Starting Fire With an Ice Lens

by Bob Gillis



Use clear lake or pond ice. To practice, boil water for 10 minutes to remove gas. Create a foil container 2" deep and freeze slowly. Or buy a clear block of ice. To make fire, the ice must be clear.


Shape the ice lens for fire making. First shave with a knife to get the rough shape of a lens.


You can also grind your ice fire lens on cement or a stone.


Finish shaping your ice fire lens by using the heat of your hand to melt the ice lens smooth.


The edge of your lens should look something like this.


Locate tinder that is completely dry and finely divided. With the sun at its highest in the sky hold your lens perpendicular to the sun and move it up and down to focus the brightest spot of light onto your tinder. Be careful to avoid dripping water onto your tinder. The tinder will first smoke and then ignite. Carefully add more tinder and very small sticks until a good fire is established.



E-mail your commits or questions to "Bob Gillis" at

Questions Answered about making fire.


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