How To Make a Fire By Rubbing Sticks

This might be a situation you never thought
could happen, but here you are cast away ona deserted island with nothing but the clothes
on your back. In this project we’ll be makinga survival fire by rubbing sticks together,
because if you can do that, you’ll have amuch better chance of being found alive. Looking around the island, the first thing
you notice are plenty of coconut trees andat the base are some old coconut husks. Those
might come in handy. There’s also plenty ofwood lying around, so you just need to find
a dry piece of a soft wood, like this branchfrom a hibiscus tree. Hibiscus is a very lightweight
wood and when it’s this dry, it’s a greatchoice. Your old coconut husk will make a
great tinder bundle because it’s packed withvery fine fibers that should burn easily.
Ok, to prepare these sticks for a frictionfire, it’s important that both sticks come
from the same branch. A sharp rock can beused to fashion some of the wood into a long
narrow stick, cutting the tip of the stickso that it’s slanted at a 45º angle on both
sides. When it’s ready, it should look likesomething like this. Now use your sharp rock
to carve a flat spot into the other pieceof wood, knocking it down until you’ve got
a surface at least 8 inches long, then makea groove down the center to act as a track
for guiding the other stick. Ok, the laststep is to wedge anything you can find under
the base to help stabilize it, then go sitdown on the back. It’s time for the action.
Taking the shorter stick in your one handlike this, place your other hand overtop so
that the stick nestles in securely at thebase of your thumbs. Ok, when you’ve got the
tip set firmly in the grooved track, try pushingit back and forth, keeping it at a 45º angle
to the base. Not much pressure is needed yet,so don’t worry about putting too much effort
into it. When the heat of the friction buildsto where the wood is ready, you’ll notice
a change in how it feels and might even seea little smoke. At this point, push a little
faster, and use your strong hand to pull down,adding pressure to the tip. You should see
a lot more smoke now, and bits of charredwood dust starting to pile up at the top.
Put your back into it and increase the pressure,making sure the tip is stopping just short
of the pile. It looks like you’ve got a littleember burning now, but let’s continue just
a little longer to be sure. Hopefully whenyou stop it will keep smoking. Ok perfect,
you’ve got a nice little coal. Now, go turnit into a flame. This is a good time to get
your coconut husk ready by pulling apart thefibers. The fluffier they are, the better.
Transferring the coal is a delicate process,so try pressing the husk right up to the coal,
then turn the ember base over and tap thebottom with a stick to make sure all the embers
transfer out. Nice, your coal has been captured,so loosely cover it over with more fibers
so that it’s protected from the wind, andcontinues to smolder. Patience is a virtue
here. You don’t want to pinch it too tightor you’ll smother it out. Too loosely and
the fibers won’t burn. The heat needs to buildslowly, so try to balance the amount of air
the coal is getting, with the quantity oftinder it’s exposed to. The amount of smoke
being generated is a good indication of howwell you’re doing, and sometimes blowing gently
can help speed the process. When the smokeis thick and you can start to feel the heat
radiating, it’s time to get a little moreaggressive. Waive the bundle around to get
some more airflow, and blow right into thecenter of the coals. Just a little more air
now, and success! There’s your flame! Thehardest part is over, but don’t pat yourself
on the back just yet because by the time youadd some wood shavings, your flame may be
going out. Not to worry though, because aslong as the smoke is thick, there’s still
a good amount of heat, and the same techniquescan be used for blowing the coals back into
a flame. Well there you have it. Now you canstart a fire by rubbing sticks together, now
best of luck getting rescued. If you likedthis project, perhaps you’ll like some of
my others. Check them out at www. thekingofrandom. com

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