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Quick and Simple Fire Starting Techniques
Quick and Simple Fire Starting Techniques

Quick and Simple Fire Starting Techniques

Every outdoorsman should know how to start a fire.  It is a simple thing to do, and if you ever find yourself in a survival situation, it may be the difference between life and death.  Not only is a fire important for warmth, but it can also be used for signaling, cooking food, and most importantly boiling water. So, if you follow these quick and easy techniques below, there is no excuse not to know how to start a fire.

If you search the internet, there are many ways to start a fire.  Some of these methods involve odd objects and things around the house, or others that are as simple as using a match.  This article is going to focus on some methods that you can use with a match. Also, how to build your own fire starter kit, as well as some other methods that focus on survival situations when you may find yourself without a fire starter kit.


Matches seem like a common sense thing to have, but there are a few different ones that offer superior performance in different conditions.  If you are outside, and in the wilderness, you will probably want to have some waterproof matches. This will allow you to use them even in the rain, and you never know when this could come in handy.

A good thing to have is a small waterproof container to keep your matches in.  These are relatively cheap, and you can also put some kindling in your container, so in case you find yourself in the rain trying to start a fire, you will have some dry kindling as well.  Two things that are good fire starters are cotton balls or dryer lint that have a little petroleum jelly on them. These will light quickly, and the jelly will burn which give you enough time to start a fire.  

Just remember when using a match or starting any type of fire it is important to find the driest wood available.  Usually dead wood will catch fire much quicker than alive wood, so you may have to search around. Also, it is a good idea to have some leaves and small sticks to burn, until the larger logs catch fire.  So, if you are prepared with a few waterproof matches and some fire starters you should be able to start a fire anywhere.


Dating back to the time of the cavemen, man has used flint and friction to start fires.  We are lucky to live in a world, where you don’t have to find a flint or magnesium rock, and you can easily purchase a flint or magnesium stick to light your fires.  

If you go to any type of store you can find these, and they are relatively straightforward, you have the rod and the magnesium or flint; you need a sharp metal object, a knife will do, but it's not ideal because you can dull or even chip your blade.  You will also want a good amount of tinder which could be cloth, lint, birdnest or anything else that will burn quickly preferably dry material, but if you must, you can use leaves and grass as well.

You will want to strike the magnesium, about a dime size worth onto a piece of tinder, preferably a cloth or something flat.  Then you take your rod, and you will use a metal object, or sharp rock and you will strike the rod. While you do this, you want the sparks to fly towards the magnesium, and after enough times, it should catch fire.  Then you have to add more tinder and build a fire up. Be sure only to add enough to allow the fire to burn; you don’t want to put it out. Once the smaller branches and sticks start to light, you can add larger logs to the fire.  Make sure that you keep all the parts nearby so you can properly tend your fire and not worry about looking for any pieces.

Water Bottle Method

The two above methods are pretty basic ways to start a fire.  They require tools that every outdoorsman should have, but if you don’t have them on you, then there are other ways to utilize your resources to start a fire.  Most likely you will have a water bottle nearby, and you can easily use your water bottle for a quick and easy way to start a fire.

You will also need a few sheets of paper or any other piece of fibrous material that is black or dark in color.  Dryer lint or other thin material, is good, but paper tends to work the best. If you don’t have any black pieces of paper, you can rub some dirt on it, and this will make the paper absorb more of the heat.  

You then use the concave part of the bottle, try to use the clear part towards the top of the bottle.  Then you use the sun, and you will see the paper start to smolder, wait until it gets to the size of a quarter and then you can add another sheet of paper and gently move the paper back and forth.  

As you move it back and forth, the embers will begin to smolder, and the paper should catch on fire.  Make sure you are near your fire when you do this so you can use the paper before it burns out.

Ice Method

You may be wondering how can ice make fire, well if you have a small shallow bowl and some water and tinder, it can be pretty easy to make a fire.  This also only works in a very cold environment, you will need the water to freeze solid before you try it.

So if you find yourself up north in the freezing cold, you can take your water pour it in a small shallow bowl and allow it to freeze.  Once frozen gently remove the ice from the bowl. You will notice that you have made a concave lens.

With this lens, you can use the sun, and just like the water bottle method or a magnifying glass you can direct the suns rays onto your tinder, and you will see it begin to smolder.  Once it begins to smolder, you should add more fuel to the fire and then tend the fire as necessary.


All of the above methods are a great way to start a fire.  It is always smart that no matter what you are doing in the outdoors, whether it's hunting, fishing, or hiking, that you bring a way to start a fire.  It may be the difference between life and death.

Also, while they may seem like pretty easy methods, you will want to practice a bunch of different methods so you can be prepared for anything.  It is smart to have a little fire kit in your truck, bag or on you whenever you go out. This will make the task of starting a fire easy, no matter if you are in a survival situation or just camping.  

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