How to Start a Fire with a Lemon and Some Metal

How to Start a Fire with a Lemon and Some Metal


Did you know that you can make a fire starter from a lemon and some common material?  This is a surprisingly-effective trick, and it’s something that you may put to good use in the field one day.  It involves a few simple steps, and you can put it together in just a couple of minutes. 

Required Material

6 copper clips or tacks

6 sink nails

Around 6 inches of steel wire (thin gauge)

Two insulated lead wires to ignite the fire

1 medium to large lemon

Getting Started

The first step is to insert the copper clips or tacks into the lemon.  Create a row of evenly-spaced strips that bisect the lemon.  However, make sure that the clips are in center and outer-center section of the lemon so their ends won’t protrude through the thinner sections near the top and bottom.  Stick them in far enough so that their heads will protrude between ¼ and ½ inch from the surface. 

Next, take your nails and do the same thing by making the row about ½ to ¾ inch below the copper pieces.  Make sure their heads are sticking out as well, and make sure that none of the clips or nails are touching each other. 

Now we need to wire the metal together.  Cut off some metal wire and wrap one end around the first copper clip.  Then, attach it to the second nail and crimp the wire to hold it in place.  Next, attach another piece of wire to the second copper clip and secure it to the third nail.  Repeat the process until one side has an unattached nail and the other side has the unattached copper clip.

Firing up the Lemon

Peel off some of the insulation from each end of the lead wires.  Attach one wire to the copper peg and the other wire to the nail.  All you need to do now is hold the wires in your hands and bring each end together.  This will create the circuit that will start your fire.  Be careful, you can get shocked if you touch the ends of the wires.

All you need to do is stick the ends of the wire into the steel wool and tissue and a fire should start within a couple of seconds.  While this will not produce a strong burst of energy, you can use this method to ignite appropriate tinder and get a fire going.  Ideal material would be things like a little bit of steel wool mixed with toilet tissue.  Remember that this material will light and burn fast, so consider adding other material in order to create a starter fire that lasts longer.

You can reuse the lemon or even eat it once you’ve finished.  While this may not be the first or most practical choice in terms of starting a fire, it is one worth keeping in mind.  This is especially true when you consider some other emergency fire starting techniques that require a lot more hard work.  Try this out for yourself and see how being a little creative with your food can produce some surprising benefits. 


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