Tuesday, August 20, 2019
A good quality glass magnifying glass is versatile. It will let you read a topo map, fine-printed instructions, or labels and books when your glasses are broken. It will help you find that last nettle or bee stinger, and scrape it out. But what it really excels at, is setting things on fire, any time the sun is out.
Every young boy worth his salt figured out this last use, which is by far the most important, while visiting the wrath of the sun on ants in the playground. If you have a magnifying glass and sunlight, you have a match that will last forever, half of most every day.
I've used and carried all kinds. My go-to choice is a simple 3x pocket magnifier. My latest is a 16X jeweler's loupe. I've used the former to set someone's boots on fire on a May afternoon; the latter on a clear day will make a solar point so hot I can melt laboratory glass. And have.
Just imagine what it does for making a campfire, esp. if you added fuel-soaked tinder*, or magnesium shavings*.
For all those reasons, you should have one.
But if you didn't bring a dedicated glass in your fire-making gear, you have options.
The flimsy plastic ones may suffice.
Eyeglasses will definitely do a good job.
So will a camera lens removed from its mount.
In a bind, any clear water bottle* full of water may even suffice.
And if you lack paper* and pencil*, you can use all of the above methods to burn a message into any piece of wood you can find.
The very acme of a survival implement.
Nothing fancy. Just something a lot of people never thought about.
*The Sergeant Major notes "You will see this material again."