Bow and Drill Friction Fire Tips and Tricks!
There are a few factors that will help make you successful when finding wood in the field to use in your bow drill kit. When you attend a class, we do use lumber that is bought and kiln dried so our students can have success in this friction fire process. With success of being able to make a fire with a bow drill, the student can then take that newly leanred skill and apply it to thier fieldcraft. Take a look through the following list of tips and tricks that can help make your next primitive bow drill a success in the field.
-You need to know what tree species are in your area and in which of these species are conducive for a bow drill. Another important factor is to know how long the tree has been dead; two or three years old is best.
- Try to avoid wood that is lying on the ground even if its been there two or three years as it will always absorb moisture from the ground.
-If the top of the tree has been broken off and its been there a while, you can tell if its still using its inner bark to bring moisture to the broken top or even large limbs by leaves or buds being present on the small branches.
-Remember to try to find the trunk of a dead and standing tree. These sources are usually straighter and contain better wood for a spindle or drill. If the tree is still alive, it will create problems for you because its green and still has moisture.
-Try to stay away from the heart wood in some woods. The heart wood tends to be too hard. White wood works well for your use here.
-Never use a branch from a tree because it also has heart wood. It's harder and will act as a drill and drill a hole right through your base. If possible try to piece off your base to use as a drill or spindle that way the grain matches it as close as it can to each other.
-Your socket should always be of a harder wood than your spindle or drill so you don't drill through your socket and into your hand. Rock or bone works very well as a socket in lou of a wooden spindle.
-Remember to feel the wood to see if its wet or damp. Sometimes, I put it on my face to try to feel the moisture. You can also place the wood against you lips to test the wetness of the wood. Your lips are very sensitive to moisture. Both the spindle, drill and base need to be as dry as possible.
-If the powder in your notch is the right color (black) and it starts to chunk up, your wood it is too wet. Find a different peice and start over.
Good luck on your quest for fire, if you have any trouble come and see us.
Madison and Bobby
Survival Instructors, Equip2Endure