I’m always looking for new ways to create a flame with the purpose of building a campfire for warmth, cooking, or signaling. By experimenting with different materials and methods I’ve learned over 100 ways to create a fire. Some methods may not be practical but are “proof of concept” to create ignition. Under certain circumstances they may be the only option available.
Ignition sources include sparks, flames, embers, and other sources of focused heat. A common “party trick” is to squeeze an orange rind right next to the flame of a lighter or matchstick. The airborne mist ignites with a “poof!” creating a larger momentary flame. I was curious to see if a flame could be created without using a pre-existing flame by using a spark instead. I often use empty flintwheel lighters to experiment with. The “flint” in the flintwheel lighter is actually ferrocerium which is an alloy of different metals that when struck or scraped will produce a very hot and long duration spark. It can ignite tinder that traditional flint and steel sets cannot. So, I remove the windscreen from the lighter and it becomes my spark source.
In this experiment the biggest challenge was coordinating the mist released by squeezing the rind with the spark produced by the flint wheel. At the end of the session I had a small blister on the lip of my “flicking” finger but it was well worth the price of success. My “proof of concept” worked. Although the flame is only brief, it could exceed the ignition potential of sparks alone.
So, for other firecraft enthusiasts, give this method a try to add another method to your list.