The jungle not only gets lots of rain, it also takes a long time to dry out (as so little sunlight reaches the jungle floor) –  all of which can make fire lighting a challenging activity.  You may well find that methods that have served you well in temperate forests (e.g. hand drill, spark sticks etc) are too sensitive to the wet climate/humidity of deep jungle and either don’t work or are very difficult to make work.

I will cover some emergency ways to light fires in the jungle (bamboo fire saw, bow-drill, flint and steel etc) later on, and it is good to know these techniques as it gives you confidence to know that you can light a fire with nothing more than a parang.  However, when it’s really wet these methods can be fickle friends and what worked easily enough in your backyard may not work so easily in the wet and humid environment of the jungle.

And, in an emergency situation, you will have other things on your mind (shelter/rescue/water/food etc) and won’t want to have to waste time and effort trying half-mastered friction fire methods that might let you down.

So… take a lighter with you.  Better still, take two and wrap some inner-tube round them as emergency tinder.

The type of disposable lighter I use in the video is my preferred choice.  These lighters are cheap, light, tough and waterproof, they have a simple no-nonsense mechanism and a transparent body (so you can see how much fuel is left in them).   Their main weakness is the wheel at the top of the lighter can dislodge if it gets badly bashed around and, if it does fall off, the spring below will fire the tiny flint into the undergrowth!

I also show you how to use these lighters when they are low on fuel or out of fuel altogether.

Note: I’ve seen people use out-of-fuel lighters to light up “prison-matches” (which are small cones made of tissue paper filled with lint from their socks)… I’ve not had any success with this method in the jungle (perhaps my lint was too damp?) so, if you are thinking of using that method, test it for yourself first to see if you can get it to work.

This last point “test it for yourself” applies to any fire starting method…  an emergency situation in the jungle is not the time to start trying out techniques dimly remembered from a how-to-video you watched years back.  You need to really know that you can make it work before you invest the time and effort in trying to make it work… time spent trying (and failing) to get a fire going is time that would have been better spent on improving your shelter, getting water etc.