So, you need to start a fire. If you’re camping or hiking, chances are, you’ll have something to help you. There are endless fire-starting products on the market. These tools are pretty cool and useful, but what if you find yourself in a situation where you have nothing to start a fire? During a SHTF situation, you need to be prepared. If not, you could be stuck with nothing to give you light, warmth or cook your food. You need to learn how to start a fire with sticks.
How to start a fire with sticks is an essential survival skill to learn and in our opinion, everyone should learn it. One of this RGG Reviews’ founders was in the Boy Scouts of America for more than ten years; it was an essential skill they taught Scouts of all ages.
Let’s learn how to start a fire with sticks. Let me give you a hint: it’s all about the friction.
How to Make a Fire with Sticks: Types of Fire Starting
1. Hand Drill
2. Bow Drill
3. Fire Plow
You’ll want to find the materials before beginning any of these methods. Do not use any wet wood – only dry wood.
- Dry, straight sticks
- The Fireboard: a flat, dry piece of wood
Best Types of Tinder:
Tinder is just a material that is easily ignited.
The best types of tinder are:
Dry grass, Cattail fluff, bark from a Birch tree, Dandelion clock and if you have it, cotton balls.
Best Types of Kindling:
You use kindling to keep the fire going after the initial spark.
The best types of kindling are:
Dry pine needles, cedar bark, dry leaves and small twigs.
The Hand Drill Method
1. Select the right stick.
It needs to have a pointy end. Hopefully, you have a pocket knife or tactical knife handy and can whittle one end of a stick to a point but if not, you will have to find one that has a pointy end. The stick should be one foot to 15 inches long.
2, Select the fireboard.
This is the flat piece of wood. As long as it’s pretty flat and you can hold it down with your feet, you’re good to go.
Make a small depression in the middle of the fireboard with either a pocket knife or the sharp edge of a rock.
Cut a side notch on the fireboard. The hot fibers need a place to build up while you are creating friction .
3. Set tinder nearby.
Have the kindling close to the tinder.
4. Start Drilling
Put the fireboard on the ground with each foot placed on either side of it to hold it steady.
Put the pointy end of the stick in the depression on the fireboard. Spit on your hands and place them tightly around the top of the stick.
Start vigorously rubbing your hands together to twirl the stick. At the same time, you must also push the stick down into the fireboard.
Here’s the catch: you have to do this a while to see any progress. It’s a little exhausting and if you stop, all the progress you made will go out the door.
Even if you see a whisper of smoke, keep going until you see an ember. If you want to learn how to make a fire with sticks, it takes patience.
5. Transfer of Ember
Once you see an ember, transfer the ember to the tinder.
Blow on the ember to give some oxygen and get it going. The ember will start to turn into a flame (if you’re successful, that is).
Use the burning tinder bundle to ignite a bunch of kindling.
Keep adding dry sticks to keep the fire burning.
Video of Hand Drill Method:
If you’re more the video type, here is our favorite video out there of the hand drill method by Black Scout Survival.
Fire Bow Method
1.Find the Right Stick
For this stick, it needs to have a slight curve to it, like the C shape. It should be slightly damp, so it won’t snap in this process.
2. String or Paracord
If you’re a prepper, you should have a paracord bracelet. If not, find some kind of string-like material, like twine or a vine. The length needs to be about one and a half times the length of your bow/stick.
3. Select a stick and a piece of wood
Find a stick that is not as long as your curved stick.
Find a sturdy piece of wood that can be used as a stabilizing block under the fire drill. Add a natural lubricant to the block like leaves. Create a small depression in the middle with a pocket knife or the sharp end of a rock.
4. Set Up
Wrap the string material around the smaller, straight stick once so it is in the middle of the bow and then fasten each end to the ends of the larger, curved stick.
5. Start Drilling
Put the smaller, straight stick on the stabilizing block (remember that the string material is looped around this stick).
Put pressure down on the smaller stick with your hand and with your other hand, hold the bow part of the curved stick and move it rigorously side to side.
Again, you have to do this long enough and with enough friction to create an ember.
6. Follow Steps 4 and 5 from Hand Drill
Video of the Fire Bow Method:
Here is our favorite video out there of the fire bow method by Black Scout Survival
Fire Plow Method
1. Find a stick
Make sure it is a straight, sturdy stick.
2. Find a long piece of wood to be your fireboard
3. Create a long trough in your fireboard
Make sure the trough stretches almost from end to end (not the full length).
Create the trough with a pocket knife or the sharp edge of a rock.
4. Create friction
Create friction by taking the stick and at a 45 degree angle, sliding the point back and forth from one end of the trough to the other and back again.
Push it down as you slide it and do it repeatedly until it creates enough friction that it creates an ember.
5. Follow steps 4 and 5 from Hand Drill.
Video of the Fire Plow Method:
Here is our favorite video out there of the fire plow method by CrazyRussianHacker
You have made fire!
How to start a fire with sticks can take some practice. And patience. Lots of patience. However, knowing how to start a fire with sticks is an essential in your survival repertoire.