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The Resilient Family » Friction fire with a bow drill

Friction fire with a bow drill

Keeping with the caveman theme…  Great video on how to make a survival fire with a bow drill.

A great skill to know if the SHTF and you suddenly find yourself shuffling along down The Road in a post-apocalyptic, Cormac McCarthy-like freak show. As highly unlikely as that is, it’s still a bad ass skill to know.

This guy makes it look damn simple. It’s not.

I tried it last summer on the back patio a few times with my son. After about an hour of unbelievably loud screeching (my bow was too loose), he wandered off to go play video games.  My ever-suffering wife just rolled her eyes, shook her head and clucked… And I ended up with blisters on both hands.

I did get just the faintest sliver of smoke though!

So… I’m going to give it a try again here this week before the rainy season kicks in. If anyone has additional pointers, let me know.

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2 Responses to "Friction fire with a bow drill"

  1. longsufferingwife says:

    Buy a lighter…

  2. James Finkbeiner says:

    When I’ve gotten it to work, it was because I used a very slippery hand-socket, and some very flammable tinder.  I braided the cord to give it more grip, I cut flats on the sides of the spindle to make it “squarish”, ensuring max traction between bow and spindle. I used very dry willow (or any other soft, non-resinous wood).

    It still took hours… LongsufferingWife has the right idea!

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