How To Start A Fire With A Battery: 3 Ways You Can Build A Fire

Starting or creating fire is an art that every survivalist should earn; it is considered as a skill that saves lives. Today, there are plenty of ways to start a fire like matches and lighters. But being in the woods or the wilderness without modern means is an entirely different matter.

You will have to rely on the primitive ways of starting a fire, using a tinder bundle and a friction fire starter such as bow drills and flints. Thinking out of the box helps to come up with various concepts for starting a fire, like using a piece of glass or battery to create one.

How to start a fire with a battery? Starting a fire with a battery is an unconventional method that can be done in a variety of ways. You can do it by paring the battery with various items like a light bulb, steel wool, and a piece of foil like the one you commonly find in gum wrappers.

The principle behind the concept of starting a fire with battery is to use the remaining charge within it to generate heat until a spark or flame is produced, just like any method of starting a fire.

The spark generated by the battery must be within the tinder bundle and have enough oxygen to grow it larger. However, smothering the spark with tinder or too much oxygen will kill it and prevent the fire from growing larger.

A battery is a very efficient fire starter, and any kind of power cell has the ability to generate the heat and the spark needed to start a fire. Whether it is an alkaline cell or a smartphone battery pack, it is well capable of producing the heat needed for the art of creating fire.

We all know that batteries are used to power various electronic devices in many different applications. Whether these devices are crucial to our jobs or used to provide entertainment, all of them function due to the wonders of a battery.

But don’t you know that they can also save your life because of their ability to start a fire? Earlier, you knew about it but stick around for a while cause I’ll show you how it’s done.

The Most Effective Methods of Starting a Fire with a Battery

Earlier, I mentioned that batteries are excellent fire starters and can come in handy when you get stuck in the woods. They are useful for unconventionally starting a fire integrating it with the primitive means.

Here are the three methods that are considered to be the most effective ways of starting a fire using a battery. Come on and let’s go through each method and each of the techy way of building fires.

1. Starting a Fire by Pairing a Battery With a Light Bulb


One of the most effective means to start a fire with a battery is pairing it with a light bulb. In this method, the materials needed will depend on the kind of battery. If you are to use the 9-volt cell commonly used in smoke alarms, you will only need the light bulb.

In case the battery you will use is the kind where the terminals are far from each other, you will need a piece of copper wire for the connection. Anyway, the concept of this method is to use the remaining charge of the battery to light up the bulb.

Here’s how to carry it out.

Step 1: Gathering the Materials Needed for the Method

The first thing you need to do is gather all the materials you need to start the fire. As mentioned earlier, it will depend on the battery. A 9-volt square battery will make this method easier; if you are to use a different cell, you will need to have an additional piece of wire.

This method works because the incandescent bulbs only convert 5% of the energy it receives to light, and the remaining energy generates heat. This allows it to create a small torch-like flame that can be used for starting a fire.

Step 2: Exposing the Tungsten Filament of the Bulb by Breaking It Gently

In this step, you have to be careful not to injure yourself and not to damage the filament within the bulb. You have to gently break the glass material that encloses the filament that you will use to start a fire.

Do this by wrapping the bulb with a piece of cloth and then gently break the glass using a survival knife or anything hard. Once the glass material is broken, you can pick up the bulb with the filament inside it.

Keep in mind to proceed with caution to avoid any injuries the broken pieces of glass might inflict.

Step 3: Prepare the Rest of the Materials to Start the Fire

You can start building up the fire structure and gather the tinder bundle to prepare for starting your fire. If you can use pieces of paper, that will be good since it will catch fire easier.

Prepare the fuel for them as well, small pieces of twigs, dry leaves, and dry branches to get them ready to fuel and grow the fire. Once you get them all prepared, you can now prepare the battery and the broken bulb to start the fire.

Step 4: Getting the Bulb and Battery to Generate Heat and Spark

To generate heat that will turn into the small torch using the bulb. You have to connect the two terminals of the battery with the bottom contact point and the bulb’s metallic enclosure.

This is where the piece of wire comes in. If you are not using the 9-volt square battery, you can easily connect the bulb’s contact points on the two terminals on the top. You have to use a piece of wire to bridge the connection.

After making a good connection, wait until you see the filament goes brighter. Hold the connection to generate more heat.

Step 5: Start the Fire by Using the Spark Generated by the Filament

Transfer the heat energy to your tinder bundle or use the torch-like spark by touching it to the tinder until it lights a small ember. From there, it’s the matter of how you tend the ember and grow it bigger.

After making a bigger fire, fuel it with the twigs, dry leaves, dry branches and pieces of wood.

2. Starting a Fire by Pairing the Battery With Steel Wool


If you don’t have an incandescent bulb, there are other things that you can pair up with a battery to start a fire. In this method, steel wool is the weapon of choice. What makes this method work is the abundance of carbon in our material of choice.

Since carbon has excellent conductivity, pairing it up with a battery will be great for starting a fire using electricity.

Here’s how you start a fire with a battery and steel wool.

Step 1: Gather the Materials Needed to Carry Out the Method

Of course, before you can carry on with starting a fire, you first have to gather everything you need. Start to secure the battery, steel wool, a piece of wire, good tinder material, and fuel materials.

Again, the same on the first step, the piece of wire is material you may or may not need depending on the type of battery you will be using. The piece of wire will only be used to bridge the connection between the two battery terminals.

Step 2: Prepare the Materials Your Gather and Get Them Ready for Action

With all materials gathered, start preparing the steel wool for the next step. Take the steel wool and start loosening up its strands by pulling it apart. The thinner the strands are, the better because they will easily catch the spark and start an ember.

So be sure to take your time pulling them apart as thin as they can be. Spread the thin strands of steel wool to have a better surface area, allowing it to catch the spark better. And then gather the other tinder materials around it.

Step 3: Start Your Fire With the Battery

Now that your fire structure is built, you can attempt to start a fire. If you are using the 9-volt square battery, you can hold the battery where both of the terminals on top of it touch the strands of steel wool.

You have to use the piece of wire if you are to use other kinds of battery, all you need to keep in mind that you have to create contact with the two terminals and the steel wool strands. In short, you are to short the circuit connected with the strands.

3. Pairing a Battery With a Piece Foil to Start a Fire


The third most effective method of starting a fire with a battery is by pairing it with a piece of aluminum foil. Gum wrappers often have a piece of foil in them, and that is the material of choice in this example.

This method will require you to have a quick reaction time as you will have very little time to transfer the flame to the tinder.

So let’s get it on with it!

Step 1: Procure the Main Materials Needed for this Method

Like the first two methods, the first step is procuring the materials needed for this to happen. All you need here is to get a hold of a AA battery, which the recommended kind of cell and a gum wrapper with the piece of aluminum foil.

You can also use other types of battery and any piece of thin foil, just make sure to follow the concept. And then make sure to gather the materials for your fire structure, the tinder, and then the fuel for growing the fire.

Step 2: Preparing the Piece of Foil (Gum Wrapper) for Starting the Fire

In this next step, you will focus your attention on gum wrapper or piece of foil because you will have to shape it to give it a higher chance of catching fire.

Cutting it into lengthwise strips is the ideal thing to do, and then the middle part has to narrow because that’s where the heat will be concentrated and that it is the part that will catch fire.

A single gum wrapper will yield three long strips, giving you three attempts to start a fire.

Step 3: Get the Tinder and Fire Structure Ready for the Next Step

This is a very important step in this method since you will have to move fast when transferring the flame to the tinder materials.

Once the fire starter you crafted gets lit, you will have a little window where you can transfer its flame and get your tinder going.

So, be sure to build your fire structure and get the tinder bundle ready and accessible.

Step 4: Start the Fire Using the Makeshift Firestart You Made

Before getting the firestarter, you made from gum wrapper strips and your battery, be sure that the tinder bundle is close to it. This will allow you to quickly transfer the flame to the tinder and get your fire going.

Once you are ready to go, touch both ends of one strip of gum wrapper on the battery’s positive and negative terminals. Hold on to both ends of the stip of foil wrapper and wait until it lights up in a flame. And then carefully but quickly transfer the flame to the tinder bundle.

Final Thoughts

That’s how you start a fire with a touch of technology. It’s like introducing modern technology into the primitive ways of how to do things.

So if you find yourself lost in the woods, and you need to start a fire, if you have a battery in your pocket, you can get a fire going. You just need to think out of the box and look for materials that can be paired with it.