Bowdrill success


Les Stroud
May 13, 2015
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I finally made the time to try my hand at friction fire via bow-drill. Happy to say I have produced three fires but certainly not without some frustration and failures!

Some notes from my experiences so far:
- I used xanthorrhoea/grass tree for drill and hearth board. The hearth had a decent twist in it which made things less than ideal but still produced a result. I'll keep my eye out for a nice straight piece next time.
- Had success with both paracord and hootchie cord for the bow string. The hootchie cord did snap in once instance but it was partially frayed.
- I used a shotglass for the bearing block and also an oyster shell (this warmed up towards the end).
- Getting an ember is only half the battle.
- Not all paperbark can be considered equal, I had collected some nearby that was damp which made it much more challenging. Will have to collect and save nice tinder when the opportunities arise / develop that "next fire" mentality.
- You don't need to go bush to practice skills. Whilst other commitments often take priority out of work hours you can still get your fix by integrating learning/skills with other activities. I know my wife and kids enjoyed having pancakes for dinner as a special weekend treat :)