For much of history, human survival was dependent upon the ability to make fire. Most modern humans will never find themselves in a situation where their survival depends upon their ability to make a fire, but creating fire without matches is still a pretty neat trick to know. There are emergency fire-making kits available commercially, but they tend to be costly. Besides, if you can manage to carry an emergency fire-making kit everywhere you go, you can manage to carry a lighter. In a real emergency, you will likely have to make do with common materials you can forage from around you. Here is a method for starting a fire using your cell phone. You may even want to grab a free cell phone to practice on.
Besides a cell phone with a charged battery, you will need a small amount of steel wool and some tinder. Steel wool is available in most hardware or discount stores in the paint department. It is also available as pre-soaped scouring pads from nearly all grocery stores. To start a fire, you will need a piece of steel wool equal to about a quarter of a pre-soaped scouring pad. (Read more....)