How do you start your fires?

roger-uk

Settler
Nov 21, 2009
603
0
long Eaton
Flint steel and char cloth if I've got plenty of time.
Ferro rod with cotton wool pads and vaseline if I need a fire
Urgent fire then hexi blocks an dturbo lighter
All carried in my fire pouch with Birch bark, fatwood and cramp balls

We are lucky all our local Scout Camps are teeming with birch trees.
 

ocean1975

Full Member
Jan 10, 2009
656
47
rochester, kent
Hello Pauljim116
I am no where near an expert but i'm able to light fires with ferro rod,flint n steal and the bow drill.
I have tried the hand drill with no success as yet but i will get it.
With a bit more practice and a bit of tweaking of my set up.
As your not to far away from me, i would be willing to show you what i have learnt.
Here's a couple of videos of flint/steel and the bow-drill i have done hope it helps. Click on pictures
I am working on getting permission at the moment for a small meet in our area,fingers crossed.
Here is my hand drill set up.
 
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ged

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Every day I light at least three or four fires, mostly in a wood-burner. I have every different kind of firelighting equipment and skill, but I usually use a lighter. I think I have a dozen or so different lighters but the ones I use most are the turboflame style. Note that they are mostly NOT the Turboflame brand, because they suck, big-time, at anything less than about 15 degrees Celsius. Yesterday for amusement only I tried my Turboflame brand lighter (it's my third, and they were all as bad as each other) when it was about ten degrees and couldn't get it to light at all. My cheap Chinese DX-supplied lighter lit first time.
 

widu13

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 9, 2008
2,335
17
Ubique Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt
I can walk to the shops or if time is short run there, but I usually take the car. I can light my home with candles and pressure lanterns but use the electric lights. I can use alternative firelighting methods but most of the time use a lighter. Often use a ferro rod with cotton wool, which is cheating just as much as using a lighter!
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
66
south wales
Cotton wool/Vaseline at one time but these days use a fire lighter block (type you light your log burner at home with) and a bic lighter or a squirt of paraffin and bic lighter.
 

lannyman8

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 18, 2009
4,005
2
Dark side of the Moon
depends how wet it is, if its wet then a fire steel and natural tinder i collect allong my way, if its dryer then bow drill with natural tinders, i like dead grass for blowing into flame, i add some pine needles or small wood chips to exstend the coal when i can....

im also working on my hand drill, still not got a coal yet though, but i have to implement some changes to my board and drill, then it should be all good...:)

regards.

chris.
 

wildranger

Need to contact Admin...
Oct 29, 2011
112
0
Ireland
Lately I've been starting most of my fires with the hand drill - I use a 6-10 inch drill and use the floating technique for all my coals. My success rate is fairly high, especially in my shed where I virtually always succeed on the first try, but when you're in a damp forest after it has been raining for 2 days, the humidity levels make it a lot more difficult. It'll be a while yet before I feel that my hand drill set is as reliable as a firesteel, so for now I always bring my firesteel as a back-up! I don't bother with the bow-drill much anymore because it's not how our ancestors would have lit their fires, it has too many parts to carry and it's starting to deviate from the whole idea of simplicity that bushcraft is supposed to be about!
 

_scorpio_

Need to contact Admin...
Dec 22, 2009
947
0
east sussex UK
when i get the chance, its flint, steel and char-cloth, especially as most of the outdoor fires i am lighting at the moment are while doing dark ages re-enactment at shows.
other than that the fire i light 5 days a week to heat the Workshop (cold Mechanics don't work properly) is started with (eek) diesel and a lighter and runs on waste oil. So not very bushcrafty.
 

persistent king

Settler
May 23, 2010
569
0
wigan
If i use my flint and steel i use cotton wool with vasaline rubbed into it , or i will light tindercard or mayer wood with a lighter :)
 

ocean1975

Full Member
Jan 10, 2009
656
47
rochester, kent
Lately I've been starting most of my fires with the hand drill - I use a 6-10 inch drill and use the floating technique for all my coals. My success rate is fairly high, especially in my shed where I virtually always succeed on the first try, but when you're in a damp forest after it has been raining for 2 days, the humidity levels make it a lot more difficult. It'll be a while yet before I feel that my hand drill set is as reliable as a firesteel, so for now I always bring my firesteel as a back-up! I don't bother with the bow-drill much anymore because it's not how our ancestors would have lit their fires, it has too many parts to carry and it's starting to deviate from the whole idea of simplicity that bushcraft is supposed to be about!
Hi ,
any chance you could show a video of your hand drill technique for us to learn from.
Cheers Andy
 

NikolaTesla

New Member
Jan 26, 2012
213
0
Uk
If I feel like it and it's not hammering down with rain bow drill, I use flint and steel alot, but sometime just my turboflame.
 

The Big Lebowski

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 11, 2010
2,320
3
Sunny Wales!
I don't bother with the bow-drill much anymore because it's not how our ancestors would have lit their fires, it has too many parts to carry and it's starting to deviate from the whole idea of simplicity that bushcraft is supposed to be about!

I'm sure somebody on here told me that spindles and hearth boards turned up in Scotland several thousand years ago... :)

The bow drill appeared in Mehrgarh between the 4th and 5th millennium BCE or the bow-drill was invented in the upper Paleolithic period, which broadly dates to between 49,257 & 14,117 years ago. Give or take...

~From Wikipedia.
 
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Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,064
167
56
Gloucestershire
First choice is a firesteel and the back of my knife onto that waxed card stuff or cotton wool 'n' vaseline. After that, I do love using flint and steel with charcloth or amadou; if time is short or I'm tired and the light is fading, then it's a good ol' lighter, I'm afraid. I sometimes use bow drill but, by and large, that's for demonstration purposes only. Another one that always surprises me by its regular success, even in this country, is solar with one of those polished dish things.
 

Stringmaker

Native
Sep 6, 2010
1,891
1
UK
I'm sure somebody on here told me that spindles and hearth boards turned up in Scotland several thousand years ago... :)

The bow drill appeared in Mehrgarh between the 4th and 5th millennium BCE or the bow-drill was invented in the upper Paleolithic period, which broadly dates to between 49,257 & 14,117 years ago. Give or take...

~From Wikipedia.

Exactly.

The methods evolved to suit the climate and the materials. Bow drills are suited to Northern temperate climates where hand drilling evolved in arid climates. Both have been in use for thousands of years.
 

superc0ntra

Nomad
Sep 15, 2008
333
3
Sweden
My first choice is firesteel since it's always in my pocket if I don't have any good tinder for sparks I use matches. I'm not really a fan of lighters, not for any particular reason except personal taste.
 

Chiseller

Bushcrafter through and through
Oct 5, 2011
6,176
1
West Riding
Small tube of birch bark, stuffed with dried hymilan balsam stem bark and flint n steel or stuffed with florists sisal ;) if daylight is plentyful, practising fuzz sticks
 

pauljm116

Native
May 6, 2011
1,457
5
Rainham, Kent
Its nice to see most people use more traditional ways to light fires. Im feeling a bit ashamed that I do it the lazy way. Will have to get practicing. :)
 
I'm sure somebody on here told me that spindles and hearth boards turned up in Scotland several thousand years ago... :)

The bow drill appeared in Mehrgarh between the 4th and 5th millennium BCE or the bow-drill was invented in the upper Paleolithic period, which broadly dates to between 49,257 & 14,117 years ago. Give or take...

~From Wikipedia.


But this wasn't as a firemaking tool, this was as a drilling tool..firemaking using bow drill was much later.