VIDEO: Start a Fire With Only Steel Wool and Two Batteries

Dave Canterbury shows you how to start a fire quickly in the wild using only steel wool—or a gum wrapper!—and some steel wool.

Dave Canterbury, the highly respected wilderness survival expert, is all about being thrifty with your supplies. At his Pathfinder School, which will prepare you for the unexpected, the instructors will focus on sharing your resources and using them for several tasks—all to ensure your survival.

Building a fire is one of the first critical tasks you’ll have to accomplish if you’re ever lost or stranded in the wilderness. Can you build one without matches? In this video, Dave Canterbury explains how you can start a fire with just two batteries—AA or AAA, as long as they are each 1.5-volt units—and some steel wool or a gum wrapper.

The first step is to tape the two batteries together, in sequence, with the batteries touching. This will create one part of your circuit. Then you’ll need to use your steel wool or gum wrapper, twisting it into a thin, long cord that can complete the circuit.

When you holding the steel wool cord to the one end of the batteries, and touch the other end of the cord to the opposite side of the batteries, you’ll create a tiny spark—enough to ignite the rest of your steel wool and hopefully other tinder you’ve got handy.

Check out the video to see the technique in action, and for more of Dave Canterbury’s expert training, check out

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