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.
A 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.