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Gear Review How to Start a Fire With a Gum Wrapper and Battery

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by hidden211, May 1, 2013.

  1. hidden211

    hidden211 And thats no BULL!!!!!!

    I had a specialty, it would be fire building. I absolutely love it. Not in the creepy way a pyromaniac loves it. But in the way you appreciate something that can sustain your life.
    So my knee-jerk reaction when someone on television starts a fire with dubious materials or in less-than-hospitable conditions is usually skepticism or flat-out disbelief. When I saw Dual Survival’s new military survival expert, Joe Teti, light a fire with apparent ease using a gum wrapper and a single battery, I had to try it out for myself.
    According to the show, I would need a single D-cell battery, a paper-lined foil gum wrapper, and some dry tinder. The use of a single battery is probably the most surprising element of this technique, as all other electrical fire starting methods involve higher voltage. A single AA, C, or D cell will only provide 1.5 volts. For fire starting you 3 volts or more, so you should need two 1.5-volt batteries in a circuit to light, say, steel wool.
    The tinder is easy enough to come by, as is the gum wrapper thanks to litter bugs around the globe. The wrapper should be torn or cut to create a thin bridge of foil in the center of the battery. The easiest way to do this is to fold the wrapper in half lengthwise, and use scissors to snip out a triangle from it. Let the triangle point come within a 1/16th of an inch of snipping the wrapper in two. If you do manage to accidentally clip it in two, it can still be used by manipulating the two sides of the wrapper to touch. Your tinder should be positioned at the bridge, to catch a spark or a tiny, short-lived flame—or so they said on tv.
    So does it work? Yes, and with a very short learning curve. Within 30 seconds of connecting the gum wrapper to the positive and negative terminals of the D cell, there was an orange glow at the thinnest part of the foil bridge, and I actually got the little puff of flame as seen on TV. As the thin part of the wrapper melted and burned, I did get subsequent sparks of glowing orange, but no more flame. A Wrigley's gum wrapper and a single D battery really makes fire! And they said TV would rot our brains.[​IMG][​IMG]
    JABECmfg, tulianr, chelloveck and 2 others like this.
  2. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    Interesting. I am going to try it with the kids tomorrow!
  3. natshare

    natshare Monkey+

    Back in my Navy days, it wasn't uncommon to find the battle lanterns with dead batteries. Why? Because guys that smoked, who forgot to grab their lighter before going on watch, would grab a flat head screwdriver, take off the front of the lantern, and pull out the 6-volt lantern battery. With that, you could pluck one wire from a wire brush (which are never in short supply on board a Navy ship), lay the wire across the battery posts, and get a momentary hot wire to light your cigarette with.

    Of course, all that current flow doesn't do great things to a battery! :rolleyes:
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