Friction Fire Lighting Guide

Friction fire lighting may be one of the most important bush craft skills. This is due to the fact that fire is one of the most useful resources you can have, when living with nature. Having fire means you can purify water, cook food, keep warm, dry things out, fabricate tools and much more.

How does it work?

Friction fire lighting is literally the process of rubbing two pieces of wood together, to produce friction, which in turn produces heat and subsequently, produces a glowing ember or "coal".

There are two main divisions, when talking about friction fire lighting techniques. There is the "hand-drill" method/technique and there is the "bow-drill" method/technique.

Roughly speaking, the hand-drill technique involves applying force by hand/with your hands whilst the bow-drill technique involves applying force with a bow drill.

Hand Drill Technique

This is the slightly simpler method of the two and only involves three components; the drill, the ember catcher and the hearth.

The Bow Drill Technique

This invloves a total of six components; the drill, the bow, the hearth, the bearing block, the coal collector and some cordage.

The bow drill technique is the less calorific, less energy consuming technique. However, it does require more preparation.

Pictured above - Bow Drill Spindle

Hand drill technique - This uses a narrow