Field Expedient Fire Starting Techniques for Bushcrafting and Survival

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Bushcraft Survival - Fire Starting Techniques

Fire has several uses. Everyone should know how to start one, even though it is an essential survival skill, most do not know how to start a fire. Fire will provide warmth, water sanitation, and food preparation in addition to a means of defense.

Friction based fire making is not for the faint of heart. It’s probably the most difficult of all the non-match based methods. There are different techniques you can use to make a fire with friction, but the most important aspect is the type of wood you use for the fire board and spindle.


Hand Drill Fire

Build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be used to create the flame you get from the spark you’re about to create. Make a tinder nest out of anything that catches fire easily, like dry grass, leaves, and bark.

Make your notch. Cut a v-shaped notch into your fire board and make a small depression adjacent to it.

Place bark underneath the notch. The wood will be used to catch an ember from the friction between the spindle and fireboard.

Start spinning. Place the spindle into the depression on your fire board. Your spindle should be about 2 feet long for this to work properly. Maintain pressure on the board and start rolling the spindle between your hands, running them quickly down the spindle. Keep doing this until an ember is formed on the board.


Fire Plough

Prepare your fireboard. Cut a groove in the fireboard. This will be your track for the spindle.

Rub vigorously and take the tip of your spindle and place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove.

Start the fire by having your tinder nest at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once you catch one, blow the nest gently and get that fire going.


Flint Based Fire

It’s always a good idea to carry around a good flint and steel set with you on a camping trip.

If you’re caught without a flint and steel set, you can always improvise by using quartzite and the steel blade of your pocket knife. You most likely do not have any char, so a piece of fungus or birch will do.

Grip the rock and birch/fungus. Take hold of the piece of rock between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure an edge is hanging off a couple inches. Grasp the char between your thumb and the flint.

Strike the flint hard. Grab the back of the steel striker or use the back of your blade. Strike the steel against the flint several times. Sparks from the steel will fly off and land on birch/fungus.

Start the fire by folding your birch/fungus into the tinder nest and gently blow on it to start a flame.


Battery / Steel Wool Fire

Stretch out the Steel Wool. You want it to be around 6 inches wide.

Rub the battery on the steel wool. Hold the steel wool in one hand and the battery in the other. Any battery will do. Rub the side of the battery with the contacts on the wool. The wool will begin to burn. Gently blow on it to create the fire.

Transfer the burning wool to your tinder nest. The wool’s flame will go out quickly, so don’t waste any time.


Build a Lean To

Access whether or not your situation requires shelter by gauging the weather and any other human based factors. Search for a healthy tree that has a low sturdy branch that is approximately six feet above the ground.

Gather materials to build your shelter. The materials needed for a shelter include; branches, small pine branches and leaves, relatively dry branches that are easy to remove. Avoid using excessively dried out materials for safety reasons.

Build the walls by leaning the longer branches against both sides of the sturdy branch of your tree, thus forming a tent structure. Place one branch after the other, tightly placed in order by pushing the bottom of the branch into the ground.

Place the pine branches and miscellaneous foliage on the outside of your Lean To. Then, place larger branches on top of the foliage to create a relatively sealed roof.

After everything is in place you can use paracord or vines to fasten the tops of the branches to one another. This is not necessary but will offer better protection during poor weather conditions.

When possible, improvise on this design by elevating your bed a foot off the ground to avoid unsavory animals poking around. Pad your bed with loose foliage and etc.


Note: you should practice these fire starting skills before the SHTF. In the event these skills are not memorized post-disaster, a hard-copy of these techniques is available for in the CMF Survival Manual 0313

 

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About Administrator Ryan

Administrator Ryan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Administration and Management from the University of Kentucky, and has been the primary handler for usCrow.org since it's founding. Professional background includes over a decade's experience in survival and preparedness, graphic design, computer programming, website coding, and asset management. Personal background in mountaineering, climbing, rappelling, combat training, and big game hunting.

6 thoughts on “Field Expedient Fire Starting Techniques for Bushcrafting and Survival

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  3. SO you have a fire, in your picture there is no wood to keep the fire going. Logs and heavy sticks are needed Where are they? Is it just to get a fire and nothing else? Building a fire is several stages where are the bigger logs to make hot coals to cook on??????

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