There were a lot of ways to start a fire before the invention of matchsticks and lighters, people lit fires and they did it with a couple of sticks and some tinder and they were able to do it using friction. But making a fire is a lot more than just rubbing two sticks together, you have to get all the components right.
This is a skill that most Campers, hikers, and survivalist should have as it will be helpful. Also in a situation where there is a disaster and it becomes difficult to light a fire the usual way, knowing how to do it with sticks will be really helpful.
The first step to starting a fire is to gather all your materials. you need to get your tinder, kindling and some sticks to feed the fire, ensure that the materials are dry and ready for use and you start practicing how to start a fire with sticks.
But you can’t use just any kind of wood to make the fire as you might be rubbing the sticks for a while and will not even get smoke talk less of starting a fire. This happens when hardwood is used, softwood is the best to be used especially with the base. Softwood like aspen, willow, cottonwood, and juniper are preferable.
Materials needed to start a fire with sticks
You will need the following materials to begin.
- A dry straight stick to make your spindle – The spindle length should be between eight to sixteen inches. One end of the spindle should be carved into a sharp point while the other end should be a little blunt. This one of the most important parts of the materials needed to make the fire.
- A dry flat wood for the fire board – This should be made out of dead, dry, wood and the thickness should be between an inch to a quarter of an inch
- Dry tinder – This is the dry material that catches the hot ember and lets the flame grow
- Some kindling
- A couple of dry sticks
You must ensure that when picking wood, you must ensure that it is thoroughly dry and does not have any kind of moisture. You can purchase the materials you need but it is better to learn how to make it all by yourself as it will be an addition to your survival skills.
There are also various kinds of tinder that can be used and listed below are some of the best ones that can be used.
– Dried dandelion fluff
– The outer bark of large tree trunks
– Fine dry grass
– Cattail fluff
– Cedar bark shavings and birch bark shavings
– Or you can make your own with cotton balls coated in Vaseline
Best three methods to learn how to start a fire with a stick
Hand Drill Method
You need a long, strong stick sharpened to a point which can be called a spindle and a flat piece of wood called the fireboard, you set the sharp end of the stick into the notch on the fire board and place your hands on both sides of the stick, with your palms flat and rub your hands together which in turn will twirl the stick.
Fire Bow Method
Fire Plow Method
This method involves moving back and forth instead of the rotational movement the hand drill method needs. To create the fire plow, a flat piece of wood is needed and you should create a channel into it with a knife.
It is this opening that you place the tip of your stick and then moves back and forth while putting pressure. This movement creates friction that finally creates the hot ember needed for the fire. You tinder should be placed at the end of the wood so the hot ember can be moved easily.
How to safely put out a fire - SAFETY FIRST
As much as you want to learn how to start a fire with sticks, which is the unconventional way, without using matches or a lighter, you should also remember that safety is very important and you should have some water, sand or a fire blanket nearby to extinguish it should it get out of hand.
Your body also has to be aligned the right way in order to put enough pressure on the stick. Your body should be directly over the spindle which in turn will put the necessary pressure needed to create the fire
Also when you put out a fire, you should make sure that the fire has gone out completely and will not restart again. One way to do that is to wait for the hissing sound you hear once you pour water on a fire, once it stops and then you can be sure that the fire has been properly extinguished.
Another way is to wait for some minutes before leaving, if you aren’t careful, the fire may restart again and get out of hand. You can also take it a step further by pouring dirt on the fire once you have put it out.
Learning how to make a fire this way takes a lot of practice before the skill is perfected, you might not get it right the first couple of times but keep practicing and don’t give up.
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