotton wool for burning. The main thing is not to knock down the top fire layer.
Cotton wool can be set on fire in an easier way. It is necessary to roll a very dense and hard roller out of cotton wool, with a diameter of 4-5 millimeters. To do this, a slightly moistened cotton wool is first rolled up in a roll in one direction, and with a second layer in the other. If the cotton roll is squeezed, then nothing will work. A hard roller is placed between two planks and the roller is rolled with slight pressure. The more energetically pressing and rolling, the faster the light will go out inside the roller. A specific smell will tell you about success. Now, breaking the roller, get two smoldering wicks.
The blacksmithing method is also pretty simple. It is enough to knock on the nail (wire) with a hammer on the anvil for three minutes without a break and in the same place, each time turning the nail 90 degrees along the axis and from this nail you can easily light a cigarette.
The hammer and anvil can be replaced with stones in field conditions.
By rubbing wood on wood, fire can also be produced. A prerequisite should be: dry wood, air access to the place of heating and high intensity of heating in the minimum zone. There are widely used methods of producing fire, reminiscent of sawing and drilling, with numerous options. In any case, the wood of the saw or drill must be tougher than the wood that is sawn or drilled”when making a fire. Consider the options:
Take a straight round or faceted stick like a pencil, with a diameter of 10-12 millimeters and a length of about 60-70 centimeters. Its sharpened end is abutted vertically into a special hole in a small board. To provide air access to the hole, they are made on the edge of the board and a cut is made in the board with a knife to the hole. It is necessary to simultaneously rotate between the palms and press the stick (pencil) to the board. Naturally, the hands gradually go down to the board itself. It is necessary to very quickly intercept the stick higher and start all over again. It's easier to do this work together. When one hand falls to the board, the other intercepts the wand.
The harder drill remains unchanged, and the hole in the plank deepens slightly. The wood dust from the drilling heats up and tiny smoldering particles are carried upward. These particles do not smolder for a long time and therefore must fall on a special long-smoldering tinder. This is a specially processed tinder fungus, as well as cotton wool, dry and powdered grass and leaves. A dry fig leaf is also suitable for this purpose. Good tinder can be found on trees damaged by bark beetle larvae. Small dust under the bark is also good tinder. Such tinder is always dry and does not require any special treatment. Dry tinder is placed under the board and a coal from the hole, falling on the tinder, sets it on fire.
Damp wood sticks or planks, as well as sluggish or inept hand work will not lead to success. A more convenient way to unwind the stick with a bow. The bowstring of such a bow is overlapped around the stick and, moving the bow across the stick, it is rotated. Press the stick with a board or flat pebble with a hole on top.
This method has become widespread in equatorial latitudes. A piece of thick bamboo, chopped along, is laid with the outer surface down, pressing against a tinder or a bunch of dry grass. A strip of rattan is stretched between the tinder and the bamboo trunk, across the trunk. Holding this strip by the ends with your hands, they begin to saw the bamboo trunk with this strip. The ember spark dropped from under the strip ignites the tinder. You can say (I have not tried it myself) to replace a strip of rattan with steel wire.
Another way: a narrow slit is made in the bamboo trunk split along a piece of the trunk for air access. Dry grass or cotton wool is wound onto a plow (a piece of board) and this plow is driven by pressing along the air slot. The plow wood heats up and ignites the grass or cotton wool.
Let me remind you right away that smoldering tinder is not fire yet. The flame must be fanned out of the spark, and this must also be learned in advance. For example, using a smoldering cigarette instead of a burning tinder. The cigarette smolders for about three minutes, try to have time to fan the fire and light the fire during this time.