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101 Ways to MAKE FIRE - #6 Rock and Rasp

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Published on Sep 11, 2009

How to make fire without matches or lighter. The old fashioned way. The rock is quartz (very common in association with granite, which is what the bare "koppies" or hillocks around here are made of; good for climbing too) which is hard and crystalline. Difficult to find flint around here, but occasionally one can find obsidian (basically volcanic glass) which will also work.
The plan was to shoot this video around sundown, to get an impressive shower of sparks showing up against a dark background. Unfortunately it also meant I couldn't see very well what I was doing. A fair amount of footage was edited out of this. When I practiced this BEFORE turning on the camera, I managed to get a viable spark after two strikes. HONEST. There is a bizarre parallel universe that opens up once we turn on the camera. The file (actually a wood rasp) was out to get me. I should have used a bigger rock.
This video is part of a series of 101 videos, showing different ways to make fire. It started out as a challenge to myself, to understand the physics and chemistry associated with combustion. Enormous resources go into firefighting and firefighters put their lives on the line every day to save lives and property from destructive fire. Obviously it is easier and cheaper to prevent fire in the first place. Hopefully I can teach people how easy it is for fires to start as a result of ignorance or negligence. Many of these techniques are very old and it is just a question of re-learning ancient skills. There is something very primal and satisfying about being able to start a fire the way our forefathers did. People nowadays seldom even think about fire, without realising that many of the things we take for granted every day have come about as a result of the understanding and control of combustion. An obvious example is the internal combustion engine. Electricity, too, is taken for granted, without necessarily associating it with the thermal power stations which generate the bullk of electricity worldwide. Another aspect of this project is the pursuit of sustainable energy. Lighting fire is all about concentrating energy, and doing it as efficiently as possible. By understanding how to do this, I will hopefully give myself and others maybe - a better insight into the various sources of energy that are available. You will probably have seen some of these before. I'm not pretending to have invented fire. The coke can thing has definitely been done before. I think I first heard about it after an episode of Mythbusters brought it to popular attention. I have still to see a decent video of it, though. It is actually surprisingly easy to ignite something using the parabolic surface on the underside of a soft-drink can. The trick is to get the surface as reflective as possible. Reminds me of that quote which is usually ascribed to Abraham Lincoln: If I had ten hours to chop down a tree, I would spend nine of them sharpening my ace. With primitive fire skills, it is usually more important and difficult to master the skills of sustaining and transferring an ember and nurturing it to form a fire, than it is to get an ember in the first place. So I will cover some of that as well whilst adhering to the discipline of showing one new way per video to actually ignite the fire. Some of the things I will use to start fires are: air, water, rock, the infamous coca-cola can, ice, condoms, a garbage can, pots, light fittings, stationery, a few different things you can find in your first-aid cabinet, toiletries, a torch, string, a cellphone, a typewriter, light bulb, various bits and pieces of your car or truck, cutlery, crockery, batteries, fuses, steel wool and a whole lot more. Quite a few of them I have succeeded in using, some of the videos might be made live and might fail. Most of these techniques require some practice. The idea behind all of this is not to suggest that all of these would be suitable for a survival situation although I have certainly used some of them in extreme outdoor situations. The truth is that one is always going to go for the easiest solutions when your life is at risk. The simplest solution may not be pure primitive skills. In real life, one often has access to a vehicle or downed aircraft in a survival situation. The world being what it is today, there is often man-made material to be found, even in the wilderness. Garbage can be very useful sometimes.
Lowvelder rob withab rob with a b how to make fire with rocks primitive survival

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