Primitive Fire starting

Bow Drill White pine and cedar

This winter, I thought I would get out and demonstrate bow drill. Usually to get a full fire, I would have my tinder reduced down as finely as possible and made into a nice big birds nest. This gives the ember produced, the best chance of combustion when added to the birds nest.


After gathering my material and building a suitable spot out of the snow its time to build the set.


Here is a demonstration on how to blow your hard earned ember into a flame. As you can see you have no rush, take your time with everything when it comes to primitive fire.

I have found that

Spindle works best if it is as thick as your thumb, as long as the length between your thumb and little finger (8-10 inches). I also find that squaring off the shaft of your spindle a little helps to give the cordage more grip. One end sharpened like a pencil for the least amount of friction with bearing block (hand hold side).

Harth board should be as thick as your spindle and long enough for you to stand on to hold it securely


Bow should be from your armpit to the tips of your fingers long but can be a little shorter.


Take your time burning in your spindle and warming your hearth board. You’re looking to produce black coals.

If you have any questions or need more details don’t hesitate to ask



 Make your tinder bundle large and thick here’s why!

Here I am demonstrating the bow drill technique with white pine on white pine, I used a mixture of dried leaves, cat tail tips and dried moss for my tinder bundle and made it a little small because I was only demonstrating the technique, here’s what happened.





Thanks for watching, please like and comment to let me know what you think and as always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.