There are many, many ways to start a fire if you don’t have a lighter or matches. Flint and steel, striker, friction methods (hand drill, bow drill, plough), lens-based methods, chemical methods, fire from batteries, and a dozen methods within each of those. Cavemen started all kinds of trouble. A quick google will bring up tips, tricks and step-by-steps for all of those so I won’t go into details.
In The Wolf Road, I mentioned a couple of ways to start a fire. Elka used a bow drill, which, to the newbie like me, is REALLY DIFFICULT. The upper body strength and coordination needed is quite something and I failed miserably. Elka, however, is an old hand, got herself a bow drill and made fire quicker’n you can spit. The other method she uses is a striker. It’s kind of a turning point for her when she finds it.
Found myself a tinder box gathering dust and let out a whoop a’ joy. It had one of them nice metal rods with a flat striker, few bits a’ wool and a fat strip a’ wax paper. All kinds a’ useful.
You can buy a striker for a few quid pretty much anywhere now and if you have some dry tinder (hay, straw, wood, bracken etc.) or something that will hold a spark (wax paper, char cloth) to then be transferred to the tinder, a few firm strikes and you should have a flame. In this picture, I’m using a fire striker with a piece of wax paper, just like Elka and Penelope.
**Disclaimer – I’m not a survival expert. Don’t try this stuff at home. I accept no responsibility etc. If you want to learn more about survival, there are dozens of fantastic courses you can take and I encourage you to do so**