Shit happens. You're usually ready for anything, but if you find yourself in an emergent situation and you lack tools, knowing how to start a fire will aid in your survival.In those rare occasion when you find yourself butt nekkid out in the wild without a lighter, matches, magnesium bar, ferro rod, magnifying glasses, or any other man made item, what can you do to make fire from the elements in your surrounding environment? Just because you've seen it done a few times on TV doesn't mean you know what you're doing... yet. Stay tuned!1. FRICTION[caption id="attachment_236" align="aligncenter" width="300"]
The Bow Drill Fire Method. Image courtesy of Survival.org[/caption]Friction is the classic method that most folks think of when they think of survival fires. It works well, and most people can do it. But it takes refining the technique to use it on command. I have three prefered friction methods.Option 1: BOW DRILLThis is by far the most effective method. The set up takes the longest, but it is time well spent and my # 1 recommendation for anyone doing friction fire. It also requires a lot of energy. Often, very fit people find their small muscles and fine motor skills begin to fail them under this endurance performance. This technique is great, but if you don't have string, forget it. String is critical for this technique and string that can hold up under that tension and friction, is very hard to fabricate from roots, vines and bark unless you know that skill. Hence, having good shoe laces on at all times is a powerful tool to have whenever you can. But for our discussion, those boots are with your clothes, gone.Option 2: HAND DRILLIf you have a skinny piece of wood you'll need to use the Hand Drill. The pressure is directed downward from the spindle to the fireboard. This allows the wood to create a coal without breaking. This technique is brutal on your palms and takes a lot of coordination. You must move your hands up and down on the spindle, all while maintaining the downward pressure.Option 3: FIRE PLOWIf you have a fat piece of wood, use the Fire Plow. This requires a lot less finesse, but a lot more physique. It requires a bit of cardio, but lacking any cordage, it's a good way to get a friction fire going.
2. PERCUSSION[caption id="attachment_237" align="alignnone" width="300"]
Strike These Stones Together For Some Sparks. Image courtesy of primitivearts.org[/caption]Percussion is simply striking 2 stones together to create sparks. Science suggests this is the oldest method of fire starting. This technique is difficult, and hard on the knuckles. I have sacrificed far more skin on percussion fires than I ever did in a street fight! There are man stones that will create sparks when struck against another stone. Some of the best are flint and chert. Take some time to learn the area around you, and what stones you could use.The hardest part of a percussion fire is "throwing the spark". It takes a good aim to hit the rock hard enough to get a spark, then to have the spark land where you want it. Hit the rock hard, but not hard enough to knock your tinder bundle out of the way. I suggest a gentle wrist twist that will curve the spark and land it perfectly.3. REACTION[caption id="attachment_238" align="alignnone" width="300"]
Tinder and Light Makes an Easy Fire. Image courtesy of preppertoday.com[/caption]This is the process of converting light into heat. A magnifying glass is perfect for this, but we have no tools, remember? But in true Grunt Style fashion, we will overcome. The first process is to make sure you have enough sun. If it's a cloudy day, revert back to Friction or Percussion. If the sun is right and you are in a cold place, grab the largest and clearest piece of ice you can find and forage that into your own magnifying glass. If you have no ice around you, look for a shiny stone. Shiny stones, such as obsidian, reflect a lot of light. If you direct this light at a tinder ball for a long enough period of time, you'll have a fire.BASICS & PRINCIPLESFor any of these to be successful you'll always need to keep these basics and principles in mind. Good tinder, a good tinder ball, kindling and fuel are the first step to using these fire producing methods. Key terrain and a good location also must be considered.Nature has made us the least prepared physically without any fur or claws to survive. But, we have been blessed with a few inches of mushy gray matter between our ears that gives us the power to dominate our environment. Your will to survive can see you through even the worst of situations. The Grunt Style way is to use your skills to prevail. Train hard and never quit. Being smart starts with good training. So get fit, get wit, get hard and stay hard![mwi-cat-listing cat="94" ppp="4" cols="4" desc="false" type="view" btn_color="black" ]