Primitive Technology: Firesticks

With my hut completed, next I needed fireFor fire sticks I used a fast growing softwood The spindle and baseboard came from the same branchScrapping bark off with a stone flakeThe sticks were left to dry on a sunny rock to dry outCandle nut leaves were used for tinderDrilling holes in the baseboard with a stone bladeCarving a notch from the hole to let the hot wood powder to fall outThe base board is placed on the tinder with a stick separating them so more air can get to the punkThe spindle is put in place and spun between the handsUse speed, not force to avoid blistersSmoke is a good signStop when the punk smokes by itselfGently blow the smoking to make it glow and ignite the tinderCover the tinder with small dry twigs While I had a fire going I made a small pot to test the clay from the doorstep of the hutThis was dried next to the fireIt was placed amongst the coals and a fire was built over topA simple campfire can reach temperatures hot enough to fire clayIf the pot glows at least red hot it will not turn back to clay when wetThe crudely made pot shows that clay from the hut site can indeed be used to make potteryFire sticks are the simplest method for making fire from scratch. The parts are minimal, easy to make and portable. Keep them in your hut out of the weather. This method can be difficult to learn but with it you can make fire just about anywhere.

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