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While the flame it creates is short-lived, it gives you just enough time to ignite your tinder and get a roaring inferno started.
I was surprised by how simple and easy this technique is, and you can try it using items you probably already have in your house (please don’t try this inside of your home!).
4 Weird Things You’ll Need
All you will need is just a few simple items:
- Gum wrapper with an aluminum foil lining
- D, AA or AAA battery
- Pair of scissors
If possible, choose a high quality battery. Dual Survivalist’s Joe Teti used a D type to create a fire using this method on the show, but others have found success using AA and AAA batteries.
3-Step Guide to Create Fire with Just 2 Components
These are worth learning as well:
Step 1 – Prepare Your Gum Wrapper for 100% Success
- Using your scissors, cut the foil-lined paper down to a 1.4” wide strip, length-ways.
- On the foil side of the wrapper, fold the strip in half at mid-length.
- Cut two thirds of the width of the fold at a 45 degree angle.
- Using your thumb and index finger, pinch about ¼” of the paper in the center while separating the two halves.
- Fold ¼” of it at each end in opposite directions of the fold in the middle.
When all is said and done, your chewing-gum paper should look like this bracket symbol – “}”. The middle part should be thin enough for ignition and thanks to this special shape the energy should be conducted to a precisely targeted spot.
Step 2 – Get Your Tinder Ready
The tinder should be placed just above the center of the wrapper to catch the short-lived flame. Keep in mind that the spark and heat produced by this method is very small.
Keep in mind: You’ll need to choose something that will ignite very easily.
Step 3 – Adding Battery & Igniting Flames
The center of the wrapper strip should turn a bright orange color and start smoking before igniting itself.
Remember! The flame will be tiny and short-lived so make sure that your tinder is in the right spot before you reach this step!
Safety Recommendations to Avoid Burns
The gum and wrapper fire method is great, but it’s not without its safety issues.
- Because you’re placing your fingers on each terminal, there’s a small chance of getting burns.
- There’s also a chance that the tiny spark could cause minor burns as well.
The good news is that the flame is very short-lived (approximately four seconds) and smaller than one produced by a disposable lighter. While there’s still risk for small burns, it’s unlikely that this technique will cause any major burns or injuries directly – if you follow above directions properly!
Please note! It’s a good idea to keep some water nearby when starting a fire using any method. Should it get out of control, you can quickly put it out.
When to Use This Technique
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In a crisis, you never know what may come your way. You may lose your gear and supplies, or you may unexpectedly find yourself in a critical situation without any way to ignite a fire using traditional methods.
This technique should by no means be your first choice when trying to create flames, but it will work in a pinch. There are a few situations that this may be useful for:
- During emergencies when you have no other fire-starting supplies.
- To light a cigarette when you don’t have a lighter.
- To create a small flame to cook food.
If you find yourself stuck in a critical situation in the middle of the woods without any gear, you may discover it impossible to locate a battery with enough power and a foil-lined gum wrapper. However, this method is still something that every survivalist should know!
While you should only use this in times of desperation, it’s a way that will help you get flames going using everyday items you can probably find littered on the side of the road. Therefore, it is best for urban rather than for wilderness survival situations!