Portable(Pocket-Sized) Any-Weather Fire-Starter!!




Introduction: Portable(Pocket-Sized) Any-Weather Fire-Starter!!

This is an extremely cheap and easy way to start a fire anywhere in any weather, using just common household items. Leave a comment if you find a mistake, and please Vote for me in the Pocket-Sized Contest! Thanks!!

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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients.

Here is what you need to build your own Fire-Starter:

1. A box to fit everything in -I used a plastic Top Trumps box which happened to be on my floor at the time.
2. Steel Wool - preferably grade 3 or 4.
3. A 9v Battery (depending on the grade of the Steel Wool you use you may need a higher voltage supply, eg 2 x 9volts connected in series= 18 volts)
4. Battery Snaps - I cut mine from a broken Smoke Alarm.
5. A Switch - A push-to-break is not necessary, just handy, any On/Off Switch will work.
6. A Match - The most vital component, Safety matches are preferred but not necessary.
7. Some Kitchen Foil - I lined the plastic case with it to prevent burning and to reflect heat back at the newly-born flame:)

Step 2: Break the Match in Half (Optional)

I could only find Extra-Long Safety Matches this evening so I snapped it in half to make it fit in the box.

Step 3: Line the Plastic With Foil (Also Optional)

As I had a plastic box I didnt want it to melt, So I lined it with folded KitchenFoil to protect it. This isn't necessary if you're using a metal box like an altoids tin.

Step 4: Fix the Battery and Switch in Place

This is the most complicated step so I divided it into bulletpoints:)

1. Attach the snaps to the 9V battery now(or begin soldering if you have more than one battery - Click HERE) if you have not done this before.
2. The switch must also be soldered about halfway along one of the battery wires, and then glued into place facing outwards.
3. The battery terminals should be fixed a finger-width apart and in the middle of space - not inside the plastic box as this is where the match will sit.

Step 5: Prepare the Match for Combustion.

This is not my work, all credits to systemf92 for his excellent instructable Here.

Basically, the steel wool is wrapped tghtly around the head of the match(Unlike mine, which is grade #00 and impossible to grip)
The ends should be sticking out straight from both sides(Also unlike mine)
When this is laid across the two battery terminals and the current is allowed to flow through it, the resistance in the steel wool is too high for the metal to stand so it burns out(as a Fuse is designed to do).
This in turn will ignite the sulphur on the head of the match, and VOILA! - we have fire.

Step 6: Finished!

Congradulations! You have made your All-Weather Firelighter!
It is perfect for any enthusiastic fisherman or camper, or even for any boy scouts looking for the easy way out;)
Let me know what you think of it, Ill try to upload more designs(an altoids tin next!), possibly a sketch of the electronic circuit and a even video of its operation as soon as I find a strong battery!!>:(
Thanks for looking people!

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    7 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 5

    me thinks that the matches came out of a matchbox ,why not just take the whole shebang and use the flint on the side of the matchbox!! and put the matchbox in a plastic zip lock bag??


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    side of a match box is not flint, its phosphorous i fit is a strike on box match and sandpaper otherwise.


    10 years ago on Step 6

    I presume you store several of the matches and steel wool..? Its not a bad idea but practically its much more sense to just use a lighter rather than this dont you think?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You've got matches, so again, technically it's a great way of lighting a fire, but just matches are simplier.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    made this in an altoids tin and it works!! awesome!!! needed a 12volt battery for grade3 wool but it even works in low wind