Walk with Me a Moment
As you have so often, you take a long walk in the woods near your house. A storm is on its way, but it is still a perfect fall day with a bright mid-afternoon sun taking the edge off the cool. About halfway you are feeling good, so you push the pace. You leave the network of familiar deer trails and cut through dense hardwoods.
A loose rock slips underfoot and down you go. Things get black for a few seconds, then you realize you have hit your head and hurt your ankle. You tell yourself it’s not very serious, but your ankle is swelling like crazy and you are dizzy. You try to stand, but your ankle gives way and you are back on your knees with another spin of sight. You check for your phone and sigh relief.
You call home, but reception is sketchy and the battery is about to go. You know exactly where you are, but describing how to get there is another story. You understand this could take a while. You still have good sunlight, but with the approaching storm, it will get dark within an hour or so. Your sweat turns cold as the slight breeze shifts. You smile grimly at the ribbing you will take from family who will now try to find you. You settle back against a tree and take inventory of your surroundings.
Your phone may or may not be of help directing them; it could be a cold wet wait in the dark unless you can provide a beacon for them to look for. There is a clearing atop the ridge you fell from. It will be a safe place to make a signal fire and you think you can crawl there. Your rescuers can look for the smoke while it’s light or the fire if it goes after dark.
Yeah, you should have planned better, but who does? No matches. No lighter. Nothing special. You just took a walk as you have a gazillion times. So now . . . .
Can you make a fire?????
With two givens–my first money would be on using the sun to start a fire. Those givens are first that the sun is out and second that you can obtain something to focus the rays of the sun into a concentrated enough ray to start a fire. Even the second requirement may not be as difficult as most people may imagine. Using your eye-glasses is just one of the possibilities for making a solar fire–but for me a good one. I am almost always wearing glasses by now.
[Not all glasses will work for this. Any lens will likely be sufficiently strong enough, but as I learned recently, some rare and very expensive Polaroid coatings are so good that they prevent the light from passing through them enough to focus a point of light to start a fire. For the record, those won’t work.]
Go to this link to learn the details and see video clips of how to do this. This posts covers several methods of solar fire starting, so you’ll need to scroll down a bit to see the eye-glasses clip. Solar Fire Starting. Use your Specs.