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Advanced Tips For A Successful Bowdrill Fire


In this video I talk about how you can bring your friction fire kit to the next level. I have learned all these tips by trial and error, and to save up your time, I am passing on my knowledge about a successful bowdril fire.

The right wood for a successful bowdrill:

Cedar, Poplar, Aspen, Basswood, Baobab, Birch, Cherry Root, Clematis, Cotton Wood, Cypress, Elder, Elm, Balsam Fir, Hazel, Hibiscus, Horse Chestnut, Juniper, Ivy, Lime, Field Maple, Norway Maple, Marula, Wild Rose, Saguaro Rib, Sycamore, Willow, Yucca



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Hello my name is Lilly and I am making videos about primitive living skills, survival, bushcraft, camping gear and prepping. I consider myself being a modern hunter-gatherer who wants to live as close as possible with mother nature and right now I am in the process of learning how to live off the land and thrive in the wilderness. Thanks for watching ~ Survival Lilly

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Video Transcription

hi my name is Lily and today I want to give you some advanced bow drill tips stay tuned okay guys today I'm sitting here in the wilderness because I want to share my knowledge that I gained from making several bow drills and first thing I want to talk about is really the choice of wood so there are a few woods that are better for bow drill making than others for example it's easier to make bowls with soft wood table works great best wood works great willow pays little stuff like that I have put some woods into the description of the video so that you can read what woods you can use for the bow drill set and the next thing which is very important is that you use wood which comes from a dry dead standing tree so you don't want to pick up what that's lying around on the ground because it usually soaks up the moisture from the ground and from the rain and dead standing tree usually is very dry at the very inside so that's the next important thing for example if you cut off a dead branch this was a dead hanging best wood branch here and if you cut off this branch you want to take a big a bigger diameter size of wood then for example the spindle is going to be so you cut this off and then you want to cut off you carve out the outer layers of the wood and you want to make the spindle right from the center of the wood okay you don't want to take any parts from the edges of the wood because usually when there's rain and moisture the wood sucks it up and it's going to stay at the outer layers of the bark and the more you come into the center the drier the wood is going to be this is especially important in wintertime the next topic that I read a lot about and survival books is the wood combinations for example in a lot of survival books you read said you should use soft wood for the fire board and hard wood for the spindle but I don't think that's true really because I've used all kinds of combinations I've made a spindle harder I've made the fire board harder I've used the same word for both the spindle and the fire board and it all worked so I think that's just secondary ok the next thing that you need is a bowl for your bow drill kit in this case it's rather a stick than a bow I think it's better if you're using a stick that is not very flexible like this one here I've seen a lot of people using very flexible bows and I think the big disadvantage of using a bow is really that at the very end when drilling you need some you know powerful strokes to ignite the Ember and it can happen that then the bow bends too much and then the string is loosen up a little bit and you might slip through with your spindle and that would be very bad at the end of bow drilling because it's important that at the end you have a lot of tension on the string and the bow should be as long as your arm because you should use all the length of your arm you want to make very long strikes I'm seeing a lot of people on YouTube who make very small you know movements but that is very bad because you want to have this whole length and use the whole length of the bow you want to come from here to here because every time you stop the bow the spindle will stop and therefore you're not creating heat so the longer the bow and the longer the strikes the more rotations you are going to have in less time so that's very important the next thing is I'm seeing a lot of people using the bow drill like this from right to left and I think that's pretty awkward because with that technique he only using your arm instead of using the shoulder for example when I'm bow drilling I go I come from the back side up front and back so I can push the bowl with my shoulder here and therefore I have a lot more power than doing it from the sides which is very awkward but I'm seeing a lot of people doing it like this and I think it's much easier to go from the back side to the front because that's a more natural movement I think and yeah that's the one thing about the bow which you can consider when you're making a bow drill kit and then there's one more thing that we have to discuss which is carving the notch okay let's take a closer look at the notch of this file board here and in most of our books you read that they make the knot just quite narrow and right into the center of the bow drill hole but then I saw video of native survival from Mitch and he suggested to make the knot a little bit more at the outside with a very wide angle and I've tried that once and it worked so much better that I'm now always doing it like this and what's the big advantage of making this wide angled notch it's simply because the dusted is ground off from the edges of the hole here is usually much harder than the dust that comes from the middle and that's what you want essentially you want to collect the harder dust that comes from the edges and the good thing about the wide angled notch here is that you basically have more oxygen that comes into the dust and with more oxygen the amber is going to form more easily there's one more thing that you need for the bow drill some kind of bearing block and it's good if you use hardwood and green wood or maybe you find a stone which has a cavity and yeah you really want to reduce friction so it's a good idea if you use for example moss or leaves and stuff it into the hole so it doesn't have a lot of friction and sometimes knife handles have a cavity which is great to use and I usually use this bearing block here which is a roller blade wheel which is very good for beginners it doesn't have a lot of friction and yeah it's a little bit like cheating but I still like to use it you know

and yeah now let's try to create an ember and do some Poe drilling okay I usually take some leaf or bark that I want to collect dust in and then I set the fire board on the leaf okay we have produced a pretty good amber and now take away the fire board without destroying the Ember and next you want to let the amber breathe a little bit and grow and let it settle okay here I have collected some grass but it's not really dry so we will see if this works and the important thing when making a bird's nest is that you use very fine material and it should be especially very fun for the embers going to be so that the ember doesn't fall apart that's important the next important thing is that you transport the Ember to the bird's nest without destroying it yeah that's one more thing to say it's good if you have pre tried materials at home and practice with that but it's something completely different if you take fresh materials that you have freshly collected in the woods it's so much more difficult so yeah you should really challenge yourself and try to make a bow drill set right from nature without taking it with you there are a lot of odds that come against you when it comes to making a bow drill set right from the woods so I want to thank you for watching please check out Mitch from native survival he has this awesome channel on youtube follow me on Facebook Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to my channel if you want to see more

About the Author

Survival Lilly

Survival Lilly

Survival Lilly is a true passionate bushcraft girl! She likes spending a lot of time in nature practicing survival and bushcraft skills. Her YouTube channel is very interesting as she publishes new videos often and also test out survival and outdoor gear to find the best items you can have in your survival or camping rucksack, and the video quality and photography is always excellent.

You can find all her videos on her YouTube channel.

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