FireFire is so much more than a source of heat or a means to cook food. Sitting around a roaring fire is associated with so many things eg. family, community, celebration. But in terms of survival and longer term bushcrafting, fire is essential.

Being wet and cold on a black, waning moon night could have been a miserable experience for a first time bushcrafter. Knowing how to get a fire going without matches, lighters and other kinds of modern paraphernalia can be the difference between life and death.

Fire needs three things; oxygen, heat and fuel. Oxygen is present in the air and readily available when starting a fire, fuel is the tinder, kindling and wood and the heat – well, that’s up to us.

FIRE BY FRICTION

Friction produces heat and using the right type of woods this heat can be contained in a small glow of smouldering wood dust. Transferring this to a tinder bundle and gently manipulating the oxygen supply (blowing on it) creates the flames to get your fire going.

It is easier said than done but bushcrafting is an art and all arts must be practised. Knowing which woods to use makes the job easier, so does being in an area of lower humidity. But even these are nothing to consistent, focused work.

There are a variety of methods that can be employed for creating fire by friction. Fire saw, plow or bow drill are the most commonly taught in bushcrafting schools around the UK but they are all based on this principle.

If you want to discover how to light a fire by friction, join us in the woods for our next course.

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