Camping Hack: How to Make Fire With Lemon

It’s true that lemons and nails can be used to create a simple and natural fire-starting method, especially when you’re camping. This method takes advantage of the citric acid content in lemons, which can react with the iron in the nails to produce a small amount of heat and potentially create a spark. While this technique is interesting and can work under the right conditions, it’s important to note that it might not be as reliable or efficient as other fire-starting methods.

Here’s a general outline of how this lemon and nail fire-starting method works:


  • Lemon
  • Nails (galvanized or zinc-coated)


  1. Take a lemon and insert a few nails into it. The nails should be inserted a few inches apart from each other, and they should be placed near the center of the lemon.
  2. Set up your fire-starting materials. You’ll need tinder, kindling, and fuel wood to build your fire.
  3. Hold the lemon and nails over the tinder, with the nails positioned slightly above the tinder.
  4. Squeeze the lemon slightly and twist it while pressing the nails into the lemon. The goal is to create friction and contact between the nails and the lemon’s acidic juice.
  5. With some pressure, continue twisting and squeezing the lemon while keeping the nails in contact with the juice. The acid in the lemon’s juice can cause a chemical reaction with the iron in the nails, potentially creating a small amount of heat.
  6. If the conditions are right, this heat could potentially ignite the tinder and create a small flame.
  7. Once the tinder catches fire, carefully transfer it to your kindling and fuel wood to build up your fire.