Parabolic mirrors are named after their shape, a parabola, which is a 2 dimensional curve, or in other words, bowl shaped. Think of them in the same way as the satellite dish on the side of your house. Wherever the radio waves (in the case of your satellite dish) hit, they are reflected back to a single point.
With a parabolic mirror, wherever sunlight hits the mirror it is reflected to one single spot where the energy is concentrated.
In this short video I demonstrate how to use a parabolic mirror to ignite a piece of charred birch polypore.
We teach how to use a parabolic mirror, as well as a host of other methods of ignition, on our 1 Day Bushcraft Course, our as well as on our 2 Day & 5 Day Bushcraft Courses, the IOL Bushcraft Competency Course and also our 2 Day & 5 Day Survival Courses. You can see photos from all of our courses on our Facebook page.