Build your own bow kit
Making traditional fire by friction, or “rubbing two sticks together” is real, and it’s more than a fun project: it’s also the most reliable way to start a fire once you learn how. How can an ancient way of starting fire be the most reliable if it is difficult? Well, it’s only difficult if you haven’t learned how. Once you learn, then it becomes the most reliable method because the coal you create is durable in cold, rainy, and windy conditions. Further, you can’t “run out” of fire lighting material if you know how to make traditional fire by friction. Once you use up your matches, lighter, fire steel, or other ignition source, you need to know traditional fire by friction.
There are also another couple dozen known methods of starting traditional fire by friction, but I highly recommend the bow-drill method of fire-by-friction for everyone in cold climates. I have seen archeological evidence of its use throughout the northern latitudes, and it seems to be the best technology for cold, wet climates where wood with high combustion temperatures dominate the landscape. But it is a waste of time to learn this method if you can’t light a fire with manufactured materials, nor keep a fire going once you’ve created a coal using friction. So go to my previous blog post and review the best way to make and maintain fire before you continue here.
Lighting Fire using the Bow Drill Method
I almost made my own bow-drill demonstration video since there were (and are) so many out there that teach bad form, until I came across a bow-drill demonstration video made by the Maine Primitive Skills School, and have since seen many others that have subsequently done a good job. Although I don’t care for the word “primitive” since it can be offensive to indigenous peoples, the bow-drill video above is excellent, as are many of their other videos.
Correct Bow Drill Form, Tips, Tricks, Pitfalls & Advice
Most important in this video, and with bow drilling in general, is to develop excellent form. Big guys can...