Friction-based fire making is not for the faint of heart. It’s probably the most difficult of all the non-match methods. There are different techniques you can use to make a fire with friction, but the most important aspect is the type of wood you use for the fire board and spindle.
The spindle is the stick you’ll use to spin in order to create the friction between it and the fireboard. If you create enough friction between the spindle and the fireboard, you can create an ember that can be used to create a fire. Cottonwood, juniper, aspen, willow, cedar, cypress, and walnut make the best fire board and spindle sets.
Before you can use wood to start a friction based fire, the wood must be bone dry. If the wood isn’t dry, you’ll have to dry it out first
The Hand Drill
The hand drill method is the most primitive, the most primal, and the most difficult to do All you need is wood, tireless hands, and some gritty determination. Therefore, it’ll put more hair on your chest than any other method. Here’s how it’s done:
Build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be used to create the flame you get from the spark you’re about to create. Make a tinder nest out of anything that catches fire easily, like dry grass, leaves, and bark.
Make your notch. Cut a v-shaped notch into your fire board and make a small depression adjacent to it.
Place bark underneath the notch. The bark will be used to catch an ember from the friction between the spindle and fireboard.
Start spinning. Place the spindle into the depression on your fire board. Your spindle should be about 2 feet long for this to work properly. Maintain pressure on the board and start rolling the spindle between your hands, running them quickly down the spindle. Keep doing this until an ember is formed on the fireboard.
Once you see a glowing ember, tap the fire board to drop you ember onto the piece of bark. Transfer the bark to your nest of tinder. Gently blow on it to start your flame.
Prepare your fireboard. Cut a groove in the fireboard. This will be your track for the spindle.
Rub! Take the tip of your spindle and place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove.
Start a fire. Have your tinder nest at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once you catch one, blow the nest gently and get that fire going.
Starting a fire with a bow drill
The bow drill is probably the most effective friction based method to use because it’s easier to maintain the speed and pressure you need to create enough friction to start a fire. In addition to the spindle and fireboard, you’ll also need a socket and a bow.
Get a socket. The socket is used to put pressure on the other end of the spindle as you’re rotating it with the bow. The socket can be a stone or another piece of wood. If you use another piece of wood, try to find a harder piece than what you’re using for the spindle. Wood with sap and oil are good as it creates a lubricant between the spindle and the socket.
Make your bow. The bow should be about as long as your arm. Use a flexible piece of wood that has a slight curve. The string of the bow can be anything. A shoelace, rope, or strip of rawhide works great. Just find something that won’t break. String up your bow and you’re ready to go.
Prepare the fireboard. Cut a v-shaped notch and create a depression adjacent to it in the fireboard. Underneath the notch, place your tinder.
String up the spindle. Catch the spindle in a loop of the bow string. Place one end of the spindle in the fireboard and apply pressure on the other end with your socket.
Start sawing. Using your bow, start sawing back and forth. You’ve basically created a rudimentary mechanical drill. The spindle should be rotating quickly. Keep sawing until you create an ember.
Make you fire. Drop the ember into the tinder nest and blow on it gently. You got yourself a fire.
Flint and Steel
This is an old standby. It’s always a good idea to carry around a good flint and steel set with you on a camping trip. Matches can get wet and be become pretty much useless, but you can still get a spark from putting steel to a good piece of flint. Swedish FireSteel Army model is a good set to use.
If you’re caught without a flint and steel set, you can always improvise by using quartzite and the steel blade of your pocket knife (you are carrying your pocket knife, aren’t you?). You’ll also need char. Char is cloth that has been turned into charcoal. Char catches a spark and keeps it smoldering without bursting into flames. If you don’t have char, a piece of fungus or birch will do.
Grip the rock and char cloth. Take hold of the piece of rock between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure an edge is hanging out about 2 or 3 inches. Grasp the char between your thumb and the flint.
Strike! Grasp the back of the steel striker or use the back of your knife blade. Strike the steel against the flint several times. Sparks from the steel will fly off and land on the char cloth, causing a glow.
Start a fire. Fold up your char cloth into the tinder nest and gently blow on it to start a flame.
Fire from a mangnifying glass
Using a lens to start a fire is an easy matchless method. Any boy who has melted green plastic army men with a magnifying glass will know how to do this. If you have by chance never melted green plastic army men, here’s how to do it.
To create a fire, all you need is some sort of lens in order to focus sunlight on a specific spot. A magnifying glass, eyeglasses, or binocular lenses all work. If you add some water to the lens, you can intensify the beam. Angle the lens towards the sun in order to focus the beam into as small an area as possible. Put your tinder nest under this spot and you’ll soon have yourself a fire.
The only drawback to the lens based method is that it only works when you have sun. So if it’s nighttime or overcast, you won’t have any luck.
source of the above article: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/
How to make your own waterproof matches
These easy-to-make fire starters provide an all-in-one solution to starting a blaze: ignition, accelerant, and fuel in a single handy, cheap package. To use one, scrape the wax off the tip and strike against a rock. Each match will burn for five minutes or longer.
What You’ll Need
- Strike-anywhere matches
- Cotton yarn
- Paraffin wax
- Straight pins
- Aluminum foil
1. Tie a simple overhand knot in the yarn at the base of the match head, and wrap the yarn down the shaft. Tuck the tag end under the last wrap and pull it snug. Cut excess yarn.
2. Melt paraffin wax in a D.I.Y. double boiler: Select an old pot that will nest in a larger pot. (A clean coffee can will work in a pinch.) Fill the larger pot about half full with water and place over medium heat on the stove. Put the wax in the smaller pot, which goes inside the larger pot. Pay close attention: Paraffin wax has a low flash point and can burst into flame when overheated. When fully melted, move the setup off the heat.
3. Insert a straight pin into the nonstriking end of a yarn-wrapped match, and dip for a few seconds into the wax. Set the match on foil to harden. Dip each match into the wax several times to build up a waterproof coating that will also serve as fuel. After the last dip, remove the pin and tamp down the moist wax to seal the pinhole.
Ripping open a rotten log may seem like a lot of work, but the payoff could be worth the trouble. Of the critters on this list, termites have the most calories. Pale in color and resembling ants, these insects provide about 6 calories per gram. You’ll have to work to get it, though. These little guys go scurrying for cover anytime you damage the wood they reside in. Roast them in a dry pan; some termite species take on a shrimp flavor. Living in their closed, woody environment, these insects don’t have as many opportunities to pick up parasites as their open-air relatives. For this reason, if I had to eat bugs raw, it would be termites.
Crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers are a very diverse group of bugs that are generally safe to eat, as long as you avoid the more colorful members of these families; red, orange, yellow, and blue are usually warning colors. With the more drab specimens, the heads and small legs should be removed, and the bugs should always be cooked thoroughly, as bugs with crunchy shells (exoskeletons) are more prone to harbor parasites. Hunt for them in the early morning when they are less active due to the colder temperatures. This group yields approximately 4 to 5 calories per gram. Their flavor ranges from bland to fatty.
There are hundreds of different species of earthworm throughout the world. All are considered safe for human consumption, but they should be purged of the dirt that fills them before you dine. An easy way to clean them out is to place them in a container of damp grass. After a few hours, the critters will be void of the dirt and sand they normally hold. Like all animal foods, worms should be cooked before you eat them. I recommend frying. The good news is that fried worms taste a little like jerky. The bad news: Average sized worms contain only about 1 calorie per gram (not counting any fat used for frying).
Five Frugal Ways To Make Fire Starters
Frugal Way #1
This by far is the easiest way to make a simple fire starter in my opinion. Do you know those cotton makeup pads that the ladies use. You can buy a bag of these at the Dollar Store for about a $1.00, and you should be able to make more than enough. All you do is take these makeup disc and dip them into some candle wax. Leave a small portion of the pad uncovered for easy fire starting.
Frugal Way #2
Do you have extra cardboard laying around ? I think we all do. Take a cardboard box or whatever cardboard you have and cut it into 1' x 3' strips. Dip them in wax, and let them dry. The cardboard strips make for easy storage.
Frugal Way #3
Make a twisted newspaper fire starter. Tightly roll a sheet of newspaper, bend it in half, twist the ends together, and fasten together with twine.
Frugal Way #4
Take a paper egg carton and fill the inserts with dryer lint or shredded paper. pour over hot wax and let dry. You now have a dozen fire starters made from material you already have around the house.
Frugal Way #5
Take a toilet paper roll, and stuff it with shredded paper or dryer lint. cover it in wax paper and twist the ends tight. Use the wax paper as a wick, and there again you have an easy fire starter made out of household supplies.