The ability to light a fire by friction is one of the fundamental skills of bushcraft. It is a skill which our ancestors perfected over millennia, before, sadly, losing these skills in the face of industrialization. Mastering this skill though can give you a huge degree of freedom. Once you are truly comfortable with bushcraft, you will be able to go into the woods with nothing other than what you are wearing, and live comfortably. As we like to say here at Wildway Bushcraft, it’s about more than ‘just survival’.
Read on to learn more about the origins of friction fire-lighting, what you can learn on our weekend bushcraft course, how to perfect your technique, and how we can help you.
Origins of friction fire-lighting
Friction fire-lighting is a skill that has been around as long as humans. There is even evidence of fire being used by Homo Erectus around one million years ago. The fact that our ancestors were able to light fires and, importantly, replicate this technique whenever they were called upon to do so, ensured the survival of our species. There is a range of academic theories that believe fire lighting began with exploiting natural fires, such as lightning strikes. This then evolved into our ability to transport embers, then, eventually master the art of friction fire lighting.
Friction fire-lighting on our weekend course
Our weekend bushcraft course, held in beautiful woodland on the Dorset/Hampshire border, introduces you to the basics of friction fire-lighting. If you already have a degree of knowledge around friction fire-lighting, then our instructors are willing to work with you to help you to develop your skills further.
Introduction to bow-drill
On our Weekend Bushcraft Course, we will introduce you to the basics of bow-drill techniques. Having shown you how to use a knife in a way that enables you to make the cuts needed to construct a bow-drill. From there, we will show you how you can use your bow-drill to hopefully get an ember. If you’ve never heard of a bow-drill before, have a look at our blog on perfecting your bow drill technique.
Develop your technique further
Our courses are very flexible. As we’ve said, if you have a basic level of understanding, then we are willing to work with you to help you to get the most out of our sessions. If you would like a specialist fire lighting session then book on to our one day friction fire lighting course.
Let us help you!
Have a go at making your own bow drill and practice your technique at home. Upload photos to our Facebook group here and let us know how well you are getting on with your bow drill. We will try our best to help you from a distance!