Survival Skills: How To Start A Fire With A Water-Filled Sandwich Bag

June 12, 2017

sandwich-bag-fire-starter.jpg

This is a video demonstrating how to start a fire with nothing but a plastic sandwich bag and some water. It works pretty much exactly how you would imagine, unless you imagined you'd be using elemental sorcery to replace all the water in the bag with fire, in which case I want to live in your brain, it sounds like a magical place.

The intensity of sunlight on Earth is about 1300 Watts per square meter. When you focus the sun's rays using a magnifying glass (or in this case sphere of water) you can increase the intensity roughly ten thousand fold. This increases the temperature of wood to its autoignition point starting the reaction with oxygen in the atmosphere. By protecting the hot embers and adding more energy and fuel, you can get these hot coals to start a roaring fire.

So yeah, if you find yourself lost in the woods by a creek with nothing but the empty plastic bag left over from your last cold-cut sandwich, you could potentially start a fire with it. Alternatively, just poke my smokin' hot bod with a stick. "It just got stuck between two fat rolls." Try it again, my belly thought it saw a marshmallow on the end.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Marshall, who agrees if you're lost in the woods, the smartest thing to do is make friends with the bears.

  • Taffy Lindley

    Lol, I would be careful if the the flame flared up and melted and popped the sandwich bag, I would learn to use a fire bow instead

  • UnderDogX

    and if you happen to have been stranded with a zip lock bag. If that's the case, I'll just happen to be stranded with a bic lighter instead.

  • Andyman7714

    Step 1: Shoo all the clouds away.

  • Bling Nye

    So, if it's a hot sunny day, you'll need a fire, of course. But fuck you and your sandwich bag if it's cold, cloudy and rainy/snowy.

  • GeneralDisorder

    In a survival situation your priorities should be shelter, water, fire and food. Fire can be useful for cooking and boiling water to avoid dying a painful diarrhea death. And... if people are launching a rescue operation you can signal planes or helicopters.

  • Bling Nye

    Yeah, it's just most of these viral 'survival tricks' are just gimmicky situational-at-best tricks and I find that exceedingly annoying sometimes. There's no substitute for being prepared; but I guess talking about the 10 Essentials isn't as catchy as 'hey look, I can start a fire with a plastic bag and clear water on a sunny day!'

  • GeneralDisorder

    Showing what's possible is kind of good in a way. It's saying "everything has multiple uses".

    Would it work in most scenarios? Well, winter time... no. Cloudy day. No. Night time. No.

    As for fire starting the one consistent way to start fires is fire by friction. That pretty much works as long as you have stuff that's try enough and the patience to make the parts you need.

    I definitely don't travel anywhere without a knife, lighter, pen, flashlight, and a handkerchief. I've never successfully started a fire by friction but I also haven't tried since boy scouts.

  • Bling Nye

    I guess, I just dislike gimmicky "survival tips" that are just fishing for viral views, especially when they are very highly situational.

  • GeneralDisorder

    A lot of people take these things way too seriously. So "survival tips" could certainly get you dead.

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  • As useful as a solar powered flashlight.

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