Make a "Matchless" Survival Fire Kit

How to start a survival fire without matches, using chemistry!

Some quick links to a few of the materials I used:

[✓] Pot Perm:
[✓] Glycerin:

If you like this, check out “How To Make a Floating Hot Tub” by Cottage Life:

How to make Char Cloth: Fire with Water: Nitrogen: Rockets: Piston: Soil:
The survival pouch you see in this video is from
They have a YouTube channel on survival and prepping as well:

Endcard Links:

Liquid Nitrogen:
Paper Rockets:
Fire Piston:
Super Soil:

See What Else I’m Up To:


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This project involves chemicals that can stain, burn, and damage your skin. KMnO4 should not be ingested, and can be fatal if swallowed. This experiment is mainly for demonstrational purposes and should only be attempted with adult supervision and adequate training. Use of this video content is at your own risk.

Music By: Scott & Brendo (“The World Turns” — Instrumental)

Project Inspired By:

A chemical experiment I saw by the famous YouTube chemist, NurdRage “4 ways to make fire without matches by using chemistry”: (If you check out this video, please leave him a comment that you came from Grant Thompson’s channel and that I gave him credit for the idea 🙂 Thank you! (

Project History & More Info:

I took the classic science demonstration of using Glycerin and KMnO4, and played with the idea of using it as an alternate starter for survival situations. As it turns out, each chemical can be valuable for survival situations on it’s own. But mix them together and you get the added benefit of starting a fire, even if your matches are wet.

I’ve wanted to demonstrate this chemical experiment for years. It is fairly common and there are plenty of demonstrations already on YouTube, but is always shown the same way .. someone mixing the two chemicals together on a plate or dish.

I wanted to see if this reaction could be used for something more practical, so I took it to the woods and experimented with survival fires.

For the container, I used the soda cap containers I made in a previous project: ( These are lightweight, and keep the chemicals well separated, as long as they are made correctly. But beware, there could be great danger and big messes to clean up using poorly made containers!

This idea could be used for hiking, biking or survival situations. The little packs are lightweight and hold enough chemicals to start 2-4 fires each.

When the two chemicals spontaneously combust, they throw off a beautiful pink and purple flame. Most impressively, the reaction can still work even if the mixture is wet.


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  1. What a GENIUS!
    Make a little Fireplace with a circle of rocks, and have an even BIGGER one outside the circle! ONLY THE ENTIRE FOREST!!
    Sure, make a circle of stones, then totally CLEAR THE AREA AROUND THE CIRCLE about 2 Feet around it!
    If that Chemical Reaction, or even just the Fire itself, spat some sparks out into the Leaves? Not my fault mate! You're the one showing us how to burn a Forest down.
    I'm not being nasty or anything!
    It's Hilarious seeing people doing things without thinking first.
    Great idea, but, you showed us the Dangerous version! Especially leaving all those Leaves around the Firecircle.

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