An easy guide to starting a fire with a water bottle
07/04/2018 / By Carol Anderson / Comments
An easy guide to starting a fire with a water bottle

Whether you’re a full-fledged prepper or just a person who likes learning things, knowing how to create fire without any kind of igniter is one of the most important survival skills to learn. It’s a great skill, which not only helps you get warm, but it can also save your life when SHTF.

Aside from the popular method of using dried leaves and a magnifying glass, did you know that the water bottle you usually carry around can also start a fire? (h/t to

Materials needed:

  • Pieces of paper
  • An empty clear water bottle


  1. Get two pieces of paper and tear them in half. Fold them and set them aside.
  2. Get another piece of paper and fold it three times.
  3. Hold the bottle horizontally and make sure that the light passes through the curved top and creates a focused beam on the paper.
  4. Place a piece of paper behind the bottle where the light can reach it.
  5. Adjust the distance of the paper from the bottle as needed to find where it creates the brightest beam.
  6. Hold the bottle and the paper steady until the light burns a hole in the paper.
  7. Put the bottle down and add a piece of folded paper over the burn hole.
  8. Gently wave the paper to improve air circulation and induce flames.
  9. Add more paper until the paper ignites.

*Note: If the paper you’re using has black ink, make sure that it’s visible along the longest unfolded edge. The ink will act as an accelerant and absorb heat which will make the paper ignite faster. (Related: Essential gear you need for shelter, fire, water, and survival.)


Other ways to start a fire

In the event of an emergency where neither a magnifying glass nor a water bottle is present, the following methods can also help start a fire:

  • Hand drill – This is the most difficult method in this list. It will require all your strength and patience to get a spark going. Create your fire by placing a spindle on top of your fireboard, then roll the spindle between your hands until an ember is formed.
  • Fire plow – Prepare the fireboard, then cut a groove in the fireboard for your spindle. Rub the tip of the spindle up and down the groove. The friction will start an ember.
  • Flint and steel – As an alternative, you can use a quartzite and the steel blade of your pocket knife. Hold the back of the knife blade and strike it using the flint or quartzite until sparks appear.
  • Balloons and condoms – Fill either of the two with water and tie off the end. Squeeze it to find a shape that gives a sharp circle of light and place it above your tinder.
  • Chocolate and Coke can – Coat the bottom part of the can with chocolate to create a parabolic mirror. Let the sunlight reflect off the bottom of the can until it starts a flame.
  • Steel wool and batteries – Rub the side of the battery with the “contacts” on the wool to create sparks. Blow on it to make it burn more.

Learn more ways of surviving, like starting your own fire, by heading to today.

Sources include: 1 2

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