Making a bow-drill fire

I was lucky to learn this method as a young Scout and have stayed proficient over the many years since.  To become truly skilled at this, I went through a period of making a coal every day with either this method or by hand drill.  I spent a couple days and nights out in the snow and drizzle and decided to share a bit of my experiences for anyone patient enough to watch.  I hope you enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Making a bow-drill fire

  1. I’m curious to know what your preferred materials are for the drill and board? While I’ve made my own flint striker and successfully started a fire with it, my attempts at the bow drill technique have come up short thus far.

    1. David, It completely depends on where in the world you are. The parts you see in the video are sotol for the board ( and narrow leaf yucca for the spindle. Two great woods for fire building. I’ve had luck with soft cottonwood and juniper after some rot sets in as well. Parts of the US West have seep willow which is good for spindles and very sturdy. Find out what is in your area and work out from there. I think it’s often smart to not give up on a specie just because one doesn’t work. Maybe you just need a softer, harder, or dryer one. Try drying some out on the roof of the house or in the oven on very low heat before giving up too. They may be holding a lot of moisture.

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