How to Light a Fire With Glass


Starting a fire with a match doesn't take much effort. Scratch the match on a rough surface and the fire starts as soon as the match's flame touches the kindling. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat that gets a flame going, but that method requires quite a bit of work. If you have a piece of glass, you can start a fire within minutes --- provided the day is sunny.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass
  • Crumpled paper, cotton ball, tissues
  • Tinder
  • Grass, small and large twigs
  • Firewood
  • Gather the materials for the fire. Put a bit of crumpled paper, cotton or other kindling in the spot where you plan to start the fire.

  • Assemble piles of dry grass, small twigs and larger twigs.

  • Aim the glass at an angle so the sun's rays are concentrated on the crumpled paper or other kindling. Point the rounded part of the glass downward. Use a broken clear lightbulb, eyeglasses, binocular lens, camera lens or magnifying glass. The glass focuses and amplifies the light. Adjust the lens so the point of light is small and bright where it lands on the paper. Hold the glass steady until the paper starts to smoke and a tiny flame appears. How long the process takes depends on the glass you're using and the brightness of the sun.

  • Place some dry grass over the flaming paper. When the grass catches fire, add a few small twigs. Once those are burning, toss on some larger twigs. Angle the tinder upward rather than place it flat.

  • Add increasingly larger twigs until the fire isn't in any danger of being smothered when you place a small log on it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use paper and tinder as dry as possible.
  • Do not use your finger to test if the point of light under the glass is hot.

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  • Photo Credit Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images
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