No Flint, No Stones – Making Fire from Scratch

Lighters, matches, kerosene?  We don’t need any of these.  Below, we have the privilege of seeing an Aboriginal bushman start a fire with little more than dried grass, a yarrow stick, and a reed.  It’s a beautiful thing.  But this technique may just be anyone’s last resort if the need arises. Since the dawn of man, fire has been an essential component to our survival.  Whether it’s something as simple as keeping warm or using it to treat water, being able to start a fire with just the tools around you is a valuable skill indeed.  But it doesn’t need to be something regarded as pointless in a world of convenient fire starting kits and flammable compounds.  A self-made fire from scratch is arguably one of the best survival skills to maintain no matter where you venture.

Sticks and Stones Can Save Your Bones

What do this Aboriginal bushman and United States Marines have in common?  They both use the same basic technique for getting a fire going.  It’s called the “Bow and Drill” method and it can be done a number of ways but it involves the same basic concept: the friction of wood against wood to create a spark.  From those few tiny sparks, small pieces of dried grass or detritus can be used to nurture the first flames.

This bushman gets a fire started in less than two minutes.  That skill set is something taught to military personnel who go through the survival training portion of the Mountain Warfare Course in Bridgeport, California.  Marines and soldiers come here to learn how the basics of constructing shelter, building a fire, and harvesting meat can be pivotal to living another day.  If you’re interested in learning more about how United States Marines train to thrive in the rigors of the wilderness.

Read More