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Traditional firestarting methods

Codger_64

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This past week we have had some excellent posts on using the fire bow by aaronjayl and Rescue Mike. So I thought I'd add a list of the more well known methods we have discussed in the past.

1. Fire bow and drill - Materials are easily obtainable in most environments, though the preparations of the components do take some time. It seems to me to be one of the easiest mastered methods. The hand drill is a variant of this. I've never tried it, but have seen it demonstrated.
http://www.wwmag.net/handrill.htm

2. Fire piston - Another easily mastered method, construction of a working piston in a survival situation would be possible, but difficult and time consuming due to the close tolerences required in order to get sufficient compression for ignition. Burma and Borneo are cited as examples of the origin of this one.
http://www.onagocag.com/piston.html

3. Flint and steel - This method is easily mastered if the materials are at hand. A lot of indiginous rocks will function as a flint (best "nodes" of true flint come from Europe and the British Isles). This works great if you have access to iron. It can be done with just the rocks, but it is a lot harder to do.

4. Fire plow - This is a method seldom mentioned here. It can be daunting, but is doable after some practice. Here is an illustrated article from Wilderness Way Magazine:
http://www.wwmag.net/fireplow.htm

5. Fire cord - Never seen this mentioned here. A vine, rope, or cord is rapidly drawn through a notch in wood.
http://www.primitiveways.com/fire.html

6. Magnifying glass - This one isn't ancient, I dont think, since it is dependent upon having a ground glass lens. I've heard of it done using formed clear ice, but I dunno about that. I am reminded of a movie, "The Gods must be crazy", where a coke bottle thrown from a passing airplane starts a fire from the sun.

What am I missing guys? I tried to leave out chemicals, batteries, Zippos, mag blocks, matches, bics, etc. Those all require modern manufactured materials.

Codger
 
This past week we have had some excellent posts on using the fire bow by aaronjayl and Rescue Mike. So I thought I'd add a list of the more well known methods we have discussed in the past.

2. Fire piston - Another easily mastered method, construction of a working piston in a survival situation would be possible, but difficult and time consuming due to the close tolerences required in order to get sufficient compression for ignition. Burma and Borneo are cited as examples of the origin of this one.
http://www.onagocag.com/piston.html

Codger

Here is a site where you can purchase fire pistons.. Buy them pre-made or or make your own from a kit.

http://www.survivalschool.com/products/fire_starting/Fire_Pistons.htm

I am in NO WAY affiliated with this website, or their company. It's a company I have purchased things from in the past and had a good experience, so I pass it on..
 
Here is a site where you can purchase fire pistons.. Buy them pre-made or or make your own from a kit.

http://www.survivalschool.com/products/fire_starting/Fire_Pistons.htm

I am in NO WAY affiliated with this website, or their company. It's a company I have purchased things from in the past and had a good experience, so I pass it on..

I was wanting to take a course through him but never got around to it.

Back to the pistons, those suckers sure are 'spensive ($45-$115). I like my $3 spark tool better.
 
Fire Pistons are finnicky from what I hear, if constructed correctly, can generate the heat needed, if not, you can pump them all day.
Also, the type of tinder placed in them is critical.

I did see a write up to build your own....
The key is creating compression.
A good start is a piece of automotive brake line, or small peice of copper tubing, like the kind used to supply a refrigerator ice maker.

Then select a good piston, cut notches in it near the end, and place 2 o-rings so that it seals against the metal tubing you are using. If you want to go "natural", drill a hole in your wood, must be hard wood, and use leather as the seals.
The seals are the key.
Sealed properly, when you pump it, no air leaks backward. You are comrpessing the air inside to make the heat, if there is an air leak, it will drag the effect down.

I am going to get around to making a Pump drill, one day.
They appear to be the most effortless means, of course, once you get past "the build".
 
Fire saw... and pump drill...And Codger, for fire by ice...

Doc

Doh! Yes, I forgot the fire saw...like a blending of the fire thong and fire plow, and the pump drill is a variation of the bow drill. As for the fire by ice.....at lattitude 35.58, that might be useful once a year here. But I do realize that our members are world wide, so perhaps those instructions will be helpful for those cra...er...creative and adaptable enough to live to the North of me (brrrr!) :D

Codger
 
hey, what about pop can with chocolate?, you kno rubbing the bottom of a can with the chocolate to make it shiney, the reflecting the light, I dont remember where but theres a site that talks about that and using the ice method.
 
Greetings all

I work at an historical experimental center in Denmark

One of my functions is to show and teach people in the use of a fire drill
Here is a link that tells about the method in english.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/natu...uary/A_Home_In_the_Wilderness__Part_III__Fire

As this link shows (at the enlarge picture part) it's quite simple, hehe

Trust me it's hard work...I've been working there for 6 years and it took me 1 year to learn. But now my record is 28 secs from scratch.

It is doable with the method despribed in the link but what I do besides what they explain is I use a mushroom (not sure what the english word is for it)
It grows on old wooden logs and can be quite big. They are round and quite damp when you pick em.
Cut the mushroom in 2 pieces and boil up a pot big enough with water to cover the piece. Mix the water with ashes that you have grinded out into fine powder and fill it into the water....I use 3 coffea mugs for measure of the ashes.
The ashes will place itself inside the spores of the mushroom and keep them wide when it dries out.
The mushroom contains of 2 parts. A flimsy soft top part that when dried is perfect for flint and steel, and the spore part with small long thin holes in it (thats where the ashes will fill up)
Let it boil for half an hour and then take it out and let it dry until it's completly dried out. This can take up to 6 month (cut it fist size pieces for short drying period)
I know all this is only usefull if you allready made fire the first time, but it will safe you for alot of trouble further on. :)
When the mushroom is dried, you use the spores when you have the first ember and then breath, (don't blow as you will blow away the wooddust you've made which is the part the ember is living on) over to the spores on the mushroom. After a few seconds you have a huge ember, then you're in busniess.

Well I hope it's usefull and forgive my spelling ;)

DaCount
 
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