steel wool is actually mostly iron (Fe). In fact, steel is an iron alloy: iron with about 2% carbon mixed in. Using a little bit of steel wool and a battery can be a really effective way of starting a fire, even when it’s wet. Just hold one part of the steel wool to the positive end and another part to the negative end. If you have a 9-volt battery, you can rub the steel wool against the terminals to start the fire.
If adding batteries and steel wool to your survival kit, be certain they are not packed together to avoid accidental fires.
This is a very easy way of starting a fire but please be careful as the steel wool gets incredibly hot.
All you need for this are two items:
- Steel Wool – grades 00-0000 work well
- 9V battery
Start off by taking a ball of your steel wool and holding the 9V battery, lightly brush the terminals against any part of the steel wool. To really get it burning well, gently blow on the wool once it is lit. The electrical current from the battery should heat up a strand of steel enough to set it alight.
This method shouldn’t give off too much smoke, any that it does produce will be from the oils that have been used to coat the steel wool.
This burning reaction will continue until it has no new strands to burn. Watch the video below to see it in action: