Survival: Building a Fire Bow Kit
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Survival: Building a Fire Bow Kit

When a match or a lighter isn't available can you make a fire in the wild? With this brief explication on building a fire bow kit you can prepare yourself for the worst of survival situations.

Anytime one ventures out into the wilderness we are surrounded by beauty, one can often forget how hard survival can be if things turn sour. Survival situations are best never encountered; that does not mean survival skills are not needed. In many cases knowing a survival skill is not enough in the situation where they are needed most. It is for this reason that one should not only know but practice key survival skills.

No one should ever go out into the wild without something so simple as a lighter. In my own opinion multiple lighters are a necessity even in the lowest pack weight situations. I tend to hide multiple lighters in different places such that I’m never left without one. I also like to carry a magnesium stick and sparker, available at most any camping store.

All of these objects aside I carry with me great knowledge. I have the ability to make fire (embers) with objects in the wild. Though I’ve always practiced the skill with 550 parachute cord it is possible to build a fire bow with no modern world implements. The four objects in a fire bow kit include:

The Bow is a slightly curved stick about 18” or so in length. About 1” from each end notch the wood to hold the bow string. Once notched and strung with cordage the bow should have a bit of give yet otherwise be stiff rather than flexible.

The hand socket is to be held in your off hand during the process. This piece needs a simple hole to balance the spindle.

The spindle is wound into the bow string and spun with each stroke of the bow. The spindle is best about as thick as your thumb, with each end carved into a point.

The base board is more or less a flat rectangle about an inch thick and and three times as long as wide. This part will be below your off foot and be the base balancing the spindle. After carving a hole similar to the spindles put a notch in it to allow the heated wood dust to drop out.

Before starting a fire it is important to respect fire as it eats without abandon. It is also important to prepare ones fuel before hand understanding that a new fire needs nurturing like a newborn being. To begin, place your off foot on the base board. Spin the spindle into the bow string; when the spindle is steadied the bow end should be raised away from you. Brace one end of the spindle into the base board and hold the other end with your offhand holding the socket. Pressing down with the socket push out with the bow and draw it back.

This process will be repeated, understand that it is never easy and will take time and patience. There is a delicate balance of pressure and speed to produce the perfect black fluffy wood shavings. The end aim of the process is to produce smoking embers which continue to smoke beyond you moving the bow/spindle mechanism.

At this point you can begin the process of starting a fire by ember. Starting any fire is a skill and can only be made more difficult with the elements and the fatigue of a long hike. Practicing the above skill will only simplify this process in the situations you may need it.

I've spent a good bit of time working on my own fire bow kit.  I've gathered the information of years or experience; my picture is from a survival site I've used before many trips.  The site I used on my most recent construction.  Though I thank them, I've learnt these skills for use in the wild where I will not have interenet access to check my thoughts.  Be safe and thanks for reading. 

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Comments (1)

Pretty cool!