How Do You Make A Fire In The Wilderness With Nothing?

When you decide to camp in the wild, you depend on firestarters to get fire. The drawback of utilizing matches and lighters is that they tend to get wet. One of the best survival skills to learn is how to light a fire without a lighter or a match.

How do you make a fire in the wilderness with nothing? One way is to prepare it using a hand drill. It is the most primitive and primal method as it involves shaft revolutions and descending weight to start a hand drill fire. You only need wood, resolute hands, and gritty determination.

A Must Read: What Are The Best Mountain House Meals?

If you wish to learn how to find ways to start a fire even without the help of firestarters, you better not miss out on anything in this short read. You will also learn some survival tips to help you in the wilderness.

Friction-Based Fire Making

Friction-based fire making is probably one of the most popular methods to use, but it is also one of the most difficult. You will be able to use a wide array of techniques to make a fire using friction method. The most vital part of it is the type of wood used for the fireboard and the spindle.

The spindle is the stick that you will use to spin to create such friction between it and the fireboard. If you make enough friction between the fireboard and the spindle, you can create an ember that can be used to produce a fire. You can use cottonwood, juniper, aspen, willow, cedar, cypress, or walnut for your fireboard and spindle sets.

Hand Drill Method

The hand drill method is known to be the most primal method of all. You only need wood, tireless hands, and some gritty determination. First, build a tinder nest, and it will be used to create a flame you get from all the spark that you will create. It is best to gather resources that catch fire easily like dry grass, leaves, and some barks.

After collecting all the things that you need, you need to make your notch/ Cut a v-shaped notch in your fireboard and make a small depression adjacent to it.

You can now place all bark beneath the notch. The bark will catch all the ember from the friction between our spindle and fireboard. You can spindle into the depression on your fireboard and start rolling the spindle between your hands. It is advisable to spin them as quickly as possible and keep doing it until an ember is formed.

Once you see some glowing ember, you can tap the fireboard and drop the ember to your pieces of leaves, bark, or grass. Gently blow on it to start your own flame.

Fire Plough Method

For the Fire Plough method, you need to prepare your fireboard and cut a groove in it. It will serve as your track for the spindle. The next step is to rub and take the tip of your spindle and place it on your fireboard’s groove. You may start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove to create friction.

At the end of your fireboard, have your tinder nest so that you will be able to plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once one of them catches fire, blow the nest gently and get your fire going.

Lens-Based Methods

Using a lens will help you light a fire easily if you are looking for some easier methods. A lot of people once in their lives experimented using a magnifying glass to burn some leaves. It is the same concept but with a real goal in the end.

Traditional Lenses

If you want to create a fire using a lens-based method, all you need is some lens and find some solid source of sunlight in a specific spot. For instance, you can use a magnifying glass, eyeglasses, or binoculars.

Adding water in all of these lenses can intensify the beam and angle the lens towards the sun. It will allow you to focus the beam on a certain spot as much as possible. You can put the tinder nest in this spot, and you will soon see some smoke and embers.

The only drawback of this kind of method is that it will only work if you have proper sunlight. So if you are in a shaded forest or night time, you won’t have any luck.

Fire From Ice

Fire from ice is a thing and not just a cliche term used for a theme in a high school prom. You can make a fire from a piece of ice, and all you should do is form the ice into a lens shape. Use it like any other lense to start a fire, and it is a pretty convenient method, especially during wintertime.

To make it work, you should prepare clear ice. Having a cloudy or any kind of impurities will diminish this method. To get a clear ice block, you can fill a bowl, cup, or a container made of a foil with clear lake or melted snow.

You need to let it freeze until it forms ice and it should be about 2 inches thick for it to work. Then you can form the lens using your knife, and once you’re able to get the right shape, you can proceed polishing it with your hands.

The heat of your hands will polish the ice, so you get a smooth surface. Angle your ice lens towards the sun and focus the created light to your tinder nest. After a while, it will start smoking and it will create a fire out of ice.


Overall, fire creation is one of the most vital survival skills you need to achieve to survive the wilderness. There are plenty of techniques and methods you can choose to create a fire. Choose the one that suits your skill level and master it. You must never wait until you are in an emergency to learn how to build a fire.