Fire is the comfort zone of human existence as it provides warmth and light, and allows us to cock food.
Whether you are a survival enthusiast or someone who enjoys outdoor activity knowing how to start a fire is a top survival skill. It’s a skill that often comes in handy during difficult times.
Knowing the skill to ignite fire will save you in the most dire circumstances like it has been saving human existence for centuries. This read will explore the interplay of heating, energy, wood, fire-starting, and different fire-starting methods such as the Friction-based method, Flint and Steal, and Fire Plow. Take a look!
Traditional Fire-starting Techniques
Friction Based Methods
Based on the simple principle, when you rub two things together they generate heat through friction. If you can generate sufficient heat and capture it with a suitable material you have created heat. This method is further divided into two categories: Hand drill and Bow Drill. method.
Hand Drill Method
The hand drill method includes two components, a spindle (a straight, thin, dry stick) and a fireboard (a flat piece of dry wood with a small indentation for the spindle)
- Hold the spindle between your palm and Twist it into the indentation of the fireboard
- Rub your hands together this creates friction between the spindle and the fireboard.
- As the spindle and fireboard heat up, a hot powdery dust forms. Which can ignite into ember
- Transfer this ember to a tinder nest and gently blow on it to start a fire.
Bow Drill Method
This time instead of using the stick we will use a bow to create fire.
- The bow with a string tied at both ends is used to spin the spindle.
- Hold the fireboard steady and place a piece of bark or leaf underneath the indentation to catch the fire.
- Move the spindle back and forth to generate heat and ignite the bark.
- Transfer the fire to a tinder nest.
Turning the ember into a full-blown fire can consume a lot of your valuable time that is where high-quality logs come in handy. It catches fire quickly which stays for longer.
Remember these techniques can take a lot of time and energy but adding them into your survival skillsets is a worthwhile investment.
Did You Know?
In ancient Greece, the Olympic Flames were started using a polished bronze mirror called “skaphia” The sun rays were focused from this mirror to dry herbs which ignited flames. And became the symbol of connection between Gods and Humans.
Flint and Steal Method
The Flint and Steal method involves striking a piece of Flint against steel which generates striking sparks. You will also need Char cloth (a piece of fabric that has been turned into charcoal through the process of pyrolysis) to catch the sparks and generate fire.
The Flint and Steal method satisfying way to start a fire and can also be used during wet conditions. Making it a good and reliable method for challenging conditions.
A fire plow is another traditional fire-starting method that uses friction to create fire. It involves a Plow (a hard stick or bone shaped into a point in one end) and a fireboard with a groove deep and long enough to guide the plow.
Place the pointed plow at the groove of the fireboard. Apply pressure of pull and push to generate heat as the plow rubbed against the fireboard it generated hot powdery dust now transfer it into the tinder nest and gently blow to ignite the fire.
Modern Fire Starting Tools
Lighter and Matches
Among all the fire-starting tools matches and lighters are the simplest way to ignite a fire. An important tool for our daily needs. It is reliable, portable, and requires minimal skills, however knowing how to use it carefully is still important.
From Colors to Temperature…
The color of the flames can represent the temperature of the flames. For example, the blue flames are hotter than the red and yellow ones.
Ferrocerium rods are a popular fire-starting tool among travelers. Made of ferrocerium a metallic material that produces a hot spark when scraped with a sharp object like a knife.
To use it hold the ferro rods close to the tinder nest to make sure that sparks land directly on the tinder. Use the striker or knife to apply pressure and scrape the length of the rod. It will generate multiple sparks and use them further to ignite the fire.
Ferro rods are a reliable fire-starting tool that works best in all weather conditions. Which makes it a favorite fire-starting tool among outdoor enthusiasts.
Remember managing fire is as important as generating it. Not managing it properly can have some serious consequences. So making sure you follow the proper precautions and also using the right technique according to the situation can make your fire stay longer and more effective.