credit card sized fresnel lens

What Is A Credit Card Sized Fresnel Lens?

And How Can It Help In A Survival Situation?

The Fresnel lens gets its name from its creator, a French physicist called Augustin Jean Fresnel. In 1822 he invented the Fresnel compound lens that produced parallel beams of light for use in lighthouses.

From a survival standpoint, Fresnel lenses can be big or small and have multiple uses depending on their size. For example, they can be used to start fires, for cooking and as a first aid kit tool.

The Fresnel lens that I’m going to talk about in this article is one that many survivalists and preppers carry with them as part of their everyday carry (EDC) or in their survival kits. A credit card sized Fresnel lens made of pieces of thin plastic.

A plastic credit card sized Fresnel lens is flat on one side and rigid on the other. They are commonly used as magnifiers for reading small print. However, they also have a number of survival uses.

Credit Card Sized Fresnel Survival Uses

fresnel cards in cases

Small enough to fit in any pocket, wallet, pouch or purse these little pieces of plastic usually come in their own protective wallet/case and are both inexpensive and can help in both urban and wilderness survival situations.

Fire Starting

camp fire

Adding one or more of these Fresnel lenses to your survival kit or EDC will enable you to have a backup method of fire starting. With the weather on your side, you can use a Fresnel lens to concentrate the suns energy on to your tinder to start a fire.

To find out how to start a fire using a backup credit card sized fresnel lens take a look at this video from Mask Tactical.


Removing Ticks


Fresnel magnifying lenses can help you in the process of tick removal for example if you have lost your glasses. Or simply need to focus close up on the task of tick removal.

When attempting to remove a tick from yourself, a loved one or a pet It’s important to point out that you wouldn’t want to use the Fresnel for this purpose in direct sunlight to avoid accidentally burning the skin.

Take a look at the video below to find out how to remove a tick correctly.


Reading The Small Print

medication label

I don’t know about you but the older I get the smaller the instructions and guidelines seem to be getting on medication labels and food packaging.

Although the quality of the magnified image from a plastic Fresnel is not as good as that produced by a glass magnifying lens.

In a survival situation if you have misplaced or damaged your reading glasses you can use a Fresnel lens as a magnifier to help you read any small print including instructions on medication labels and first aid items.

A credit card sized Fresnel lens can even help you to read the small print in the pocket survival guides or cards your carrying in your bugout bag.

Foraging Plant Identification

raspberry urban foraging

If your suffering from reduced vision or you’ve lost or damaged your glasses you could use a Fresnel to closely examine any plant or food items when out foraging. The magnification can help you to identify telltale signs on leaves to make sure the plant is indeed edible.

A credit card sized Fresnel lens can help you make sure that those mushrooms are of the edible variety. Keep one in your pocket wild edible guide so its right there when you need to read up on a particular plant or food source.

Adding A Credit Card Sized Fresnel Lens To Your First Aid Kit

first aid kit

Both small and lightweight a credit card sized fresnel lens makes a useful addition to your emergency first aid kit. Use one as a temporary splint by either folding to size. Or cutting into strips.

A credit card sized Fresnel lens will help magnify any areas you need to zoom in on such as small puncture wounds or bites. (Avoid using in direct sunlight to protect the skin from burns)

Credit Card Sized Fresnel Lens Survival Uses Conclusion

A credit card sized fresnel lens is one of the least expensive items you can add to your survival kit. Available to buy singularly or even in packs of 5 or 10 online from places such as Amazon. I keep them in my wallet, car, survival kits and bags. They are lightweight and take up very little space making a great little multipurpose survival tool addition to your prepper arsenal.

Related Links & Recommended Reading

Augustin-Jean Fresnel (1788-1827)

That Fresnel Lens in Your Survival Kit

Survival Cards Could Save Your Life

Preppers Basic Guide To Urban Foraging

Fine Tuning Your Prepper Gear Using A Color Coding System

Antiseptic Healing Cream For Your Prepper First Aid Supplies


Top Prepper Sites

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