It is easy to get caught up in “what-if” paranoia when planning a trip to the jungle:  “What-if I only have a magnifying glass to start a fire and it’s a cloudy day?”, “What if both my arms get chewed off by a tiger?…how then to use my lighter?”  etc etc.

The truth is that we can’t plan for every eventuality, however, the more methods of fire lighting that you master, the better your chances are of finding a suitable one for the situation you are in.

For example, if I was lost in the jungle without a lighter and come across a nice piece of dry, soft-wood (and assuming I had boot laces), then I would make a bow-drill set – as that way I can start multiple fires without much effort – if I don’t have boot laces (for the bow string) I could try the fire-thong method instead (see video below).  If I can’t find dry, soft wood and there’s bamboo around then I can use the bamboo fire saw.

If you know how to light a fire without a lighter/match/firesteel  (or other man-made fires starters), then you are going to be more confident about being in the jungle – a lot of those “what-if” worries will disappear – and you’ll enjoy yourself more.

…saying that, I always carry two lighters and inner tube with me, simply because it’s the easiest way of starting a fire.

The other reason it is useful to learn different friction-fire techniques is that you find that it becomes easier with each new method mastered – it’s almost like muscle memory – and you develop a feel for how fast to go or how much pressure to exert.

And the final reason is… well, it’s a lot of fun to do!