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Discussion Starter #1
Last evening I watched a Marine Survival Training on TV. On of the things they demonstrated was cresting fire with a bow & stick. Has anyone ever got it to work? I've tried but never got anything but a sore arm.

I can't figure what I'm doing wrong. I have no trouble with mag chips and steel or using a piece of thermite and a magnifying glass.

Any suggestions??
 

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Last evening I watched a Marine Survival Training on TV. On of the things they demonstrated was cresting fire with a bow & stick. Has anyone ever got it to work? I've tried but never got anything but a sore arm.

I can't figure what I'm doing wrong. I have no trouble with mag chips and steel or using a piece of thermite and a magnifying glass.

Any suggestions??
Why does everyone want to spend precious time and waste so much energy starting a fire :confused:

Seriously. Can someone tell me that?

Go to Harbor Freight and buy about 10 of those magnesium block fire starters. They're like $1.25 or so and they work great. Plus, they're water proof and almost indestructible. And best of all, you can start a fire from wet kindling because the magnesium burns so hot.

I'm not sure why everyone here doesn't have a bunch of em in their preps.

Check em out.

We could also use knives and bows and arrows for self defense, but wouldn't an AK or an AR be "better" ?
Get tools while you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are situations where all you might have is what's in your pockets. I carry a mag fire stick on my key ring but would most certainly like other options if the need arises.

It's better to know how and not need it than need it and not know how.
 

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Right Wing Nut Job.
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Are you talking about starting a fire with a bow drill? You want to make sure you have a soft wood for the board and a hardwood/semi hardwood for the spindle. You want to use a hardwood for the handle so you dont create a spark in the top under your hand.

I have found that if you chew up some sassafras leaves or something similar (make sure its not toxic) and put the paste in the spindle hole of the handle, it makes it WORLDs easier to control and use for an extended amount of time. Make sure you have a "birds nest" spark fuel ready. Once it gets smoking really good in the notch in the board, KEEP GOING. Smoke should be pouring out from the board. Then, when the smoke is nice and thick, stop and check for a spark. Go from there.....
 

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There are situations where all you might have is what's in your pockets. I carry a mag fire stick on my key ring but would most certainly like other options if the need arises.

It's better to know how and not need it than need it and not know how.
Well, I see your point. I guess I'm just at a point where I have to simplify. Maybe 30 years ago I would have tried it. The older you get, the more you have to streamline......and simplify.
 

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I would most certainly rather start a fire with a BIC lighter or matches or a ferro rod/steel but its good to have the skill set available to start a fire in the absence of such modern materials.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I see your point. I guess I'm just at a point where I have to simplify. Maybe 30 years ago I would have tried it. The older you get, the more you have to streamline......and simplify.
I might agree but since I'm retired now I have the time do "learn" everything I can.

I sat down one night and made a couple lists of what I wanted to learn and never had the time for and survival skills was right at the top. So was playing the violin.
 

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We use the bow drills with our scout troop as a "aw, isn't that neat" demonstration. I can't think of a time we used it for actually starting a fire.

There are a few variables that need to be addressed when tackling this, like the type of wood used (like AmmoRx mentioned), NOT using 550 cord for the string (too slippery), a notch that is just the right size to collect the "cherry", etc, etc.

Plenty of things to do wrong with that. In the end, about 60% of the boys fail with all the correct equipment. Many try again and again and after having sore arms and palms (a notched flat rock helps hold the end of the staff so you can apply downward pressure, otherwise...OUCH!) they eventually get it... and an appreciation for simpler, easier methods.

I'm not sure I could find suitable material on every campout we've been on to make a bow drill. At least a few there were definitely no hard woods present.

It's a "nice to know" skill, but I'd focus on skills that have a high first try success rate and are reproducible in just about any environment (flint/steel, char cloth, magnifying glass, etc). Add that to your bag of goodies (including weatherproof fire-starters like Vaseline/cotton balls) and you'll be well prepared.
 

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We use the bow drills with our scout troop as a "aw, isn't that neat" demonstration. I can't think of a time we used it for actually starting a fire.

There are a few variables that need to be addressed when tackling this, like the type of wood used (like AmmoRx mentioned), NOT using 550 cord for the string (too slippery), a notch that is just the right size to collect the "cherry", etc, etc.

Plenty of things to do wrong with that. In the end, about 60% of the boys fail with all the correct equipment. Many try again and again and after having sore arms and palms (a notched flat rock helps hold the end of the staff so you can apply downward pressure, otherwise...OUCH!) they eventually get it... and an appreciation for simpler, easier methods.

I'm not sure I could find suitable material on every campout we've been on to make a bow drill. At least a few there were definitely no hard woods present.

It's a "nice to know" skill, but I'd focus on skills that have a high first try success rate and are reproducible in just about any environment (flint/steel, char cloth, magnifying glass, etc). Add that to your bag of goodies (including weatherproof fire-starters like Vaseline/cotton balls) and you'll be well prepared.

THIS ^^^

The only way I could see this skill coming in handy is if you were unexpectedly dumped in the middle of the wilderness, a great distance from anyone or any structure. Even then, successfully starting a fire might depend on your having the right tools with you. Would you be without your gun and some ammo? Hope not. Use the powder from a bullet to start a fire, you could even use the primer to ignite it couldn't you?

I think the vast majority of ppl would never get a spark...but would use up valuable calories and energy in the effort.

Like your gun, and emergency rations, just be sure to never get caught without them. Including lighters or magnesium fire starters.
 
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