Primitive Fire Making – Bow Drill Success

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I’ve been experimenting with bow drill fires for quite some time now with no success. I was missing just a few key details, so I took the Basic Survival course with Tony from Trackers Earth in Portland. It was a great course that I would highly recommend. In a few hours we built a shelter, went over basic wilderness techniques, and made fire using a bow drill!

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Key Points I was Missing
– The bow doesn’t have to be a bent stick, in fact a straight stick seems to work easier
– In the Pacific Northwest, typically a cedar spindle is used on a cedar base board as these are local materials
– The top of the spindle is tapered to a point to reduce friction
– Squeaking can be reduced by putting leaves between the pointy end of the spindle and the hand hold
– Once you get a coal, place it in the tinder bundle and hold above your head so you can blow upwards(fire burns upwards)

You can register for the class with Trackers Earth here

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