Your survival depends on your ability to create a fire easily and repeatedly. Those words are important. If it takes you a half hour to find kindling and combustibles, you don’t want to spend another cold and hungry half hour trying to bang rocks together to get a spark. That’s far too much time and energy wasted. However, matches or lighters will not be the solution either. During the apocalypse, you’ll need to create a fire nearly everyday to cook your food, sanitize drinking water and to warm your bones. Your matches and lighter fluid will run out well before end of your first winter. Let’s look at some other options.
I’ve discussed using a bow drill. It’s not terribly easy to do, and can be a bit much to lug around. The good part is that after learning this skill, it will last you a lifetime. The materials for this tool is everywhere.
Yup, you know the problem here. “What if there is no sun?” The probability of a sunless apocalypse is high. Ants on the pavement rejoice!
Battery Steel Wool
This works great, but burns the steel wool. So unless you want to haul around a bag of steel wool, I wouldn’t recommend this.
Chocolate Bar and Coke Can
This is bull shit. I wrote about this about a year ago and have since tried it to no success. A reader informed me that the YouTube video demonstrating this was faked. Thanks!
This firesteel is going to be your best bet. It’s relatively easy, and is fairly durable (The Army model allows for 12,000 strikes – 2,400 fires) It is super small, and produces a spark of 5,500°F spark. The only problem with this option is that though it creates sparks when wet, if you don’t have any dry kindling, it’s worthless. To satisfy this, you would need to keep some charcloth with you in a tin. This charcloth is what will catch your spark and create the fire.
– Charcloth is easy enough to make. Cut up some old jeans in little squares and put in a lidded tin. Puncture a hole in the tin and set in a fire. Take out after ten minutes and you got some really flammable Wranglers.
The Magnesium firestarter is the same as the firesteel, except that it has a bar of magnesium attached. Magnesium burns fiercely when ignited and will be your waterproof tinder for your fire. (No charcloth needed) Take a knife and shave off some of the magnesium (dime size) and then use the fire steel to create the spark. The only problem is that the magnesium will eventually run out, so only use it when things are dire.