After several days of cold and rain and gray skies, today it was nice–and still cold. I needed to boost my mood and my Vitamin D. I made fire a couple of ways while sitting out in the grass. I will show the first one now, although the second one was the most exciting. It can wait for later because the video is much longer.
A clear sphere of glass or plastic makes an excellent solar fire starter. The intensity of the point of focus depends upon the clarity of the optics and the size of the sphere. I have made fire with the tiny magnifiers that were included on one model of the Swiss Army Knife years ago. But it took a while. The little knife magnifier was about a third the size of my marble, and the marble looked very clear. The attached video shows that it worked very quickly, although not quite as quickly as my rudimentary editing made it appear; I cut off the first part of the video unintentionally.
I made a couple of attempts before this one. It is hard to tell by looking at char cloth in bright sunlight when the cloth has a live ember. As is the case about half the time, I did not know I had an ember until I burned my fingers–twice. Although the focus was better in those clips, the value was more comic than anything, so I went with this last take.
#96, I think.
Here is also a link to my other fire blog, One Hundred Ways to Start Fire without Matches