Any half-decent survival instructor is going to tell you that you need two primary and two secondary means of starting a fire. For their purposes, the matches and butane lighters are considered primary fire starting methods. Anything and everything else would be considered a secondary fire starting method, including the steel wool trick that we placed in Challenge Level I.

These secondary fire starting methods are typically only used for starting a fire when the primary methods run out, or are not available. Lighters get broken; matches get wet; and even if they don’t get wet, you’ll eventually use them all up. So, having other methods for starting a fire is a really great idea for anyone who wants to stay alive.

All of these secondary methods are a bit more challenging than the simple methods that we had in Challenge Level: I. Nevertheless, they are not so hard to accomplish that you have to be a super survival expert to do them. In fact, pretty much anyone can accomplish these methods with a little bit of practice. That practice is important, as you don’t want to wait until you have to use one of these methods to survive, in order to learn how. By then, it might be too late.