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Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.


Solar Fire Starter

By Heidi Hunt


Tags: firestarter, firer starter, parabolic mirror, solar fire starter,

A couple of weeks ago, I reported on some homemade and commercial fire starters for home and camp use. I also could have mentioned using a magnifying glass to start a fire. You might have seen a similar technique, using an eyeglass lens, to start the first campfire, if you are a fan of the reality-TV show Survivor. And I am sure many of us started similar small (hopefully) grass fires in the fields we roamed as budding naturalists and explorers.

solar starterA more modern use of concentrating the sun’s energy to start a fire has been developed by Sundance Solar. The Solar Spark Lighter is a pocket-sized parabolic mirror that ignites the fire starting material in seconds. Of course, just as with a magnifying glass, the sun must be shining for this to work. But the great thing about it is it will never run out. Just clip on a bit of paper or very dry inner tree bark and in a few seconds – whush – it ignites!

At just $14.95, this would make a good addition to your camping, backpacking or emergency survival kit or a gift for the budding scientists in your life.