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How to Start a Fire with a Broken Lighter

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What do you do if you’re camping or in the backcountry and your only way to start a fire is with a broken lighter? Well, here’s one way to overcome.

If you should find yourself in the backcountry or a survival situation and you’ve only got a broken lighter with which to start a fire, what do you do?

Well, for one thing you should never be without another way to start a fire. And for another thing, you should have the knowledge and practical experience to start a fire with what you find around you.

But let’s suppose that you want to get everything you possibly can from that broken lighter before you toss it aside. Here’s one thing you can do.

Firstly, the broken lighter should still be able to produce a spark by flicking it as you normally would.

What you do is run the lighter wheel sideways along a flat board or surface that will allow the wheel to turn. This will grind off a minute amount of the ferrocerium inside the lighter, which you should be able to ignite.

Run the lighter wheel slowly about 40 to 50 times along the board. The ferrocerium dust will collect inside the cap of the lighter.

Next, gently tap out the flammable dust onto a surface. If you can tap it out onto something else that can hold an ember – like, say, a piece of dry fungus and punk wood – all the better.

Then, simply hold the top of the broken lighter over the dust and flick the lighter wheel to send a spark down into the dust. It should ignite and create an ember, which you can then place inside of a tinder bundle. Gently blow on the tinder bundle and ember and get the bundle to burst into flame just as you would if you had produced an ember from a hand drill or ferro rod.

You can also dump the dust onto a paper surface. Then, when you ignite the ferro dust the paper should flame up as well, and you can quickly transfer it to a tinder bundle.

It’s just another option to consider when you need to make a fire.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: Fire Thong: Primitive Method Makes Fire in Under 2 Minutes

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How to Start a Fire with a Broken Lighter