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How to Start a Fire with an Aluminum Can & a Chocolate Bar

If you find yourself out in the cold wilderness without matches or a lighter, you can still start a fire. Or you can impress your friends with this little trick.


  • Step 1: Rub chocolate on the bottom of the can Rub the chocolate all over the bottom of the can.
  • Step 2: Wipe the chocolate off Wipe the chocolate off with a towel, cloth, or paper, rubbing and polishing as you wipe.
  • : Do not eat the chocolate after it's been in contact with the aluminum – the residue may be toxic.
  • Step 3: Repeat Repeat this process several times until the bottom of the can shines.
  • TIP: The can has been polished enough when it shines and reflects like a mirror.
  • Step 4: Angle the can Angle the can in direct sunlight. Find a direct ray of sunlight and angle the bottom of the can so that it reflects the sun's rays.
  • Step 5: Place your tinder Place your tinder – dry leaves, sticks, or paper – in a spot where you want your fire.
  • Step 6: Reflect a beam of sunlight Reflect the concentrated beam off the can and onto the tinder, similar to how you might with a magnifying glass and a leaf.
  • Step 7: Continue to hold the beam Hold the beam on the tinder until you see smoke. As soon as the tinder starts to burn, add wood to build your fire around it.
  • FACT: Wildfire severity has increased and fire frequency has decreased during the past 200 years.

You Will Need

  • Aluminum can
  • Chocolate bar
  • Towel
  • cloth
  • or paper
  • Tinder
  • Wood

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