Here’s How to Start a Fire with a Zip-Loc Bag and Some Water [VIDEO]

Those who spend a great deal of time camping or hiking in the great outdoors are always looking for a solution to the age-old question — how do you start a fire with the few materials you have in your possessions? There’s always the traditional method using sticks but let’s face it, that’s predictable and boring.

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Grant Thompson, who runs the King of Random YouTube channel, has found a way to use materials you will probably have on hand already to start a fire. Thompson isn’t talking about anything as mundane as matches, either. He says you can create fire simply with a Zip-Loc bag and some water.

To start, you will be looking for a dry piece of tender of your choice. Thompson opted for a piece of bark that he chipped off a tree and crushed with his hand to create a dust-like residue that he spread over some rocks. This will act as the fuel for the fire. He then pulls out a sandwich-sized Zip-Loc bag and fills it with water.

With the water in the bag, Thompson twists the opening. This draws the bag into a sphere shape. The real ingenious part of this whole DIY fire kit is how the sphere of water will act as a double-sided lens – or magnifying glass – just like we used when were kids to burn ants and paper.

The lens will focus the sun’s heat to a single focal point, which is then aimed at the tender you’ve already collected. In the video, Thompson shows that the bark he was using begins to smoke almost immediately. With a little help from oxygen, Thompson has created a fire.

Once the ground-up bark begins to smoke and get warm, Thompson uses a bundle of dry plants to transfer the fire to a larger, desired area.

Thompson’s technique is nothing new. It has been suggested that the ancient Greeks used this method to start large fires, though Zip-Locs. The method may be all but forgotten, but as every outdoorsman knows, knowing how to create a fire is critical if you ever become stranded – or forget your matches.