5 Different Methods of Starting a Fire without Wood


Some survivalists would say the ability to make a fire is right behind water, food, and shelter when it comes to the most important things in a survival situation. Knowing how to properly build a fire is an essential necessity for survivalists and camping enthusiasts alike, but what if you had to build a fire without wood – would you know how? Is it even possible to build a fire without wood? Yes, it is entirely possible and there are actually quite a few ways to achieve this. Read on to learn the top five ways to build a fire without wood.

Before Building a Fire Outdoors

If you’re planning on building a fire in the great outdoors while camping out, then the very first thing you’ll want to do is look into the park rules of where you’ll be camping. A permit may be required, so you’ll definitely want to look into that. You should also learn about fire safety, as well.

Building a fire is a basic skill that everyone that enjoys camping and/or spending time away from civilization should have, or for in the event of an emergency. When it comes to needing to build a fire for survival, building that fire will help keep you warm and you’ll also need that fire for cooking, so this is a skill that you’ll definitely want to hone and master if you’re a survivalist.

camp fire photo: Our camp fire juuustthefamily052.jpg

5 Fire Starters

  1. Matches
  2. Lighters
  3. Firesteel and scraper
  4. 9V Battery and Steel Wool
  5. Magnifying Lens

5 Different Types of Burnable Materials

  1. Pine needles and pine cones
  2. Cotton balls soaked in flammable aerosol or soaked in petroleum jelly
  3. Dry rags and clothes
  4. Dried grass and leaves
  5. Fungus and manure

Building Your Non-Wood Fire

  • Step 1: Create a fire pit to fuel your fire in. Your pit can be as big as you’d like it to be, but it should really be a minimum of 2 feet wide and 3 to 6 inches deep. You can dig your pit with whatever tools that you have available – even a spoon. Now that you’ve created your pit, you should place rocks around the outside of the pit, creating a circle with the rocks. Clean up the pit and make sure it’s free of debris.
  • Step 2: Gather everything that you’ll need to fuel your fire. When gathering your tinder (burnable materials), you should keep in mind that some materials will burn quicker, making it harder to keep your fire going. It is best to arrange your larger burning material in a teepee style on top of the smaller tinder nest. This will help to keep your fire going. Slow burning kindling would include charcoal, manure and/or cotton balls soaked in either an aerosol or petroleum jelly.
  • Step 3: Light your fire using one of the ways listed above. Strike your waterproof matches, flip open your lighter, strike your firesteel and scraper, touch steel wool to both pools of a 9v battery, or utilize a magnifying lens. Either gently blow on it or gently fan it with something like a paper plate to get it going.
  • Step 4: Finally, you’ll have to tend to your fire to keep it going. You’ll want to have more kindling on hand to keep feeding the fire, as well as slower burning kindling to make the fire last longer.

As stated before, when building any type of fire, keep it safe. Good luck building your fire, without wood!


About the Author
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