Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making fire without tools?

Whew…what a weekend. And what a busy time it’s been after the first of the year!
All in all, the annual "Freeze your balls off run" was a success. There were a few key people who couldn’t make it, but overall we had a relaxed weekend. I managed to break both of my rear taillight assemblies (backing out of our camping spot?!?), but it was otherwise damage free.

I left you with the notion that you could create fire with no tools or source of fire. Impossible some might say. It can be done. Follow along as I document the method while Baby D photographs.

First off, bust out them Hoover Flags and represent!

If you pick down to the very bottom corners, you'll find lint. This stuff is almost always dry, burns hot and fast, and makes a great fire starter.

The method is a fire bow. You'll need two dead sticks, preferable hard wood, not pine, to make your base. You'll need one more to use as your spindle. Pine is too sappy and you'll just end up polishing the wood, instead of grinding and creating saw dust. Also try to find sticks that are dry, yet not rotton or the least bit moist...this is most time consuming. For your bow, What type of wood you use dosn't matter, you just want it to be alive and springy!

Now get your shoe laces out. One will be used to make the bow with, the other to hold your base together.

Always stay alert and prepaired, you might have to entertain the local wildlife.

After you lash your base together, start creating your bow. It needs enough tension to hold the spindle, but not so much that it binds. I've found the easiest way to adjust tension is by using an inline slip knot. I wrap the excess around my strong hand and control the tension by leting a little slack into the line.

Next you'll need your spindle. The tip needs to be like a point, and some shaping may be needed to encourage as much surface contact as posible. For those of you not familiar with the firebow method, the object is to grind the spindle into the base using the bow as an instrument to spin the spindle. The bow is much more efficient that using your hands, and in turn, will create a glowing ember much faster.

The goal is to grind away, until you see dust. This saw dust will fall down to the bottom of the notch, and along with the intense heat will create a small ember. directly underneath is where you put that precious comodity you didn't even know you had...pocket lint.

To hold the top of the spindle, I found a rock with an indentation, the same one I used to shape the spindle and gouge out a notch in the base with. Yet when I acutally started to get a rhythm going, it would get wobbily. I ended up using a screw on cap for soda bottle i found laying nearby. It fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. being resourceful, as should you.

Your set up, stance, and posture should similar to this. Now get to it, don't be overbearing on the spindle either. It'll just jam up. The trick is to be relaxed and let your tools do the work. It'll take some time to get the union matched up between the base and spindle, so be patient and work steadily, yet slowly.

When you start seeing smoke, don't get all excited and quit. Your just getting started. You need to grind until all that smoking sawdust starts to collect on it'self and create that so desired little ember!

Once you see the ember drop onto the lint, protect it. You don't need to get face down and start huffing on it just jet. Add some crumbs of dead leaves first, let it build. Once you've got a small little smolder going, pick it up in some dry, very small tender, and lightly breath into it while it's cupped between your hands.

This can be a long process, but once you've done it once, the feeling of satisfaction is like none other. really feels that good

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