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August 11, 2012 8:04 AM   Subscribe

How to light a fire with your pee (and some plastic wrap). [slyt]
posted by quin (52 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Spoiler: he makes a magnifying lens out of the liquid and uses that to concentrate the sunlight.
posted by Nelson at 8:06 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also works with a condom in place of the plastic wrap (or water in a condom).

And you know that dude always has a condom in his wallet, for banging hiking chicks.
posted by peacrow at 8:08 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've heard of a similar trick using a chocolate bar and a soda can. The chocolate is used to polish the bottom, concave part of the can which is then used as a (sort of) parabolic reflector.

Or, just carry a Bic.
posted by jquinby at 8:12 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Who wraps an apple?
posted by chococat at 8:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [42 favorites]


You can also use the plastic wrap to condense water out of the soil, just dig out a hole, put a cup in the bottom, stretch the plastic over the top using rocks to hold it down, then put a pebble in the middle so it makes a cone. The sun will evaporate water in the hole which will condense on the plastic then drip down the cone into the cup.

You don't get a lot of water with a small hole, so if you're gonna get lost in the wilderness, be sure you have a 3 mil painter's drop cloth at all times. &fliptable;
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:25 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: You don't get a lot of water with a small hole
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


My pee -- it burns!
posted by mazola at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


Urinary tract infections are much easier ways to feel like you are doing this.
posted by srboisvert at 8:29 AM on August 11, 2012


Or, just carry a Bic.

It's a day hike, who's bringing the ten essentials?

You don't get a lot of water with a small hole, so if you're gonna get lost in the wilderness, be sure you have a 3 mil painter's drop cloth at all times

The plastic tarp still trick is described in the third edition of The Complete Walker, where Fletcher says "a transparent groundsheet, somewhat scratched [water will adhere better!] and with all holes patched, will do at a pinch. But a thin special plastic, such as Du Pont's Tedlar, will do far, far better".
posted by kenko at 8:30 AM on August 11, 2012


Or, you know, you can drink gasoline and hang flint and steel from your genitals.

What? It worked for me, although I have to admit, it was not the original purpose of the experiment.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Doesn't matter how you get it going as long as you do this at the end.
posted by Fizz at 8:38 AM on August 11, 2012


There's another, more involved way.
posted by empath at 8:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


At the end of the video he goes down to a stream. Wouldn't stream water be at least as clear as brownish pee from a dehydrated person?
posted by codacorolla at 8:40 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Next week: we show you an interesting ointment for burns
posted by hal9k at 8:40 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


So on my hike, I'm carrying a bag with an apple in cellophane and a piece of paper. Apparently, I'm going hiking in my elementary school.
posted by xingcat at 8:41 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


He'd give you more tips on survival but his inkjet ran out of toner
posted by hal9k at 8:45 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Who wraps an apple?

7-11, they taste like death after stewing in the off-gasses, plastic and pesticide residue. I only bought a 7-11 apple once in life.
posted by stbalbach at 8:48 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I've learned anything from these survival videos it is that getting stranded in the wilderness will be about 10x less rewarding if I carried a working lighter.
posted by any major dude at 8:52 AM on August 11, 2012


I'm getting hot, and smoking quite a bit....now I gotta go wash my hands.

um.....
posted by mule98J at 8:56 AM on August 11, 2012


The Complete Walker

It turns out the author of this was a British ex-pat. Considering what I first read the title as you'd have thought he'd have known better.
posted by howfar at 9:01 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Actually I learned about the plastic tarp still trick from an old Hardy Boys book. The brothers were stuck in the desert and ....
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:09 AM on August 11, 2012


I read this first as How To Fight a Fire With Your Pee. Which is actually pretty intuitive. And effective, if the fire is small.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:24 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Never, under any circumstances, try to put out a fire with pee.

Trust me.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm skeptical he could duplicate this when having a fire was actually his highest priority, which is to say, on a cold day when it's likely to be dangerously cold overnight. If you actually need to use your pee for *anything*, then your first priority is probably not heat but water.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who wraps an apple?

Same idiots who came up with this idea.
posted by Fizz at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


7-11, they taste like death after stewing in the off-gasses, plastic and pesticide residue. I only bought a 7-11 apple once in life.

No, that's the normal flavor of a Red Delicious.
posted by kafziel at 9:59 AM on August 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


The Complete Walker is a fantastic book, incidentally, even if you never go hiking at all.
posted by kenko at 10:05 AM on August 11, 2012


The Complete Walker is a fantastic book, incidentally, even if you never go hiking at all.

While the Boy Scouts of America is not the most popular of organizations right now, their handbook has some fairly good outdoors advice. I still carry mine whenever I go camping/hunting. Lots of good information on knots, fishing, setting up a tent, fire-making, first-aid, etc.
posted by Fizz at 10:42 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also thought this was going to be about phosphorus.
posted by Bigfoot Mandala at 11:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does this still work if a thirsty Bear Grylls is anywhere nearby?
posted by orme at 11:42 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Never, under any circumstances, try to put out a fire with pee.

Trust me.


Or trust Loquacious, if you don't trust The Whelk:


Peeing on a fire is... very nearly one of the most awful things on the face of the planet. Worse then Goatse.cx. Worse then Tubgirl. Worse then 5 pounds of mutated silicone-injected cock in your lap.

posted by louche mustachio at 12:12 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


My pee -- it burns!

Oh dear, you may have a different problem. Bad news.
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2012


Carry a lighter.

Problem solved.
posted by jrochest at 12:50 PM on August 11, 2012


I thought this was gonna be a Blood-Meridian-style recipe for gunpowder.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:09 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


He should have used farts to fan the flame. And then drunk the pee. And then just sat there, pleased with himself, and watched the fire go out.
posted by pracowity at 1:40 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I recall reading something about transmutation of potassium to sodium in The Complete Walker... I kind of stopped reading after that.
posted by eviemath at 3:11 PM on August 11, 2012


I kept waiting for the baggie to burst and squirt pee all over the dude's hands. I don't think I could be that careful in my attempts to tie the plastic wrap shut, especially on a cold day if my fingers were already numb.
posted by ActionPopulated at 3:30 PM on August 11, 2012


If you actually need to use your pee for *anything*, then your first priority is probably not heat but water.

Sure, but sometimes when your first priority is water, the first thing you need to do to get the water is get heat to render water potable.
posted by kenko at 3:34 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hear you can also use pee to grill bears. Wait. I'm confused. It was something like that.
posted by Decani at 4:46 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, but sometimes when your first priority is water, the first thing you need to do to get the water is get heat to render water potable.

Well, no. The first thing you need to do is have a way to obtain and transport the water, potable or not. And if you have that, you don't need pee.
posted by kafziel at 5:03 PM on August 11, 2012


My first thought was why does this guy need a fire so badly in the middle of a nice warm sunny day?

Then, I thought, I wonder what this guy could do with a bag of shit.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:27 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Then, I thought, I wonder what this guy could do with a bag of shit.

Tan leather?
posted by winna at 5:38 PM on August 11, 2012


In my case this would most likely be titled "How to get urine all over yourself while freezing to death in the woods"
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:25 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


What if you're hiking in the Pacific Northwest in September? You have to wait nine months for direct sunlight to come back.
posted by zardoz at 7:27 PM on August 11, 2012


Never, under any circumstances, try to put out a fire with pee.

Trust me.
Or trust Loquacious, if you don't trust The Whelk:


Peeing on a fire is... very nearly one of the most awful things on the face of the planet. Worse then Goatse.cx. Worse then Tubgirl. Worse then 5 pounds of mutated silicone-injected cock in your lap.


Just don't trust his grammar. :P

delmoi comes to mind as well. /ocd
posted by palbo at 7:39 PM on August 11, 2012


Yeah try this without your pouch of pee exploding all over you.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:29 PM on August 11, 2012


...why is the second half of his video nearly 2 minutes of a static image?
posted by Gordafarin at 5:29 AM on August 12, 2012


That narration is insufferable.
posted by JHarris at 6:32 AM on August 12, 2012


wait - burn your map to start a fire? great advice.
posted by H. Roark at 1:01 PM on August 12, 2012


This is what taking too much peyote gets you.
posted by stormpooper at 6:25 AM on August 13, 2012


The 2nd best thing about the "don't pee on a fire" link is that this comment is in the thread:

Bringing in jessamyn was like telling 30k children this was their new step-mom. Going through that again would be a nightmare.
posted by mathowie at 1:35 AM on March 31, 2006

posted by Chrysostom at 9:25 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


jquinby: Or, just carry a Bic.
Hard to get a Bic to light if your fingers are soggy, which is coincidentally often true when you really, really wish you could be warmer. Wax-dipped matches are the answer.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:37 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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