Light a Fire With a Gum Wrapper

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If you decide to sleep out in a tent at the bottom of the garden, you may want to light a campfire. But if your matches get wet or the lighter runs out of fuel, what are you to do? We have a great solution for you if you happen to have a fresh AA battery handy. And a sharp piece of scissors and a gum wrapper with foil. Unbelievably, you can light a fire with these three common household items

So Is That All I Need to Light a Fire?

Yep, absolutely everything you need, except yourself and a fire set with dry kindling and ready to go. Please make sure the gum wrapper has metallic film on one side.  This is not a commercial but think of Extra and Wrigley’s 5 and you get the idea. Are you good to go? Then let’s light the fire right now!

The Procedure to Light the Fire

Cut a long, thin strip from the wrapper. Fold in once across the width so the metallic film is showing on the outside. Now, cut the folded end with the scissors just like in the video. When you unfold it, you will find the middle part is narrower where you trimmed it.

Press one end on the strip with the foil facing down to the positive end of the AA battery, and the other to the negative. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH YOUR FINGERS BECAUSE THE STRIP WILL GET HOT. In fact so hot the middle part will burn and melt where it’s thinnest. Now you understand the principles, cut another strip, and light a fire with the gum wrapper while it is still burning before it melts.

How this Stuff Works

The foil on the gum wrapper strip gets hot, and catches fire owing to energy from the AA battery passing through it. This energy is more concentrated as it flows through the narrow section. Please make sure to do this experiment with an adult with a jug of water watching, just in case you need to cool your fingers, or the fire gets hotter than you want.


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About Author


I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast. I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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