How to Start a Fire From Flint

How to Start a Fire From FlintEvery year, countless people enjoy the outdoors, from hiking to kayaking to hiking, cycling, boating and other recreational activities. However, many people venture into areas less traveled without the proper equipment to help them survive in an emergency. The ability to make a fire is necessary for survival, and a survival kit should contain at least two different methods of fire starting. Matches are good, but a second means such as flint and steel should also be included.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flint
  • Steel
  • Small twigs
  • Tinder
Step 1
Collect small twigs and arrange them in a loosely stacked tepee shape. This allows air to freely flow through the stack. Leave an opening on one side to allow burning tinder to be inserted.
Step 2
Hold a piece of flint in one hand between your index finger and thumb. Position it so that the flint's sharpest edge is pointing up. A fine edge will result in a greater number of hot sparks.
Step 3
Position a piece of tinder such as char cloth, dry grass, cotton ball or other flammable tinder under your thumb. The tinder should be arranged so that it is between your thumb and the flint. Pull the tinder up near the top edge of the flint.
Step 4
Hold a steel in your other hand. Select the flattest section of the steel, and hold so that it may easily strike the flint.
Step 5
Bring the flat edge of the steel down across the edge of the flint. Use a rapid downward motion to generate a spark onto the tinder.
Step 6
Repeat the striking motion until a spark catches the tinder on fire. Blow gently on the tinder to feed oxygen into the fire. When a good flame is established, move the flame inside the tepee stack of small twigs. Gently blow on the flame until the stack catches fire.

Tips & Warnings

Add progressively larger pieces of wood to the tepee stack until a hot fire is established.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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