Why get Survival Magnifying Glass Fire Starters at all? (Update with pictures below)
A few years back I went out and tried to start a fire with a normal Magnesium Fire Starter. Needless to say it was a failure. I spent hours trying to figure it out exactly. Finally I realized it was my tinder.
I used up a lot of the flint side on the striker and decided that I needed something more permanent. Don’t get me wrong I still think a Magnesium Striker is a must have tool for preppers and survivalists, but why use up a striker when we can use a lightweight Magnifying Glass or Fresnel Lens. I will link a photo from Amazon (where I got the items) so you guys can see what I’m talking about.
READ THIS INFORMATION Fold out lenses are a must, this helps protect the plastic lens from scratching. DID HE SAY PLASTIC? Yep. For most of us the real fear is that our Magnifier will break NOT scratch. With a hundred scratches my Carson Magnifier will still ignite things. However given the same impact force a glass magnifier will break first. YOU CANNOT RISK THIS IN A LONG TERM SHTF SURVIVAL SITUATION!
The Carson is by far my favorite survival magnifying glass or fire starter. Put simply its strong as heck. I could throw it full blast into a rock and there is a large chance it would sustain almost no damage. When starting a fire with these smaller magnifying glasses you may have to allow for a few more seconds to heat up. But the real value comes in the light weight of these things. In fact all the magnifying glasses I will recommend for fire starting or survival will be small and lightweight. You may be thinking that they are all small but there are some large ones. This magnifying glass is made by Carson Optical. They make some pretty neat devices for science and a lot of survival gear and scopes.
This is my second favorite Survival Magnifying Glass Fire Starter. There are several reasons the first is that on Amazon its about a dollar cheaper. At this price point that is 20-30% cheaper depending on the price. If you are buying a hundred or so of these to put into a cashe or giving to family for their Bug out Kits it adds up. If you are just using these guys for survival to start fires then the performance compared to the Carson will be similar. I will note that this survival magnifying glass is built much less sturdy than the Carson.
Both the Carson and the SE Magnifiers are great. For some reason they have the same magnification which in terms of fire starting I believe only means that you have to hold it at a different distance from the object to be ignited. To be honest I did not buy them at a specific magnification. I have tremendous experience burning things with lenses and I have no preference on the prescription.
If you guys don’t know about these stay tuned I am going to do a full article on Fresnel Lenses. The main reason I love this little lens so much is that it weighs almost nothing. You could literally put it in one of your main survival books as a bookmark and save it. Some of you may not know this but it works just as good or better than a Magnifying Glass. Imagine that you could get these for nearly 50 or 60% Cheaper than the regular Survival Magnifying Glasses or fire starters. As I said below you could stuff these into your favorite book or anywhere in your Bug out Bag or car survival kit. I am completely sold on these and love them to death. Again they aren’t fragile like the glass magnifiers, so they will never break. Even if they get a scratch they will start fires, so no worries there.
I recently took the wife out to try our Carson Survival Magnifying Glass and the SE Folding Pocket Magnifier. We went out on a cold day up in the Colorado hills. My goal was to teach her how to focus the light beam, most of you may think this is simple but there are a lot of people who have no clue about survival magnifying glasses. In this first picture we laid them out so you guys could see exactly what we were working with.
In the next picture we practiced adjusting the lens and I made a point to explain to the wife that getting the point as close to a perfect circle as possible was the main idea. The more perfect that little sun is on whatever you are trying to burn the faster it will start. Any of the fire starting lenses work this way and its important to know that. After playing with the Carson and the SE she actually liked the SE better because she said it was slimmer. Personally I think the Carson is the best, its durability alone makes it a better option. The case is also a huge part of the magnifier. And if you consider the cases the Carson is much better.
Everyone must understand that there are literally hundreds of Survival Magnifying glasses online. I did a search at Amazon and found 258 results. Just remember that its important to have long term durability. Be weary of glass since it is heavier and can break apart. Make sure your plastic choices are durable and have covers so that they don’t get scratched in your bag or pocket.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you guys think in the comments section.