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101 Ways to MAKE FIRE - #4 Flashlight

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Published on Aug 9, 2009

In this one, we find out how to make fire using a battery powered flashlight. (We call it a torch here in South Africa). Except we don't use the battery. We use the deep parabolic mirror which is used to focus the light from the globe into a parallel beam. We also introduce tinder fungus into the equation for the first time. I'll shoe you soon how to find the fungus. Also how to make char-cloth. Having something that can take an ember is very important. 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. However, not many people are aware that the concept of generating heat through compression, as found in the Diesel engine, was understood and applied long before the invention of the diesel engine. The indigenous people of South-East Asia were using fire pistons as a fire starting technique long before the arrival of Europeans.. 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 things 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.

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