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Outdoor Survival: How To Start Fire With A Pop Can And Chocolate

Extreme situations call for extreme solutions. If you happen to find yourself in an outdoor survival emergency and have a pop can and a chocolate bar you’re in luck. You can make fire. That’s right, with a pop can, a chocolate bar, and tinder you can find at your location (and may even have in your pocket) you can start a fire even with no lighter as long as you have some sun. Read on to learn how simple this process is and how it could save your life in an emergency.

Materials You Need For A Pop Can Fire Starter

You can use any pop can. What you want is the bottom of the can, which you are going to turn into a reflective mirror-like surface by polishing it with chocolate. You will also need a chocolate wrapper, or bit of cloth such as a torn piece of denim or an abrasive wrapper. In addition, you need pocket lint or other tinder to catch the reflected heat from your pop can. Then you need to prep the materials and wait for the sun to come out.

How To Polish Your Pop Can Fire Starter

It’s actually easier to polish the pop can if it’s full – so save that precious liquid until later. Unwrap the end of your chocolate bar and smear it liberally over the bottom of the pop can. If it’s too hard, you can warm the chocolate it by placing it in your pocket for about 10 minutes first. You will be using the chocolate as a polish, but the denim, wrapper or piece of torn cloth you will be using to rub in a circular motion is very important. This is creating an abrasive force which will polish your dull aluminum can into a mirror-like reflective finish.

You want a clear finish free of chocolate when you’re done, but you will need to add chocolate and move your cloth around to get more abrasion over time. If there’s sand nearby you can add some in periodically to help with the shining process. In general it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to get a good reflective surface going but the end result is well worth the effort.

How To Use Your Pop Can Fire Starter To Create Flame

Once your pop can is polished, you will need a source of tinder. However, before your get that first spark igniting you will need to collect dry branches, pine boughs, and items such as thrush, grasses, cat-o-nine tail fluff or birch and oak galls to burn. When you have your wood and grasses stacked to create the fire, it’s time to drink your pop and seek the sun.

Hold the empty, polished bottom of your pop can up to the sunlight tilted at an angle where it will reflect the sun. In front of the “bowl” of the pop can you will need to hold a piece of tinder. Paper from inside the wrapper can catch fire, or you can use a cat-o-nine tail fluff, dried grasses, or your pocket lint if nothing else is available – wind it around a dry stick and it will catch fast. Since your pop can is essentially a mirror now it will catch the sunlight and begin smoldering or get a spark of fire going. Then all you need to do is to transfer the lit tinder to your fire pile and keep it going by adding in your collected kindling and wood.