I just got back from a trip to Atlanta, and the first thing I thought about doing is writing an article about an interesting experience I had while camping. This isn’t exactly an exciting story of survival today, as I was fortunate enough to experience a camping trip without anything too grand from happening. Yup, you read it right, a “survival” story that doesn’t really have a survival element in it, just an interesting little moment where I got to use an unlikely survival trick.
So I have an electrician friend, who works for this big company in Atlanta, he taught me a few “survival tricks” involving batteries. I was always skeptical about the application of tricks like these, as they call for materials I wouldn’t normally have with me during a survival situation; stuff like steel wool, a sheet of aluminum, paper, and batteries. But at this one camping trip, this specific moment, I was able to use the battery and tin foil to start a fire trick! I was able to MacGyver it up!
The trick is simple; you just need a really thin sheet of conductive metal like foil or steel wool, create circuit (basically just touching it with the negative and positive side) and wait for it to heat up. It’s simpler with just the steel wool and battery, specifically a 9v battery, you just need to stretch the wool out and touch the battery when you are ready to start the fire. But for the foil and battery trick, you will need to do a few more specific steps for it to work, I would write it down step by step, but rather than confusing you with my poor writing ability and lack of illustration, I suggest watching it on YouTube.
The Situation Where I Used It
It was just me, and the Alpha wolf left standing, my spear broken from taking down its entire pack; I was left with nothing but a battery and steel wool… Is what I wish how the story went, but what actually happened was everyone forgot to bring matches, and I really didn’t want to spend hours demonstrating how to rub two sticks together to make a fire and end up failing. Luckily enough, someone was able to bring a steel wool to scrub his pan with, and I had a 9v battery for a toy walkie-talkie I was planning to use for a prank later that night. Being able to light a fire the MacGyver way felt way better than lighting a fire with sticks, it felt like I was this really smart guy with the power of SCIENCE!
I had wanted to thank my electrician friend here by name, but he’s the shy type and asked me to not post his name for the public to see. I can respect that, but I will continue to thanking him, so the next time I visit Atlanta I’ll treat the best electrician in the city to a few drinks!