How to Use Friction to Start a Fire


Friction Makes Fire


© 2012 By Gary Benton

A fire bow can be made and used to start fires. This is a difficult task for most beginners. The spindle or the vertical wood, must be hard wood, and the base a soft wood. I suggest the bow be hardwood as well and the cord can be a shoe lace, leather, rope, or whatever you have on hand. Keep the pressure even on the vertical wood as it rotates. This will not flash into a fire, but will produce a glowing ember in the base where the notch is cut.



Friction can also be used if you use two pieces of wood and prepare it as shown in the illustration. The cut in the wood is needed as well as the bark removed from both pieces.The base unit should be soft wood while the moving wood should be hard wood. Difficult task for most people, because it takes a long time for the friction to produce enough heat. Again, you'll not have a sudden flash of fire, but rather a glowing ember in the stationary wood.



This type of friction fire is difficult for the beginner. It takes a lot of work and time to get a fire started using these two methods. In the illustration on the left, rotate your hands down the shaft and the start at the top again as quickly as possible, so any heat is not lost. Again, the wood held in the hands of both illustrations should be hard woods and base units soft woods.



Flint and steel is by far the easiest method to start a fire without matches. Even the beginner can learn to use this method in no time. If you don't have a knife, you can use your belt buckle or any piece of metal. I actually like a magnesium match the best, because it produces a nice hot shower of sparks.




Fire From Friction
Gary Benton has over 45 years of outdoor experience in camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities. He's no armchair survival man, he's walked the walk from the arctic to the desert and all the area in between. Gary has an associates degree in Search and Rescue, Survival Operations, a B.S. in Industrial Occupational safety, and all but his thesis completed for a M.S. in Counseling Psychology.
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