How to Start a Fire With Glasses

Beginning a fire is one of the most essential survival skills you can acquire. Without access to matches or lighter fluid, starting a fire could prove lifesaving in an emergency.

Any lens with two convex surfaces (curved on both sides) can act like a magnifying glass and direct sunlight onto tinder material, including binoculars, reading glasses, eyeglasses or even fresnels.


The sun is an incredible resource that has the power to spark fires and keep them burning if used effectively. Essilor has created this video showing how glasses can create concentrated sunlight beams that can be used to start fires quickly in case you become lost in nature without access to matches or lighter fluid. This technique could save lives if ever needed in emergency situations requiring immediate heat source; using your glasses instead could provide enough heat source until additional fuel becomes available to fuel it further.

A key to this trick lies within your glasses’ lenses: converging lenses are perfect for this trick as they bring light rays together into one focal point, creating one focal point from light rays that come from all directions. By directing sunlight onto paper or other flammable material, this method can heat it until it ignites, starting a fire that you can then blow upon with air to ignite further flames. For optimal results use this method on clear days when the sun is high in the sky.

Use any type of lens to achieve this same effect – be it the polished bottom of a beer can, a camera lens or even an inflated balloon! Focusing the sun’s rays to start a fire is both fun and useful in building survival skills.

Another interesting variation on this trick involves using a glass bottle. Many people leave empty water bottles out for others to find and use; thus there should be plenty of glass bottles around that you could turn upside-down and use as magnifying glasses; place this over paper or any flammable materials for maximum effect! It is an effective way to stay hydrated outdoors!

If you don’t already own any glasses, try using sunglasses instead as magnifying glasses to concentrate the sun’s rays onto a piece of tinder or another material flammable enough for combustion. The curved lenses will act like magnifying lenses to amplify them and focus them onto what may ignite it.


Tinder is a highly flammable material that quickly catches fire, used to spark your campfire with sticks and twigs. Any material will do, though man-made sources like lint, newspaper and char cloth (see below for how-to instructions) make better choices than natural options like dry grass, dried moss cedar bark and birch bark; scrap fabric from old T-shirts and jeans works particularly well as tinder. Wool fibers also work very effectively as a source of tinder!

To create tinder, the easiest method is to harness the sun’s rays with a magnifying glass or lens that focuses the sunlight into a small spot. Submerge your tinder underneath this focused spot, blow gently across its surface, and watch as it starts smoking and glowing red; this method works best on sunny days.

Alternately, an ice cube can also provide similar effects. Simply break off a chunk and carve two curves to form a lens-like structure. Focus its rays onto your tinder and within moments you should have an incendiary flame!

Chapstick can also provide an economical source of moisture that will help your tinder catch fire more quickly. Altoids tins and zip lock bags work perfectly as waterproof containers; similar containers could even work for some medication containers.

Many survivalists stock steel wool and batteries in their kits for use as an accelerant to start fires quickly. Simply stretch out some steel wool over some small piece of tinder before pressing the battery terminals against it until a spark appears – this method can especially prove helpful during inclement weather when conventional methods have proven ineffective at lighting a match.


Fire is one of the greatest innovations ever discovered by humans for good reason – it helps us cook food, keep us warm and safe from predators, and communicate with each other. But campfires can be challenging to light in poor weather conditions: rain, wind or cold can render matches useless and wood that hasn’t been designed specifically to burn may fail to do its job either.

As it turns out, there are a few tricks you can use to start a fire without matches. The key is finding ways to focus sunlight onto one area so as to ignite both tinder and fuel at the same time – you may already possess all the equipment required.

For starters, the first method involves using a curved lens, such as eyeglasses or binoculars/telescope lenses. Position the lens over a small pile of tinder such as cattail fluff or pocket lint and aim it so that its light hits it directly – waiting a few seconds should see it begin smoking before igniting into flames – adding additional tinder as needed until it all burns completely through and repeating as necessary.

Use a flint and steel for another effective method of firestarting, which has long been a camping tradition. There are various kits available or you can make your own using some newspaper to form some tinder – this will act as the center of your fire and serve as the target object for the flint to strike at.

Assemble your supplies, and use the back of your knife or sharp rock to strike the flint over your tinder pile, striking it to produce sparks which you direct at the tinder to ignite it and begin its burning process. Continue blowing until flames appear before adding additional fuel as necessary – with practice, this method should become quick and effortless!


Fire is one of the essential needs for survival, and learning to start it without matches is invaluable when times get critical. Tinder can quickly burn up once ignited; use this method as an emergency survival skill practice or just keep warm in an emergency situation! Suitable for teaching whole families regardless of their ages!

While most people know how to start fires with sunlight, few know it is also possible to use eyeglasses of all types to do it. The reason? Most glasses feature lenses curved on both sides – this magnifies objects when worn. Though this technique works best on sunny days and limited resources (binoculars or bottle bottoms may work too), using any object with a curved lens such as reading glasses (far-sighted prescription only) with droplets of water on them intensifies sunrays even further making it easier for focussing onto tinder!

For optimal results, ensure the tinder is dry and placed in an area receiving full sunlight. Adjust your lenses until a small bright spot of light emerges on the tinder; hold steady until it starts smoldering before blowing lightly to keep the flame going until eventually your fire ignites!

This method is ideal when traveling and don’t have much space available for tinder or magnifying glasses, although you should bear in mind this should only serve as a temporary solution; you should still prepare your family with skills needed in an emergency – for instance by keeping an emergency survival kit handy with everything needed including bow drills and flint and steel to create fire using friction.

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