Bug Out Fire

Fire is a very important thing for a bug out/survival situation. It boils water, cooks food, gives warmth, and keeps predators away. There are many ways to start fire, the most used being a lighter or fire steel, each have their pros and cons. I will talk about some of the ways such as natural (no tools), assisted (tools) and a couple ways with chemistry .

Natural ways

  • Hand drill
  • bow drill
  • fire saw

The hand drill is one of the oldest ways of making fire. It uses the friction from a stick, called a dowel, that is spun between your hands against a board that eventually gets hot enough to make an ember. Next is the bow drill, which is similar to the hand drill but is spun using a bow. The fire saw also uses friction between two sticks to create an ember, however, it uses a push-pull motion to have the friction.


  • lighter
  • fire steel
  • steel wool
  • gas

Lighters are used everywhere and are a very easy source of fire. Fire steel, or ferrocerium, create high temperature sparks that ignite the kindling. Steel wool when used with a battery, preferably a 9V, it ignites and glows red hot  to start the fire. Gas is an obvious one, however, it's not the best idea because of it's risks.


  • potassium permanganate and sugar
  • lithium and sparks
  • ammonium nitrate and zinc
  • acetone and sulfuric acid

These reactions can be harmful and should be used in controlled conditions. some of these reactions are impractical and are most likely not going to be used unless you want to have the material for other purposes. Potassium permanganate is very helpful in many ways, but here we are talking about the reaction between it and sugar. The reaction makes a nice size flame. Lithium is used in almost all rechargeable batteries and is very flammable (the lithium should be stored in oil to prevent unwanted ignition). Ammonium nitrate and zinc when combined and has hydrochloric acid ignites. The acetone is used by soaking it in a tissue and dripping sulfuric acid on it.

These are some of the ways to start fire in a bug out/survival situation. There are plenty of other ways that can be used and should be searched to learn ways to make it easier, faster, more reliable, rain resistant, and/or hotter.