How to Make a Fire from Sticks

Why should you learn how to make a fire from sticks?

Because it’s your birthright, that's why! It’s been coded into your DNA.

You are the descendant of fire makers who used this specific method to pull humans out of the wilderness and into a position of dominance over the animal kingdom.

Sure, it would be easier to use a lighter. But if you’re looking for easy, you might as well stay at home and turn the nob on your stove!

Besides, what if you're lost in the wilderness, and you accidentally left your favorite zippo in your other corduroy pants? Are you just gonna sit there and freeze to death?

No way! Not if you know how to make a fire from sticks!

Fire-making is an art form. It’s the most basic survival skill you can have, and it brings you in touch with nature.

Learn his method. It could save your life someday.

How to Make a Fire from Sticks: The Plan

 We’re going to rub two pieces of wood together hard and fast in order to produce heat. All that heat will cause hot, black dust to fall off from the wood and into a tiny pile.

Your pile of hot dust will naturally transform itself into a piece of coal. Just place that coal into couple handfuls of tinder, blow on it, and you’ve got yourself a fire (as well as the respect of cave ladies everywhere)!

Don’t worry. This will make more sense as we go along...

How to Make a Fire from Sticks: The Equipment

Drill Stick

This is just a long, dry stick you use to spin onto a piece of wood to generate heat.

It should be as long as your arm from your elbow to your fingertips. The straighter it is, the better.

It needs to be smooth enough so it doesn’t chew up your hands. You can use a knife to carve away any nubs and burs.

As far as width goes, about the thickness of your pinky should do well. You could go thicker, but it won’t spin as fast and you’ll have to work harder.

Base Board

This is the flat piece of wood you’re going to drill with your stick.

It should be about half an inch thick. Any thinner and you might drill through it too easily; any thicker and it’ll be harder to create the dust we need.

Also, it helps to have a board long enough that you can step on one side of it while working. You need that board to stay still while you drill!

Coal Catcher

This is any small, somewhat flat object you can use as a plate to catch your coal. Any small, flat piece of wood works well.

How to Make a Fire from Sticks: Your Spin Technique

 Before we begin, we need to understand what good spin technique is.

The rule is this: the more rotations you can generate, the better. The more downward pressure (friction) you can generate, the better.

So, should you roll the stick back and forth across the entire length of your palms and fingers, or just your palms?

If you just use your palms you’ll produce more friction, because your palms can grip the stick better and push it down harder. But you’ll be “short stroking” it, creating just a few rotations in one direction before spinning it the other way.

On the other hand, if you roll it across your fingers as well as your palms, you’ll get a longer stroke which means more rotations in each direction. But your fingers don’t produce as much downward pressure, and they get tired easier.

Experiment with both techniques and see what works for you.

How to Make a Fire from Sticks: The Method

 1. Clear some ground. 

Get rid of any dead leaves, grass, and anything that burns. It’s also a good idea to make a circle of rocks, in order to contain your fire.

 2. Have you’re fuel ready: tinder, kindling sticks, and logs

Tinder: The dead leaves and grass you cleared away work well for this. You could also use clumps of paper, strips of cardboard, lint from the dryer, and anything else that burns easily.

Kindling: These are dry sticks of various diameters. Remember to keep your sticks in separate piles according to thickness!

The idea is this: Once your tinder ignites, you’ll need to feed it with handfuls of progressively thicker and thicker sticks to grow your fire. First, as thick as a match stick. Then, as thick as a pencil. Then as thick as a finger.

Logs: Once you get your fire really going, throw some logs on it so it can burn for a long time without you having to constantly feed it.

3. Prepare Your Baseboard

Take a knife and cut a small, circular depression into it close to the edge. This depression is to hold your drill in place as you spin it, so make it slightly larger than the width of your stick.

Now use your knife to carve a V shaped wedge from the outer edge of the board into the circle.

The idea is that you drill into the depression to produce hot, black dust. The dust falls through the wedge and onto a small plate, where it becomes a coal.

 4. Get Spinning!

Put your coal catcher under the wedge-shaped hole you cutout. Step on your baseboard to keep it from moving, and start spinning!

As you spin your stick, start with your hands at the stop of the stick and work your way down. Once you get too low to spin comfortably, quickly bring your hands back to the top of the stick and begin again. You have to be quick so the board never gets a chance to cool down!

Soon, you’ll see smoke being generated. That’s great! It means you’re beginning to produce that hot, black dust we need!

If you prepared your board right, the dust should be falling through the wedge and onto the plate below.

Once you see smoke rising on its own, even when you’re not spinning, it means your coal has formed. Carefully pick up the plate, and dump that beautiful piece of coal onto your tinder!

5. Don't rush!

At this point, most people get so excited they try to get their coal into the tinder as fast as possible, before it cools off!

Don't worry. The coal you just created will burn for several minutes on it's own. There's no need to rush. Take your time and carefully place it into your tinder.

(Dropping your coal on the ground because you couldn't contain your excitement is NOT how to make a fire from sticks.)

 6. Blow on the coal.

Blowing on it feeds it oxygen, which makes it hotter and more likely to ignite your tinder. Give that little coal some oxygen!!! That's how to make a fire from sticks!

 7. Once the tinder ignites, feed the flames with your thinnest kindling sticks. Then add thicker and thicker sticks until your flame is big enough to ignite your logs.

 8. Place some logs on your fire.

 Now stand up and roar!

You have mastered the art of fire making! You are now an honorary caveman, and that puts you several notches above all of the overfed, soft living, technology dependent weaklings who dare call themselves your peers!

Not many people know how to make a fire from sticks these days, but now you do. Use this power wisely, my friend.

And try not to start any forest fires.

(For more tips on how to build a campfire without burning your wang off, click here.)

Did You Know?

The ancient Caananite god of child sacrifice was Moloch. Sicko's would toss their own children into the fire surrounding Moloch's statue to appease him.

Is it possible that a small group of people today, perhaps the very people responsible for starting wars that profitably kill millions of children, still worship Moloch?

Of course not. That would be crazy...

Stay alive.



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