Fire Starting: 3 Steps To Getting A Fire In Less Than 60 Seconds ithout Matches.

Someone once said that “it takes just one match to start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box of matches to start a campfire”. Boy, isn’t THAT the truth.

And when you add the stress of the sun going down, speed is important. Wouldn’t it be great to get a fire started in 60 seconds?

The good news is that you can.

And my promise to you is this. After reading this article, you’ll know how to start fire without matches in under 60 seconds.

So here are the three questions. Answer these, and you are good to go.

1) What does it take to make a spark?
2) How do you capture the spark once you make it?
3) How do you grow the ember once its started?

Thats it. So lets dive into the 3 steps to get a fire going!

Step 1) What does it take to make a spark?

Have you seen someone driving down the street in a raggedy old car? The muffler was hanging off and dragging on the street. Did you see sparks? That’s what I’m talking about.

We’re going to do the same thing. But without the muffler. Instead we’re going to use magnesium or ferro rod. They are better than flint and steel, because they create more and hotter sparks.

Also, they’re much better than using a cigarette lighter because you’ll never run out of fuel.

We want to throw off as many sparks as we can. And we want those sparks to be as hot as possible. Having both of these in place will give our tinder the best chance of catching a flame.

One way to make sparks is to scrape two items against each other. A great example is the Aurora Fire Starter. It uses a 1/4″ diameter magnesium rod and a striker. The striker has a guide that maximizes the sparks. You can use this even in a wet environment to make sparks. But the Aurora isnt the only solution.

Another example of a spark generator is the BlastMatch. This is my favorite. And here’s why. Imagine you are out in the wild. You get injured and you can only use one hand to create your sparks. That’s where the BlastMatch comes in handy. Its a simple rod with a handle on one end. You push the handle and it moves down onto the rod. The result is a shower of hot sparks.

So now we have two examples of how to generate sparks. But, how do we capture the sparks? How do we make them grow?

Step 2) Capture Your Sparks

Capturing sparks is essential. We want to keep them going long enough for the tinder to catch fire. We’re going to look at two premade ones and one that you can make yourself.

Premade Spark “Capturers”

Our first premade type is Wetfire Tinder. It comes in small prepackaged blocks. Using it takes a little practice. Intuition says just light the block on fire. But it doesn’t work that way.

The key to using WetFire is to scrape shavings off of the block. Throw sparks at the shavings and you’ll have a fire in very short time. Like about 5 seconds. I’m not kidding.

Now there are some downsides to WetFire. First, these aren’t cheap. The good news is that there are alternatives.
Another downside is that if the bag gets punctured, you can count on the block to last about 3 months or so. So you’ll need to use it up fairly quickly.

Our second premade type is FireRibbon. Think of it like toothpaste for fire starting. Its in a tube and you just squeeze it out onto your surface. Next, spray sparks on it, and your FireRibbon will light.

But what if you want to save money and go the cheap route? What if you don’t want to spend money on WetFire or FireRibbon? Is there an alternative?

Homemade Spark “Capturers”

Homemade firestarters can save you money. As a result, you can have more of them on hand. The most popular one that exists is cotton balls.

Here’s how cotton balls work. Go to WalMart or anyplace that sells cottonballs. But the trick is this. Get real cotton. Don’t get the synthetic ones. Now take a ball, and put some vaseline on it. Roll it around between your fingers. Store the ball away in an Altoids can or something similar. Later, when its time to use it, just pull it out. Pull it apart so that the fibers start to show. Next, apply your spark generator to the ball.

Now if you don’t have anything on you, then the best tinder around would be dry leaves and very thin twigs.

One idea is to take semi-dry grass and leaves and combine it with bark from birch or cedar. Wrap the bark around the grass with the ember inside, and you’ll be able to blow on the ember to make it grow. If you have even the smallest flame, then making a tee-pee out of tiny twigs will work as well.

What’s nice about using a tinder bundle is this. You can carry it to another shelter site and use it to expedite starting another fire.

Alright, so now we’ve started some sparks. We’ve used tinder that catches flame quickly. So things are working. How do we keep this going so that we get a fire?

Step 3) How do you grow the ember once its started?

Once you have embers lit from your sparks, its time to kick up the flame. Your sparks have been turned into embers. So now its time to protect them and grow them.

Keep blowing on the tinder bundle until a flame appears. But don’t get too excited quite yet. The last thing you’ll want to do is start throwing large pieces of wood on the tiny flame. If you do, then you’ll lose the flame quickly.

The Bottom Line on Starting Fires Without Matches

Starting and making a fire without matches doesn’t have to be complicated or even hard. Something as small as a firesteel minitoggle will work. It just takes a little patience.

Just remember that when you want to get a fire started, begin with the spark. Next, capture the spark and grow the ember into a flame. With enough practice, you’ll be making fires without matches in no time.

Oooh! Aaaah!