Picture this! You are driving across a magnificent landscape when suddenly your car has engine failure. You are now stranded with no reception, and the nearest semblance of civilization is hundreds of miles one way or the other.
The best thing you can do is wait for a rescue party or a passerby, which requires a camp. Fire is an essential part of that. Without it, you are devoid of heat, a makeshift stove, and a deterrence for wild animals. But how can you do it with what you have? This survival guide will teach everything about how to make a fire with a battery.
How to Make Fire with a Car Battery
Car batteries have high-density discharges. It may give you plenty of energy to start a fire quickly, but the danger of electrocution is greater as well. If not handled appropriately, it can prove fatal. Only use your car battery in case you have no other electrical source.
So, it would help to be careful when connecting the terminals of the battery using jumper cables. You should ground the negative terminal and attach the positive end to some tinder. It will catch on fire quickly, so ensure you have ample distance from the car and that the area of the fire remains contained.
Another way you can start a fire with a car battery is to use steel wool. You can conveniently store some in your survival kit and take it out as necessary. It catches fire quickly, so you need only hit the positive end once to start a fire.
You can also utilize the graphite in pencil as a heating element. Remove the wooden layer of the pencil to expose the graphite underneath. You can do it by using a survival knife or a similar sharp tool. Connect on the jumper cable and place the pencil on the tinder. As soon as you connect the other end, it’ll start to glow and create a surge of flames for you to use.
How to Make Fire with a Laptop/Smartphone Battery
Modern digital devices work with a battery capacity of 3000 mAh or above. If you remain careful, that can create enough sparks to start a fire. You need to remove it from the case, which is straightforward for a laptop, but most smartphones come with an embedded lithium-ion battery. It may require you to break the phone, yet your survival is more important than Candy Crush.
Once you have removed the battery, you can connect both terminals with a metallic contact. For many people, the spring of a ballpoint pen is quite helpful. You can stretch it to a considerable length to provide a large lighting area without putting yourself in danger. Simply connect it to both ends of the battery. Once it starts glowing bright, you can bring it to some fuel to light the fire.
Alternatively, you can use an incandescent bulb for the job. It has a tungsten filament that heats up with enough current passing through it. Even a moderately charged laptop battery can suffice. It would be best to break the bulb in such a manner that the tungsten filament stays intact. Use a couple of metal wires to connect the terminals of the batter to the bulb. Once it glows hot enough, you can utilize it to burn some fuel.
How to Make Fire with a 9-Volt/AA Battery
If all else fails, a 9-Volt or AA variant can be your best friend on how to start a fire with a battery. It may not have much punch, but you can amplify a tiny spark to a large flame using items lying around the environment. You don’t need to carry them separately, as you can use one from a flashlight or an electric lantern, both of which should be a part of your survival kit.
The most effective way is to use a chewing gum foil wrap. You can cut (or tear) it so that its shape resembles an hourglass. The thin part should be around 1/16th of an inch in thickness. It catches fire quickly when you connect it to both ends of a 9-Volt or AA battery. Although, you may not have a battery left for use anymore.
If you wish to preserve your batteries, you can try keeping some steel wool handy. It comes in different types, so remember to choose the lightest, softest variant available. All you need to do is spread some steel wool over the fuel and make contact with both ends of the battery. It lights up well and leaves the battery intact for future use.
Precautions for Starting a Fire with Battery
Using electricity to light fires comes with its share of hazards. If you wish to avoid them, you should keep a few key things in mind.
- Keep your hands covered when operating the battery. Any exposed skin can deliver a severe shock, paralyzing you and turning you into a warm, electrocuted meal for the wolves. It would be best to carry a pair of insulated gloves or a piece of cloth with your survival kit.
- Never start a fire with a battery near water sources or wet ground, especially with a car battery. It can conduct electricity to your body or, worse yet, break apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, creating the perfect recipe for a massive explosion.
- Have some burn ointment handy in case of emergencies.
- Start your fires away from vegetation. Make sure that the ground is grass-free and rocks/trenches separate the fireplace from the rest of the area.
- Keep flammable substances such as gas cans and lubricants away from the fireplace.
The best advantage of using a battery to start a fire is that you can always use it again for its intended purpose. We hope that you never have to apply this guide on how to make a fire with a battery. Nevertheless, it is best to be prepared. Do you still have a few burning questions, or have some proven techniques of your own? Let us know through the comments section below.