Everyone has seen movies where a person is stranded out in the wilderness and during the next scene, he or she is walking with a torch fully lit. While it was given to the actor or actress or the prop was later added into the film, these can actually be made by you either in wilderness, or from ingredients found within your home!
Making one is not easy while being stranded outdoors, but I will discuss every aspect of this process. Not only that, I will also delve into a various techniques to create one so you can choose the one that fits your needs and available materials the best!
A) Simple Guide to Household Torch
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4-Step Toilet Paper Technique
Do you know these?
Before getting started, you will need the following:
- Dowel – 2 Foot or longer stick (broom handle will work in a pinch).
- Burning material – 1 Roll of toilet paper.
- Accelerant – Cooking oil.
Now that you have all of your items ready to go, you can begin creating your torch. Thankfully, this is an easy process.
- Wrap the paper tightly around the end of your stick. The tighter you wrap it, the better it will burn.
- You want to create a bulge that is very tight. Crisscross when wrapping it so that it stays in place during usage!
- Soak the paper in cooking oil. You can do this by placing the oil in a cup and then soaking paper into it.
- Now that you have prepared your stick, it is ready to be lit. You can now place the bulge into a fire for 30 seconds until it is fully burning!
20 Minutes burning time per roll:
Your toilet paper torch is now roaring with flame and you can expect it to stay burning for approximately 20 minutes per roll used.
Possibility to Change Things
Do you already have one?
You can choose other great materials that will stay lit for at least 20 minutes in most cases and may actually be accessible both in the home and in the wilderness! A few items that work well include:
- Paper towels
- Curtains that have been cut
The goal is to use only what you need as the lit part of the torch. Cotton fabrics work best, whereas nylon or spandex will obviously not burn. Silk is also a poor option. Now, follow the same steps as above to make yourself one!
Other dowl options:
If you are not in a disaster state and can purchase items, you can buy a tiki torch or metal rods that act as your dowel. The less flammable it is the better as they can easily catch fire. Therefore your best option is to go for something that will not catch on flame and will not transport heat so easily!
Extra safety advice if you have enough time:
You can ensure your safety by attaching your accelerant material right to your dowel. This can be done by stapling the end of material that will be lit on fire to that branch or even by using nails or screws to do so (if it is made from wood). This may not be the fanciest method, but it works great nonetheless.
B) Step-By-Step Guide to Primitive Wilderness Survival Torch
Ideally, you will start with a campfire because it may take several minutes to light.
- The only dowel you can choose in the wild is a long, sturdy branch. This should be a long one (2 feet or more).
- The material chosen to act as the accelerant is very difficult to find outdoors. Ideally, you will pull a branch off of a tree with the end knot still in place. This is the easiest method since you literally just need to light the torch on fire.
- If you cannot locate one with a big enough knot, you will need to create your own material. This is where the fun begins. The best solution is to find bark that peels off of a tree in a straight line. This bark is normally flexible enough that means it can be wrapped on your branch into a ball. Bamboo and other flexible stuff may also be used.
- Now, bind the bark to the end of your dowel using vines or thick roots from plants!
Learn these as well:
If you can find a thick piece of wood and have an axe, you can cut the ends in a cross like pattern so that you can stuff twigs, branches and other items inside of the dowel. The cuts must not break it but be deep enough so you can stuff a lot of material into it!
Twigs, vines, leaves and other stuff will work perfectly. A dowel with a 2 – 3 inch radius or more is recommended. Now, light it up in your camp fire and enjoy your new portable source of light!
20-60 Minutes of burning time:
Depending on how much material is present, you can expect the basic wilderness torch to burn for 20 – 60 minutes. However, the advanced technique will last for 60+ minutes in most cases!
Advice taken from our ancient ancestors:
If you are wondering how torches were made centuries ago, fat from meats was used as it would burn for hours at very high temperatures. This can be done even today if you have beef or other animal fats available at your hand. Just try it and let us know in the comments section how you liked this greasy version!
6 Safety Tips for Using Handmade Torch
Safety is of the utmost importance when using a torch. Users will want to adhere to the following tips:
- Never light it in your home or in grassy areas!
- Make sure the lit end is secure on your dowel!
- If using it in your yard, make sure that you have access to a fire extinguisher!
- If the dowel starts burning, place the end of it into the dirt and drop it onto the ground!
- Wrap aluminium foil around the dowel if possible!
- Putting it out can take several minutes.
Keep in mind: Always ensure the it is completely out before walking away!