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Bow Drill Essentials

Fire is one of humanities oldest friends. It can cook our food, purify our water, warm our shelters, and light the darkness.  Knowing how to create fire from scratch with nothing but the landscape and a knife is an amazing skill that everyone can learn. This videos series from Roots School will teach you everything you need to know to learn bow drill, a friction fire technique used across the globe and throughout history.  With over two and half hours of instruction, 24 videos in four chapters, you will learn to build conical fire, carve a bow drill kit, the proper technique to use it, as well as how to troubleshoot all the various pitfalls beginnings can make. With over 20 years of teaching bow drill, we know what you need to know, to not just get your first coal, but to get proficient enough to make fire when you need it! 


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1 The Kit
Introduction to the Bow Drill Kit
Carving the Spindle
Carving the Fireboard
The Bow
Knots - Half Double Fishermans and Clove Hitch
2 Fire Building-
The basics of how to go out into the forest and build a conical fire, the most efficient and all around useful fire structure. 
Fire Building Site Selection and Basics
Gathering Firewood
Building the Conical Fire I
Building the Conical Fire II
Lighting the Fire
3 Using the Bow Drill
Tinder Bundles 
Preparing the Sockets
Carving the Notch
Lighting the Coal and Igniting the Tinder
4 Troubleshooting Bow Drill
Troubleshooting Concepts
Troubleshooting Spindles
Troubleshooting Fireboards
Troubleshooting Handholds
Troubleshooting Technique
Troubleshooting Getting the Coal and Conclusion