Cooking is a rather natural use for solar power. We all know how the sun warms things that it strikes, leaving the inside of our cars hot and making us sweat on a sunny day. Many of us have also played with magnifying glasses as kids, using them to light dried leaves and scraps of paper on fire.
That power can be harnessed in a more structured way, making it extremely easy to cook with. Scientists have built solar furnaces which are hot enough to melt iron. While you don’t need anything quite that hot, a simple solar cooker could be a great piece of survival equipment to add to your collection.
There are several different designs of solar cookers you can make, but the most effective uses a Fresnel lens. Fresnel lenses are flat plastic magnifying glasses. If you’ve ever used one of those sheet magnifiers, you’ve used a Fresnel lens.