There are many ways to start a fire without matches, but one of the simplest is with a magnifying glass. You also need the Sun, though, so Seattleites and residents of Macquarie Island in Australia might want to try another method. It’s relatively easy to find something light and dry around you for tinder, like leaves or birch bark or pine needles or even the end of a
Q-tip. The Sun, as you may have heard, is remarkably hot—so it only takes a few of its rays focused onto a tiny spot to generate some serious heat. Using similar optical principles to the magnifying glass, huge mirrors have been fashioned into solar furnaces that are capable of temperatures upwards of 6300°F.3 Overkill for surviving overnight in the wilderness, but a smaller array of mirrors would be more than capable of cooking your dinner, should you be able to actually catch (or
find) something edible.