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6 Obscure Fire Lighting Methods

6 Obscure Fire Lighting Methods 0

Fire lighting is possibly one of the essential survival abilities to master.


Most wood fires are rather similar, composed of the three primary elements: fuel, heat and oxygen. But how the fire began can be vastly different; generating that initial heat to ignite the tinder can be achieved in a variety of ways. People know how to handle a box of matches, fire steel or even how to create and use a fire drill, but what about the less traditional methods of fire starting.


Here are examples of some methods of which are less well-known but could be valuable in a survival situation, others are frankly silly! I'm providing such knowledge here just out of interest, so please do not attempt these methods yourself!


Brake Fluid And Chlorine

This one we don’t advise attempting, due to the violent eruption of flames and release of toxic chlorine fumes that it would produce. Seriously, do not this one at home or outdoors! Mixing granular sodium hypochlorite (a chemical used in pools) and brake fluid will result in a bubbling mixture of chemicals that will abruptly burst into flame.


Ice Cubes

Fire from ice (with a little help from the sun)


It is well-known fact that you can start a fire using a magnifying glass, but what if there is lots of sunlight but no magnifying glass? Create one! You can use a transparent bottle, cling-film or condom filled up with ice to make lens shapes to focus sunlight and start a fire! Ice is especially good because the surface can be melted with your hands to a make a very optically smooth finish.


Catalytic Lighter

A little known and old-fashioned method of making fire. It consists of a container with a methanol saturated pad and an insert made of extremely fine platinum wire and platinum sponge. Platinum, simultaneously being precious (which is probably why these lighters are not commercially available), is one of the best catalytic substances known. These lighters simply work by platinum catalysing the combustion of methanol vapour with oxygen. Heat builds until the wire is hot enough to auto-ignite the methanol.


Potassium Permanganate And Monoethylene Glycol

A relatively common way of fire starting is the combination of glycerine and potassium permanganate, creating high-temperature purple flames for a little while after mixing. However, In cold temperatures this reaction is extremely slower or does not take place at all, often needing the reagents to be heated under the armpit before use. Using some mono ethylene glycol instead of the glycerine allows for a faster reaction that can still take place at low temperature and use smaller amounts.


Fizzy Drink Can

Aluminium drinks cans are everywhere, and if you have nothing else but lots of time you can use one to create a fire, as long as there is plenty of sun! By polishing the bottom of the can to a very smooth mirror finish applying toothpaste, natural clays or even chocolate, you can create a parabolic mirror to focus sunlight onto some tinder held above the centre of the mirror using a stick.


Linseed Oil And Newspaper

This method is a rather slow and inconstant technique, so wouldn’t be useful for survival, but is fascinating nevertheless. Newspaper or rags that are dry but has been daubed with linseed oil are capable of spontaneous combustion; as the linseed oil oxidises it generates heat which in adequate quantity and on a dry day is capable of catching fire with no outside ignition needed. It can take hours or days to happen so we don’t know why you’d even try this technique!


Carry Smarter.

More Than What You Carry

More Than What You Carry 0

I understand that essentially all of you are familiar with the concept of EDC (Every day Carry) and carry some tools on your person to prepare you for daily chores. While tools are necessary for EDC, the idea of EDC is so much larger than that.


What would happen if you no longer possessed the tools that you typically carry every day? Would you be totally helpless to deal with the tasks that await you?


If you are an advocate of EDC, then you shouldn't be unprepared. The idea being, EDC comprises primarily of a mindset to be ready for anything. It is also a mindset to be inventive with whatever you may have.


Many of us carry a pocket knife. We can use that knife to pry, drive flathead screws, scrape, hammer, etc. Possessing that knife allows you to practice improvising with it. It enables you to improvise in different circumstances.


These improvising skills lead to a mindset of determination when faced with a challenge. Likewise, if you were in a position without any tools, and you have an EDC mindset, you shouldn't give up, try to make the most with what you possess to get the job completed.


EDC also requires a mindset to recognise reality; otherwise, you would not know what to prepare for, or you would fail to understand the fact that it helps to be prepared. Many people are oblivious to reality. They just do not have a want to be prepared, to make the most out of one's situation. Individuals who EDC should not fall into this category.


If you lack any of these mindsets, and you do not carry tools for everyday preparedness, then I would suggest you begin. Learning to think like an EDC'er is a process that comes with time and with experience. Don't waste another day. Start taking things into your hands.


If there's an obstacle that you repeatedly come across, carry the tools necessary to overcome it. You will become a better person because of it.


Carry Smarter.

  • Martin Punter
  • Tags: EDC
Being Creative With Paracord

Being Creative With Paracord 0

550lb paracord has long been celebrated for its innumerable uses and survival purposes and has now found favour as a handy crafting material. With a bit of persistence you can make all sorts of stuff with it; pouches, dog collars, watch straps and necklaces. Perhaps the most common accessory you can create from paracord is a bracelet, which can make for an excellent finished product not just aesthetically, but also regarding function.
I've been feeling a bit creative recently, so I had a go at weaving some paracord bracelets, and soon found myself getting obsessed. I tried several different varieties based on the classic ‘Cobra’ design, and here're are some of the bracelets I ended up with:
 The King Cobra Paracord Bracelet
The King Cobra Paracord Bracelet
A natural extension of the classic ‘Cobra’ weave pattern that’s commonly used in paracord bracelet manufacture. It creates an excellent full fitment and a stocky looking bracelet, and of course means you’re carrying much more cordage than a standard Cobra bracelet. My example here ended up using a good 16 feet of the cord while the regular Cobras for my wrist size would use around 8.5 feet.
‘Fisherman’ Survival Bracelet
‘Fisherman’ Survival Bracelet
With this bracelet, I included a hidden compartment fashioned from black polyolefin heat shrink, which contains a survival fishing kit consisting of hooks, weights and swivels fastened in a length of plastic straw, and then wrapped in fishing line. After inserting the fishing equipment and passing the two central cords of the Cobra weave through the heat shrink, then shrinking it with a lighter, I carried on the Cobra weave to finish. There are plenty of possibilities for what you could include in one of these bracelets, and it’s an idea that could be taken a lot further. A fully featured survival bracelet can be created if you've got the patience and loads of small survival kit elements to build into it.
Mad Max Paracord
Mad Max Style Paracord Bracelet
My personal favourite of these bracelets is inspired by my personal favourite film of 2015, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. The film displayed some brilliantly detailed imagery for such a fast-paced action fest. One of these little features was the paracord bracelet worn by Mad Max, (played by Tom Hardy) it's a customised version of a Cobra weave that doesn’t use a fastener, but rather uses the cord itself to tighten the bracelet around the wrist. The best thing about this bracelet is that you can always get a perfect comfort fit every time you put it on.
Paracord Bracelets
If you haven’t tried creating a paracord bracelet before, go ahead and give it a go! All you need to get yourself started is some paracord, buckles, a ruler, lighter and something to cut the cord. The Cobra weave is a good beginning point. Crafting with paracord is one of those hobbies that’s easy to get into, but has a lot of depth and many possibilities when you get into it!


Carry Smarter.
UK Knife Laws

UK Knife Laws 0

A great knife is an indispensable item for many EDC'ers. The right blade can be used for anything, from making kindling and splitting wood, to more challenging bushcraft and survival skills such as hunting and cooking food.

But do UK EDC'ers know what the law says about carrying knives in the UK?

– It is completely legal to carry a knife in the UK as long as it has a folding blade of no more than 3 inches long.
– It is illegal to use any knife in any aggressive way, regardless of the length of the blade.
– It's against the law to carry any knife with a locking blade (knives with blades that can be locked when unfolded) without a valid reason.


Be certain to understand your knife before going out in public. Remember, without common sense and knowing your equipment you’ll fail at the first obstacle.

Knives that are illegal:

– Flick Knives (also called ‘switchblades’) – is where the blade is hidden inside the grip and shoots out when a switch gets pushed
– Butterfly Knives – where the blade is concealed inside a handle that splits in two around it.
– Disguised Knives – e.g., where the blade is concealed inside a belt buckle.
– gravity knives
– sword-sticks
– samurai swords (with some exceptions)
– hand or foot-claws
– push daggers
– hollow kubotan (cylinder-shaped keychain) holding spikes
– shuriken (also known as ‘throwing stars’)
– kyoketsu-shoge (hook-knife connected to a cable, cord or wire)
– kusari (weight connected to a rope, cord or wire)

This is by no means a complete list of banned knives. Get in contact with your local police to check if a knife is illegal.


Carry Smarter.

Fixed Knives For EDC

Fixed Knives For EDC 0

For the most part, when people speak about knives, it's usually about folding knives since these are the most common to be carried daily. The selection of fixed blades is even larger than that of folding knives since they are used far more often in various tasks.


There are circumstances when you may bring a fixed blade knife as part of your EDC gear. These would probably be times that you are hiking, camping or entering an environment other than your usual one.


The main advantages to fixed blades are that they regularly allow a better grip, can have more job-specific blade patterns, and are usually more durable than folding knives. If you're expecting to put your knife to hard use, then a fixed blade should be in your EDC for that day.


Another excellent reason to carry a fixed blade is that, for the money, they're normally of greater quality. The complex mechanisms that go into some folding knives make them more expensive than fixed blades.


Carry Smarter.

Finding Your Keys

Finding Your Keys 0

Around the globe, people carry keys every day. It’s not unreasonable to assume that items carried so often would constantly be close at hand, owners taking comfort in the knowing that their keys are safe and secure.
You can blame it on absentmindedness, curious kids, distractions, hungry pets or gremlins hunting for shiny objects but there’s no denying that keys exceed at vanishing acts.
An excellent article popped up recently that showcased a collection of apps that are fantastic at assisting you not misplacing your keys. (Or finding them if you do) All the applications are usable on both iOS and Android. They come with many features so you can find the one that best suits you.
Some may not be available just yet, some you could use for finding other things too such as a dog on walks. If I'm going to recommend any, it would be hipKey and Tile. Both are easily attachable to your keys and operate on a simple app.
Carry Smarter.
  • Martin Punter
  • Tags: EDC Review