There is no probably no deadlier combination than gasoline and matches when it comes to causing serious injuries outdoors. But, if there is no other choice, and it’s your last resort, here’s how to use gas and matches safely start your campfire.
by Leon Pantenburg
Every year, somebody is seriously injured or killed when they combine gasoline and matches to start a campfire. Pour gasoline onto a smoldering fire, and the flames can follow the stream to the can and cause it to explode. You may end up with a large fireball in your hand!
So I never, ever recommend that the two be combined to start a fire.
But if you have to during an emergency, here is a safe method.
- Gather all your tinder, small sticks and larger pieces of firewood first.
- Make a small cup to hold a tablespoon of gas. You can cut off an aluminum can, or make a container out of a piece of aluminum foil, the top of a yogurt carton, or in a small cardboard box.
- Measure out a tablespoon or so of gas. Cap the container and remove it from the site.
- Light the gas with a match, ferrocerium rod or some other type of ignition tool.
- Build the fire, starting with the small tinder, then move on to twigs, and the larger wood.
If you’ve done everything right, your should have a fire going in a few minutes. Personally, this would be a last resort for me. I make it a point to carry waxed firestarter in every kit, because there is no danger of it leaking or exploding.
Like every survival technique, this one should be tried before you actually need to use it!
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