Starting Fires with Batteries

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by Brian Brushwood & Jason Murphy

We love trying to start fires using not-so-conventional methods. Not only do we get to learn a bit more about the materials we’re working with and the reaction that’s happening, we also gain crucial knowledge that helps us be better prepared for society’s inevitable collapse when things like lighters and matches will be hoarded by convenience store owners and we need to find a way to get our makeshift stove going so we can cook the gut-destroying E. coli out of our possum steaks.

As we explored on Hacking the System, you can get a fire going using nothing more than a 9-volt battery and some steel wool, and it works remarkably well because of sciencey reasons. So we decided to try it using some different batteries and materials, including jean shavings. What, you didn’t know that jeans were shaveable? They totally are.

Also, Jason screams like a banshee in this episode, and it’s glorious. So even if you don’t feel like you need to know how to recreate mankind’s greatest discovery using a AA battery and a gum wrapper, it’s completely worth fixing your eyeballs and earholes on this video just to hear the terrified shrieking.


Like this video? Check out “Starting Fires, Modern Rogue Style” and “Desperate Defense: Our 4 Part Video Series”.

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