I tried my hand at making a fire using a bow drill

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So this weekend I tried my hand at making a fire using a bow drill. Safe to say I failed! Does anyone have any hints or tips on how to succeed with this method of fire-making?

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Only that you have to use 2 different types of wood.

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Try and keep the bow as level as possible but as fast as possible consistently.

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Most conifers aren’t great – the resin either makes the hole/groove too sticky or it glazes the drill so you can’t produce quality dust. That said, my western red cedar (Thuja plicata) set was fantastic. Best woods I’ve found (drill/hearth board) are hazel/ivy. Hornbeam/willow. Willow/willow. Hazel/lime, but the real challenge is to go into the woods and get a fire going by bow drill without any prior prep – really tests your skills.

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Potassium permagnate and brake fluid, chemical reaction which creates fire.

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Primarily down to material selection and perseverance as people have said. Sycamore is a good option in the uk as it works very well and is very common. Make sure you’re using a comfortably long bow as well, have the string sternum to finger tip in length.

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