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.
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
Don’t worry. This
will make more sense as we go along...
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.
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!
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.
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
Experiment with both techniques and see what works for you.
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
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
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...
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