Fire is an integral element in our daily lives; we use it for cooking and to keep warm. Matches and lighters have helped make fire super accessible, contributing to its importance as a tool. But there are cases when such things aren't available to make fire. Here are a few tips for how to start a fire without matches. 

Hand Drill Method

Using a knife, make a notch into a sturdy hardwood. Then, fit a two-feet long stick (also called spindle) into the notch and roll it between your palms to form heat through friction. After a while, smoke will start coming out and little embers will form. When this happens, blow on it to encourage fire and add more wood.

Bow Drill Method

This method is essentially a more efficient version of the hand drill method. You secure the spindle on the notch with a rock. Then, a bow is made by bending a stick and securing the stick's ends with a string.  Loop the string around the spindle once; now the bow can be operated by one hand via a back and forth movement that turns the spindle. The other hand presses down on the rock on top of the spindle to cause more friction.

Afterwards, when embers start to form, blow on it and add more wood to make the fire bigger.

Fire Pillow

This method uses a back and forth motion as opposed to the previous drilling motion, to make fire. Using a knife, make a groove along the length of the fire board, stopping before you reach the ends. Then, move the spindle back and forth along the groove.  Make sure to move your upper body as well for momentum. When embers form, blow on these embers and add more wood to the fire (same as before). 

Flint and Steel

Take a flint, which is a smooth gray stone, and strike it against a piece of iron or knife. The sparks that fly off of the stone and knife should make the tinder smoke, which can start off the kindling process. Add more wood and blow on the fire to make it bigger. 

Burning Mirror or Glass

Using a parabolic lens, focus the sunlight on the same spot until the wood starts kindling. This trick might be hard because sunlight needs to be bright enough for a long period of time.

Steel Wool and Battery

Fire Spinning 2

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Stretch out a piece of steel wool, which should be about six inches long. Take a battery, and rub the steel wool on the "contacts" side of the battery. When the wool starts to glow, blow on it and start making a flame!

Now you know how to start a fire without matches if you ever find yourself in that situation. If you feel adventurous, you can try these out these tricks whenever you're outdoors!