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How to Start a Fire Without Matches


Here are three ways to start a fire without the help of matches. Each can be effective, and all take lots of practice, but they’re actually pretty fun to learn.

Watch our step-by-step video to learn how, and check out the article in the December 2010 issue of Boys’ Life magazine for more information.

Remember: Even in a survival situation, try to avoid harming the environment when building your fire. Look for a spot from which a fire could not spread and where the surrounding area would not be damaged.

29 Comments on How to Start a Fire Without Matches

  1. cool

  2. That’s very cool

  3. Do you need fuel for all techniques?

    • bubbahoohaa // June 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm // Reply

      no! you don’t need fuel you idiot! that’s why it says ” how to start a fire without matches”

  4. I have a flint’n’steel I am hopeing to use it this saturday

  5. cool

  6. I says to him, I // August 2, 2012 at 8:07 am // Reply

    theres another way. take any battery, and attatch steel wool to both ends. itll start to spark, and at that moment you gently blow it and add it to the tinder. itll be hot, but its either that or go without fire…

  7. 168 boyscout // July 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    some swiss army knives have a magnifling glass on them

    • Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) // October 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm // Reply

      what if its cloudy? then your going to be out of luck. Thats why i stick with a good ol’ flint an steel

  8. Ninjaman123 // June 29, 2012 at 6:37 am // Reply

    I have a real flint and steel and it is awseome.

  9. Ethanawedome // June 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm // Reply


  10. Great Video with good techniques and detail. A video great for Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. I have tried a three techniques and they work.

  11. Have you ever heard of the Scout Motto, Be Prepared? If so, you probably wont need these tips. Still good to know if you’re lost in the woods. Overall great video.:) 🙂 🙂

  12. that is so cool

  13. thats really cool now I know what to do if I ever get lost

  14. weblopack464 // April 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm // Reply

    awseome video!!!

  15. nice tips

  16. webelo from pack 295 // April 21, 2012 at 9:38 am // Reply


  17. Wow

  18. TheEagleScout // April 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm // Reply

    My scout troop went on a camping trip and one of our tenderfoots had gotten lost, he was gone overnight. He was not catching on with survival techniques as fast as the other scouts so I taught him in private classes. When he was lost he used a bow drill to start a fire, then he built a lean-to shelter to sleep on for the night. Thanks to this vidio I was able to teach him the skills that saved his life.

  19. donkey kong // March 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm // Reply

    thats cool

  20. awsome

  21. I was a Boy Scout, am an Eagle Scout, and love building fires. Great job on the video guys! But I would have to say that there are many more than just three ways to build a fire. For those of you who want to survive anywhere, here are a few more methods =)

    – Single(1) match
    – Battery and steel wool
    – Burning laser light
    – Lighter
    – Drop of water in jar/cup
    – Fire from ice – the natural lens
    – Pop can and chocolate – parabolic lens

    Have fun!

  22. Steel wool and a battery works too.

  23. Man, I’ve got to try that!

  24. chaoscontrol // January 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm // Reply


  25. One word: WOW!!!

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