On Discovering Self

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On Getting That First Bow Drill Fire

   It is always good to share in your friends triumphs and for my pal and fellow brother in bushcraft Sticker, this is no exception.
   On our last Saturday's outing together, I encouraged him to try his hand again at getting a bow drill friction fire. He thought about it for a bit and with just a slight reluctance in his voice he said, "Sure, let's give it a try."
   Now I have to say on the onset that we were both looking to redeem ourselves after our last attempt together at friction fire, when we visited the Richard J. Doerer Memorial State Forest a few weeks ago, (see my earlier posting on the part II of that adventure).
   I got out all the necessary components for making the hearth and spindle set and Sticker set to work making a burn in divot and then carving his notch.
   We went over the mechanics of how to work the bow and also his body mechanics and finally settled on a longer spindle and a better hearth board. The whole time, I was so involved with helping him thru it, that I did not even get the video camera out of my pocket.
   It wasn't long though before he had a good pile of dust and that it began to cherry up and soon he was able to get the ember into some jute twine tinder and bring it to flame. His first ever bow drill fire and we had not gotten a single second on video.
   I know though that it wasn't as important as the experience and that he will always have that in his mind and muscles, but I was certain that if he could do it again and we could catch it all on camera, it would be just as sweet.
   So he set to work again, getting his spindle tension just right, working on his body mechanics, finding his rhythm, and slowly building up to speed while I diligently got it all on video. He had a couple false starts as the bow string was a bit loose, but have some minor adjustments and switching up the bow he was using, he was well on his way to his second "flame on."
   Here is the video of that second attempt, along with a few of the other things that we were able to do on that day and I hope you will enjoy the story of how my friend Sticker entered a whole new realm of bushcraft with his first of many more friction fires.

   Like I said, sharing in the joys of your friends triumphs is always a good thing. It sure boosted our morale for the day, and he can add one more method of making fire to his skill set. I am sure we will be playing with this now for the rest of the summer.
   If any of you my friends also know Sticker, be sure to give him a hearty "Congrats" on a new milestone for him in bushcraft. Just wanted to share the adventure. Until next time, Happy Exploring.

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