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Solar Fire starter

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by Temper, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Temper

    Temper

    Oct 30, 2002
    I saw one of these on Ray Mears site and had to have one.

    picture from www.sundancesolar.com (I got mine from here)

    [​IMG]

    As a part of a survival kit it makes a fair bit of sense as it will do double duty as a fire starter and a signal mirror/mirror

    I was a bit courious as to how well it would work so I just went outside with it 11:10hrs now. It lit a piece of charcloth in about 3 seconds, OK not bad but not that impressive. How about a piece of charcoal for a BBQ? within *20 seconds I had a live coal.

    Not too shabby and pretty fun to use if you dont mind seeing spots for a while afterwards :)

    *It could have been sooner but in the bright light its hard to tell, I could smell it very quickly though.
     
  2. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    Cool!! I think that dark glasses would be a good idea though.

    If you had a big enough one you could focus it on your pan to cook your dinner...no need to light a fire at all. Great for Aussie outback and other areas with plenty of cloudless days.
     
  3. Nordic Viking

    Nordic Viking

    Sep 18, 2000
    Very Cool,

    You can focus it on ant-colonies and pretend to be Darth Temper with your Death Star :D
     
  4. DOC-CANADA

    DOC-CANADA

    Apr 14, 2006
    Although I've never tried it, supposedly you can do the same thing with the reflector out of a large flashlight. Just put the tinder fungus, or whatever at the focal point of the reflector. Guess I'll have to try it.:grumpy:

    Doc
     
  5. Temper

    Temper

    Oct 30, 2002
    Or I can order a frikkin huge one to put on the moon!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Temper

    Temper

    Oct 30, 2002
  7. hikeeba

    hikeeba

    Jul 20, 2006
    That soda can thingie is cool! I'm going to try that. Lemme see, where's a can... Doh! Recycling guy came yesterday! I guess I'll have to wait a bit.
     
  8. GibsonFan

    GibsonFan

    Jul 7, 2006

    I saw them try the soda can-chocolate thing on "MythBusters" and they couldn't get it going. I suppose it's worth a try under but I wouldn't want to count on it.
     
  9. DOC-CANADA

    DOC-CANADA

    Apr 14, 2006
    Thanks for the link, Temper.

    That's because Rob Bicevkis isn't on Mythbusters.

    Doc
     
  10. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    " Oh, but boss, I like the mini-version!"
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Temper

    Temper

    Oct 30, 2002
    It takes about 30 seconds to make the can with a gentle automotive paint rubbing compound. You also need a quality tinder like True tinder fungus or Charcloth.
     
  12. GibsonFan

    GibsonFan

    Jul 7, 2006
    I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, so to speak... but it seems a lot easier to carry an aspirin bottle of matches and vaseline-soaked cotton balls than to bring polishing compound and cans of pop. :)
    I looked over that whole site, there's some really cool info on there. I get the feeling dude was just bored one day with the pop can thing, as well as making fire with a wine glass. The tinder-prep and shelter articles are really good, though. The scout-pit would be an awesome cache for a few buckets of clean water and whatnot. Check out the ground-down CS SRK the one guy has in all his pics... http://wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/flintandsteel/abbknifeandstone/index.html
     
  13. DOC-CANADA

    DOC-CANADA

    Apr 14, 2006
    Well I tried it today. Used the reflector off a 2C Mag light. Worked like a charm. Took about 2-3 seconds, once I got it (Tinder fungus - Inonotus obliquus) in the right position. Possibly another argument for the old (non-LED) style flashlights.

    Doc
     
  14. Temper

    Temper

    Oct 30, 2002

    Especially if you get hold of one of the crank ones so batteries are not an issue.

    GibsonFan: I see the can thing as just an example of ingenuity, if you were in a bind in the desert and knew it would be monkeys cold in the night, you would probably be happy enough with it.
     
  15. Treg

    Treg

    575
    Jun 21, 2006
    I tried several time with a soda can and it work's really welll...
     
  16. Normark

    Normark

    Nov 7, 1999
    Hey Guys....

    Some years ago someone use to sell a folding solar Ciggy lighter....

    You open up the reflector,,inserted the cancer stick and pointed the entire thing at the sun...

    After a few seconds or minutes your cancer stick was alight...

    Pretty cool making any type of fire or food cooking with the sun..
    A very powerful resourse...

    Sucks though trying to light something at night or when cloudy..:)

    ttyle

    Eric....
     
  17. condahaw

    condahaw Gold Member Gold Member

    328
    Aug 3, 2001
    Always like to have a small magnifying glass along to supplement other fire starting means. In case of emergency they are often at hand in your binocular, telescope, camera, hand lens, eye glasses(?) and so on. A magnifying glass, like the focused mirror, is an effective fire starter as long as you've got sun which is usually not a problem in Nevada.

    Dave
     
  18. jamesraykenney

    jamesraykenney

    559
    Apr 9, 2004
    I remember them, and I THINK the one in the first post is the EXACT same model... The old lighter model was a bit oblong though, and the picture makes it LOOK like it is round, so it may be a BIT different, but even the spring thingy that you use to hold the tender looks the same... I cannot tell if it has ridges on the inside, but I seem to remember that the old one did...
     
  19. DOC-CANADA

    DOC-CANADA

    Apr 14, 2006
    Aside from starting fires, a good magnifying glass is useful for plant identification, first aid applications (like looking for a foreign object in somebody's eye or seeing splinters,) threading a needle for a repair job (more applicable for us geezers) etc. Truly a multipurpose bushcraft tool.

    Doc
     
  20. condahaw

    condahaw Gold Member Gold Member

    328
    Aug 3, 2001
    Doc,

    You know it, especially for these old eyes...

    Dave
     

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