Building Fire

The first major discovery that led mankind to the point that it is at today was the discovery of fire. It has helped kill parasites and bacteria, keep predators away and has even been used as a weapon by all of the armies that have ever existed. It could also save your life in a survival situation.

Building a fire is not just essential because it gives you a strong sense of accomplishment to make one without a lighter, but can also be use to boil water, cook food and keep predatory animals away from you.

Most people already know how to build a fire, and if you have come across this site, I am going to assume that you do as well. For those of you who don’t know the basics of building a campfire, here it is.

  1. Gather wood before you start igniting the fire.
  2. Place the firewood in a way that air can get underneath them, like a tee pee.
  3. Make sure that you are building your campfire in a place that is not going to catch anything else on fire.
  4. Stones around a fire pit help to radiate heat after the fire has burned down.
  5. Make sure the firs is completely out before you plan on leaving the site.
  6. Smokers make great friends when you need a fire lit.

That is just some absolute basic knowledge of building a camp fire. If you have a lighter or matches available to you, that is all that you need to know. If, for some reason you are without the essential fire making devices that smokers take for granted, you are going to have to find another way to make a fire.

How to make a fire using a bow drill.

This is probably the easiest way to make a friction fire. Well, at least it has the least chance of causing blisters due to the fact that your hand is staying stationary on the bow drill while the string is going to be doing all of the friction creation.

So, step one in making a bow drill is to make a bow, tie a string to two ends of a bent stick. This should loosely resemble the kind of bow that archers use. If not, you screwed up, try again. Now you are going to want to find something to be the drill. Hard wood is preferable and it should be less than a foot in length. Any thing more than a foot would be too cumbersome and might fly off the handle while you are spinning it.

Now you need a handle. This is what you are going to be holding the top of the drill with. Any stick or piece of stone with a hole that will fit over the end of the drill will work nicely, just make sure that you are not going to have to hold the drilling piece of wood at all, this is what causes painful and infected blisters.

The last part of the bow drill assembly that you require is the base. The base of the bow drill fire starter is very similar to the handle except, it is the part that is going to be causing the most friction so the tolerances between drill and base are going to have to be tight. To get this tight fit between the two pieces, just use the drill to carve out the base.

Time to start making that fire. Now that you have created, gathered and assembled the pieces that you need, you are going to have to learn how to use them. The string of the bow needs to be wrapped around the drill so that you are able to place the drill bit between the handle and base and still be able to use the bow to spin the drill. After doing this for a very short while you are going to notice some smoke coming from the base of your fire starting contraption. I hope that you took my previous advice and got some flammable materials ready because you now need to put them on those smoldering embers that you created. Once your tinder starts to smoke, you need to carefully blow on it to get it started.

Congratulations! You have just made fire from crap that was just lying around the forest floor. If you descriptions weren’t all that good, be sure to leave me a message and let me know. In the mean time, take a look at this video of Nick Spadaro making a bow drill and starting a fire.

What is the easiest way to make a fire?

Blue BIC lighter on a wood board

As I am sure you all know, there are dozens of different ways to make fire, but there is one way that rules above all others. To do this you are going to need to go through the same steps as you would normally. Get your logs sticks, kindling, twigs, and tinder, then there is one more thing that you need. It might seem obvious and some purists don’t like it.

It is the BIC lighter.

I am not a brand loyal person by any means, but if I have a choice, I will always use a BIC lighter. I have found rusty ones on the ground that work. I have submerged BIC lighters in water and as soon as they dry off, they will light again. I have used the same lighter for several months, using it about ten to twenty times per day and until it runs out of fluid, it lights on the first flick every time.

Now I know that some of you might be thinking that it will run out of fuel and stop working and then what? Okay smart guys, here’s what you do: Use it to get your first fire going, the one that you need more than anything. Then once you are comfy around that nice warm fire and you are not in any kind of immediate danger, you can use that time to work on your skills with a bow drill, flint and steel, a ferrocerium rod or what ever more permanent fire starting method you can think of.

Remember that although the BIC lighter might only give you a few thousand fires, how many are you really going to need?


Justin Trovrt has been in plenty of situations that require a level of survival instincts that daily life can not provide. He knows that knowledge is power and wished to share some of his power with anyone who is willing to listen. Follow him at

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