How to make a feather stick

It’s pretty wet outdoors at the moment. Whether it’s rained or not, wood can be pretty damp and this makes it more difficult to light. It’s important to find dry tinder to light a fire quickly. One excellent way is to make a Feather Stick, by exposing the dry wood in the centre of your stick and creating fine feathers that can catch a spark easily.

It’s important to use a very sharp knife. (I recommend the Mora 860 Stainless Steel or Mora 840 Carbon Steel for an excellent, inexpensive bushcraft knife).

Remember the rule to cut away from your body and do not cut above your leg.

Good woods for making Feather Sticks are Pine, Hazel or Birch, avoid hard woods.

Split the wood in half using your knife and a thin log to hammer the blade of the knife.
How to make a feather stick - Image 1

Split the wood again so you have created four quarters.
How to make a feather stick - Image 2

One side of each piece of wood will have an angle where you split it and it’s this angle that will help you to make your fine feathers.
How to make a feather stick - Image 3

Using your sharp knife and long strokes, cut thin slithers down the corner of the angle making sure you stop before the end of your piece of wood and so your feathers stay attached. Don’t worry if some come away, they can be added to the fire later.
How to make a feather stick - Image 4

Continue with this method working up the stick and making your feathers smaller and thinner.

Light the finest feathers with your fire steel and let the flames catch the larger feathers.

Continue to add further wood and enjoy your fire.

This skill is covered on our new One Day Bushcraft Course.