Friction Fire Trick for The Southwest

Discussion in 'Survival and Wilderness Skills' started by Caleb O, May 24, 2018.

  1. Caleb O

    Caleb O Member

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    Was messing around with bow drill the other day (I usually do hand drill but wanted to practice something different). I am constantly trying out different materials to see what I can make work for my area. For the bow drill set I did a bear grass spindle on a sotol stalk hearth board. Now sotol stalk is VERY soft. Really more of a hard pith than a soft wood, but I figured I'd give it a try. Well it worked, but the really cool thing happened afterwards. There was quite a lot of wind that day. I left my ember in the notch to snap a pic and after i noticed my hearth board had essentially turned into a coal extender. IMG_3508.JPG IMG_3510.JPG IMG_3512.JPG IMG_3514.JPG The next day I was curious if I could replicate the results I had with the sotol stalk hearth board while doing hand drill. I achieved the ember easily, and as there was no wind that day, leaving the ember in the notch I knelt down and gently blew on the ember. The results were duplicated! So, sotol is not only a decent hearth board for those in the Southwest, but you can easily use it as a coal extender if your tinder happens to be marginal. Southwest Friction Fire Tip! Have fun guys! IMG_3518.JPG IMG_3520.JPG IMG_3521.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  2. Caleb O

    Caleb O Member

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    Also curious if the stalk's outer layer keeps the pith dry during rain....if it does this would make a really big difference in achieving a coal and fire after the monsoon. I'll have to wait to figure that one out though. lol
     
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  3. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Very cool
     
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  4. Caleb O

    Caleb O Member

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    Thanks! I was a bit surprised when it happened that first time. Didn't even think I would get a coal before I started drilling either (due to how soft the material is). But am really pleased I gave it a go now.
     
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  5. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Man that SouthWest climate can make a man feel good about himself when it comes to fire....back home and 85% humidity today and I think it would have taken a Zippo and 1/2 gallon of diesel !!
     
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  6. Mudman

    Mudman Member

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    Very neat!
     
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  7. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    mix some old gas into that diesel and you have BC Logger Slash Pile firestarter! ;)
     
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  8. Caleb O

    Caleb O Member

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    Feel like we're get a bit spoiled out here between dry climate and good materials. lol
     
  9. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Yea but the heat though... you can keep that lol we have some agave plants might try this
     
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  10. Caleb O

    Caleb O Member

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    Haha! You kinda get used to it when your out in it everyday. No humidity though.
     
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  11. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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    I have never experienced camping in the SW until this week. I have never experienced static electricity in a sleeping bag, at night.
    It is a light show!

    No humidity makes quite a difference in fire starting.
     
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  12. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    Priceless information!!
     
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  13. R Stowe

    R Stowe Moderator Staff Member

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    That's really cool. The humidity definitely makes a difference, but as you noted that maybe a great option in the rare case of heavy rain.
     
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  14. Caleb O

    Caleb O Member

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    Just testing out another material from the Southwest. Beargrass stalk works really well for friction fire as well. Also it is a very pithy wood. Was able to duplicate the coal extender results on this hearth as well. So another material can be added to this post. Beargrass. IMG_3658.JPG IMG_3659.JPG
     
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