Friction Fire Tuesday

Discussion in 'Fire' started by IHatchetJack, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  2. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    I had this little plank of lemon tree wood left over in my wood pile and wanted to give it a go... i used my interwebs purchased bow and spundle. And Success!

    IMG_20180511_170658-01.jpeg IMG_20180511_170750-01.jpeg
     
  3. Ivan

    Ivan Scout

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    wildfire 5.6.18a.JPG wildfire 5.6.18a.JPG wildfire 5.6.18c.JPG
    Weekend wildfire fun.
     

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  4. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    A little sneak preview for @Stone...
    Horseweed spindle on Rose of sharon
    20180511_182817.jpg
     
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  5. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    So, somehow I missed that you started doing hand drill embers...
    Congratulations are in order.

    And thanks for showing how well Rose of Sharon works...it will be awhile before mine has grown enough to use, I think.
     
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  6. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I think I got my first one a couple years or so ago, but I don't do them as often now as I did when I started. Also had surgery on my shoulder back in December, so that slowed me down.

    I will say this, that was one of the easiest embers I ever got, so I will give rose of sharon an A+
     
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  7. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    You probably just created a US-wide shortage Rose of Sharon as all the friction fire folks buy the nurserys out of stock!
     
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  8. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Thanks to @Jacob--again--I made another run on embers today. I dressed up the palo verde piece he sent me for a hearth and it was very productive.

    Ten embers! Here are some...
    black locust spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Black locust spindle on palo verde hearth

    Dill spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Dill spindle on palo verde hearth

    Narrowleaf yucca spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Narrowleaf yucca spindle on palo verde hearth

    saguaro rib spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Saguaro rib spindle on palo verde hearth

    Salmonberry spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Salmonberry spindle on palo verde hearth

    The other spindles I used successfully were mullein, prickly lettuce, sunflower, tumbleweed, and beargrass (Nolina sp). Quite a bit for one day between 3pm and dinner time.
     
  9. MonkeyDaddy10

    MonkeyDaddy10 Tracker

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    Hand Drill Workout

    It was my turn to clean the shower today, and I thought I could avoid using some elbow grease by digging out the steam cleaner that hasn't been touched in a while. As I was standing inside the shower making little spirals with the steamer tip on the glass I noticed my shoulders starting to tighten up in the same place that they do when I practice hand drill. So I turned and faced the glass squarely, tightened up my core, and started alternating hands while holding the steamer tip. Hopefully, this will help my shoulders stay in the game long enough to get an ember the next time I practice.

    Anybody else have any tips?

    --Mike
     
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  10. MonkeyDaddy10

    MonkeyDaddy10 Tracker

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    Roses?!? You're kidding! Now I want to try that too! Fortunately, I put off my spring pruning until next week, and there's a nice long straight cane I can cut in the front yard. Is it woody enough to use by itself, or do you recommend a host spindle like in your pictures?

    --Mike
     
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  11. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    If it's long enough and straight, go for it as a hand drill spindle on it's own. Some say that if you leave the thorns on it adds considerably to grip and traction, but I personally prefer to remove the thorns. ;) Don't forget to remove the bark on the business end of the spindle...on roses and everything else. As bark's job is--in part--to protect the plant, it doesn't aid in ember production. I've got 13 unique ember combinations using rose as a hearth (including ten via hand drill), but 32 embers using rose as a spindle (including 22 via hand drill).

    Good luck!
     
  12. MonkeyDaddy10

    MonkeyDaddy10 Tracker

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    I'll definitely follow your lead and remove the thorns LOL. That cane is already starting to sprout leaves so I'll have to dry it a bit after I cut it. But I'll post my results when I put it to use.
    Thanks @Stone
     
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  13. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Two more coals today. One blew away before I could get a picture.

    Today, I was walking around the embassy compound and found a small pallet broken into planks. I grabbed a plank to try just out of curiosity. Worked a charm.

    IMG_20180512_135235-01.jpeg
     
  14. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Somehow my connection was slow in mailing pics to myself from my camera...took nine hours but they finally arrived. Here are pics of the other embers I got yesterday.

    milkweed spindle on tumbleweed hearth.jpg
    Milkweed spindle on tumbleweed hearth

    mullein spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Mullein spindle on palo verde hearth

    prickly lettuce spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Prickly lettuce spindle on palo verde hearth

    Staghorn sumac spindle on saguaro rib hearth.jpg
    Staghorn sumac spindle on saguaro rib hearth

    sunflower spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Sunflower spindle on palo verde hearth

    Nolia beargrass spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Beargrass (Nolina sp) spindle on palo verde hearth

    tumbleweed spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Tumbleweed spindle on palo verde hearth

    It was a pretty productive day yesterday, ember wise.

    Today I need to mow the lawn I have been neglecting.
     
  15. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  16. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    ...another thing about friction fire stalks...I think with some it matters WHEN you harvest them. For instance, the first time I harvested my hollyhock stalks they were nice and straight and they worked so well I might as well have been using a ferro rod to make a fire. But I harvested some the next year and I couldn't get them to either make fires or hold together without crumbling. The only variable--since they were the same plants--seemed to be the time of year/level of plant maturity. I believe the second time I harvested (a year apart) the spindles were younger and therefore hadn't 'hardened off' well. But that's just my guess.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  17. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    I've used cottonwood a lot for friction and flint and steel fires--outer bark for a bearing block, inner bark for tinder, wood for spindles and hearths. But I had never tried the roots, even though I had heard they were "different." I gathered some cottonwood root from a fallen tree along the Salmon River here in Idaho a couple summers ago, but never got around to using it...until tonight. The piece I used whittled nicely into a spindle plug and I got five embers from it.

    cottonwood root spindle on box elder hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood spindle on box elder hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on mahogany hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on mahogany hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on palo verde hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on palo verde hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on saguaro rib hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on saguaro rib hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on rabbitbrush hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on rabbitbrush hearth.

    People were correct, the root wood felt different than wood from the above ground parts of the tree. The root seemed to produce an ember faster than the above ground parts of the tree, but I didn't do a 'side by side' comparison.
     
  18. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Red cedar kiln-dried plank ordered from the webs. My fastest coal. This is a really soft wood.

    2018_0515_04024300-01.jpeg
     
  19. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Honestly, i don't know how you guys can do 8 in a row. Two about wore me out.

    2018_0515_05573000-01.jpeg
     
  20. BigLeafBushcraft

    BigLeafBushcraft Supporter Supporter

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    I used to gas out doing just one..

    Now I can do about 7-8 of em and I feel like I still want more. I think I'm getting more efficient, while at the same time my muscles grow and get used to it?





    -------------------

    Here's my ember for Tuesday:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Big Leaf Maple spindle on yucca stalk hearth
     
  21. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Three unique hand drill embers today, but only one pic. Apparently my phone/camera is not on speaking terms w/ my computer.

    Cottonwood root spindle, making embers on desert willow, peach and sweetgum hearths.
    Here's the desert willow ember. This looks like the last ember for this piece of cottonwood root...ti will soon be time for a Viking burial for it and some hearths.

    cottonwood root spindle on desert willow hearth.jpg
     
  22. Seahunter

    Seahunter Scout Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Maybe so, but that picture turned out pretty sweet.

    I made some 3 strand twist cordage out of the inner bark of boysenberry vines. The cordage was only about the diameter of para-coard, but very strong. I tried 3 times before I could get an ember. I think the cordage was drying out and loosing traction at the end when I usually kick up the speed and pressure.
    boysenberry 3 strand twist.JPG

    Here is how I made the cordage: https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/thre...ovised-cordage-etc.178759/page-7#post-3848072
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  23. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    My camera finally got around to sending me some of the pics I shot of today's embers.

    Cottonwood root spindle on grand fir hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root on grand fir hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on ponderosa pine hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on ponderosa pine hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on sweetgum hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on sweetgum hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on peach hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on a peach hearth.

    Still haven't seen my chinkapin or Douglas-fir embers in the mail...
     
  24. Seahunter

    Seahunter Scout Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Here is some cordage made from black walnut bark that didn't workout. I have a bunch more of this bark and I think it will work if I made better quality cordage.
    DSC_1217.JPG
    I also had a bunch of failed embers with the hand drill. I tried pepperwood spindles on two different days and got close, but no ember.
     
  25. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Finally got the last two images I mailed to myself yesterday. These are yesterday's hand drill embers.

    Cottonwood root spindle on chinkapin hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on chinkapin hearth

    cottonwood root spindle on Douglas-fir hearth.jpg
    Cottonwood root spindle on Douglas-fir hearth.

    It shouldn't take 28 hours to get a photo mailed from a camera to an inbox!
     
  26. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Got a great gift today from @OMRebel.

    Gift....jpg
    From front to back it's fatwood, elderberry, yucca and a bunch of Rose of Sharon!

    edit to add: there is also a Chinese Tallow spindle in the package.

    I think the reason Rose of Sharon works so well at friction fire is because it's a hibiscus, and that's what the Pacific Islanders traditionally use for their fire plows. Might be some fire plow work in the (probably distant) future. But I'm sure it's the ideal wood to start with.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  27. Uh.its_nathan

    Uh.its_nathan Tinder Gatherer

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    I was amazed how well cottonwood roots worked for spindle and hearth when I started playing with them. Then I started experimenting with other root material. Elder root, oak root, alder root, willow root, have all worked really well. Roots are supported by soil, and so don’t have to be as dense as the above ground parts to fight gravity. More important though, they supply water to the entire plant, so their wood is full of very large water conducting cells. When they dry out, the wood is typically light weight with a perfect even texture for friction fire.
     
  28. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    I think your analysis is correct. The cottonwood roots are the only ones I've tried for spindles, although I've used sunflower and rose roots for hearths and they also work well.
     
  29. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Well this was Tuesday... IMG_20180515_180904.jpg Sumac harth, sumac host spendle with hardwood incert for bearing block end.
     
  30. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Wow, that got there fast! Enjoy!!
     
  31. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    No joy with this newly harvested mullein stalk...


    4B595A2A-7AFA-434C-BA0E-A5F403A23A20.jpeg

    Thanks,

    Jarrod
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  32. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Cool pics
     
  33. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Guide Bushclass I

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    Despite a peaceful and relaxing start, it's been a rough week. Two more sleeps until I'm back at the fire pit. Everyone else is asleep now. Time for a breather.

    First, I gutted my paracord bow string and re-tied it. It worked SO much better. it was almost effortless tonight and I think this was a big reason why. It was slipping A LOT and it didn't at all tonight. :)

    P5170748.JPG P5170750.JPG

    Next, I re-profiled my spindle with my SAK.

    P5170765.JPG

    I used this Pine bearing block this time. It could probably use a new hole but there's not much room for one so I just made my spindle taller and skinnier than usual. ;)

    P5170769.JPG

    Next, I burned a new divot and cut a notch in my unidentified piece of fence board.

    P5170777.JPG

    Despite a split now running down the middle of my hearth board, it was almost too easy this time. I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth though. This hearth is in my bow drill fire kit now. :)

    P5170778.JPG P5170769.JPG


    Pine bearing block + Willow spindle +Willow bow + Unidentified hearth board = Ember. :D

    P5170780.JPG P5170779.JPG

    AHHHHHH... That's better!

    P5170781.JPG

    This is the best medicine! Good night, my friends!
     

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    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  34. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    I made it back out to the coast for a few days and took another shot at using kelp for the cordage. When I tried this initially, I used the freshest piece of bull kelp that I could find, thinking that it would be the strongest. What I didn't realize at the time was that fresh kelp starts to release slime as it slips, leading to a vicious cycle of slipping cordage.

    This time I followed @Ivan's lead and looked for a piece that was dead and semi-dried out and it worked beautifully with a double wrap around the spindle.

    The set was western red cedar driftwood, with a stone bearing block lubricated with some Sitka spruce pitch.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the first experience, I don't think I would have tried kelp again, so I appreciated getting the benefits of Ivan's coastal bow drill knowledge.

     
  35. Ivan

    Ivan Scout

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    Fantastic, congrats!! I think you are the first to get a kelp cord in action on video.
     
  36. Seahunter

    Seahunter Scout Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    That is another great video! I wondered if bull kelp would work for a bow drill cord. You and Ivan have answered that question.

    I cut some California bay (pepperwood, Bay laural, myrtle) and some wild grape for Stone today with a new opinel saw. I never tried Bay before. I got a week and short lived ember. It was still a little green which I think is why it was so difficult. After a lot of failed attempts I got an ember with a very poorly carved grape on grape bow drill set.
    Grape on grape.JPG
     
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  37. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Which evergreen's needles did you use to stuff the fish and which leaf was used to wrap it for baking?
     
  38. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    The needles were Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and the leaf wrap was western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus). This was the first time I had tried using conifer tips like this and they gave the fish a nice subtle flavor, almost like lemon juice. I saw somebody do this recently (maybe @GreenFrog ?) and thought it was a great idea.
     
  39. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Very cool to see the kelp in action. I know you tend to re-wet your natural cordage for bow drill, did you do that for the dead/semi-dried kelp, or did you just use it as is?

    Just adding on to say that I enjoyed the longer video, with both wood processing and fish catching and primitive cooking. I ran across a spruce tip jelly recipe a while back that seemed to hinge on the citric element adding its flavor and nutrients, so using the spruce tips like lemon juice sounds delicious to me.
     
  40. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Guide Bushclass I

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    I totally agree! That was great!
     
  41. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks @rsnurkle :)

    I just used the kelp as I found it. It was quite a bit drier than the fresh stuff, but still had a fair amount of moisture in it. I didn't notice any slipping whatsoever during the burn in, so I just focused on tilting the bow to make sure that it wasn't rubbing against itself. I did have to stop and re-adjust for tension, but I'm not sure if that was due to stretching, or just the kelp sliding deeper into the split of the bow.

    I'm glad to hear that you liked the video too. The longer ones obviously require more time commitment, both from me and whoever happens to be watching, but sometimes it seems like it is worth sharing a bit more.


    Thanks Jacqui! :) I filmed some more fire and fish stuff while I was out there that I'll try to find time to edit and upload soon.
     
  42. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    First one in five days due to yardwork/gardenwork...

    Beargrass spindle on Rose of Sharon hearth.jpg
    Beargrass (Nolina sp) spindle on Rose of Sharon hearth. Thank you @OMRebel for the Rose of Sharon and @Jacob for the Beargrass.

    I don't believe I got the notch filled and there was a glow on both the bottom and top of the dust pile.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  43. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Mine was the same way. Wonder how many coals we can get from one notch..? Was that the piece that was already split? If so, it was green just a few weeks ago.
     
  44. Stone

    Stone Guide

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    Yes, I think it might be a little green yet in that it has a tendency to glaze over really easy. Nevertheless, I persisted and got another ember with it this evening...

    Prickly lettuce spindle on Rose of Sharon hearth.jpg
    This one is prickly lettuce spindle on Rose of Sharon.

    This ought to do real well once it finishes drying out.
     
  45. Seahunter

    Seahunter Scout Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I went out to the river today with an Esee Uzula that @kcardwel gave away as a prize in a friction fire contest. I gathered some blackberry vines and stripped the fibers out of them to make 2 strand twist cordage.
    DSC_1251.JPG
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    I batoned a bow drill set out of a buckeye branch. I carved some marginal feather sticks. I got an ember, but I put the ember in a birds nest that was too small. It got too hot and I had to set it on the ground. Then accidentally kicked a bunch of water on it. Ugh!
    DSC_1259.JPG

    Luckily the cordage had enough life in it to spin up another coal.
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    I put that in a better birds nest and blew it to flame.
    DSC_1268.JPG
    Getting an ember with a bow drill set and natural cordage made on the spot was a goal of mine. I am pretty happy right now.
     
  46. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    Great cordage and an awesome milestone @Seahunter ! :35:
     
  47. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Awesome work.

    I'm going for the same goal right now and have yet to achieve it. I bet it feels REALLY good!
     
  48. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Guide Bushclass I

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    WAH HOOOOO!!!! I need a shower but I am still on a high. I made my first fire by friction this morning! Backpackgirl made me a HUGE tinder bundle out of White Birch bark and Cattail fluff, and I snuck a little Amadou into it to up my chances. ;) I used a Willow spindle on a hearth of unknown wood from an old fence, a Plum bearing block, and a Willow bow with gutted paracord. A cup of 3-in-1 coffee was my reward. Happy Victoria Day, my friends! THANK YOU ALL!!



    The Goal:

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    The Tools:

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    Ember!

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    Into the tinder bundle it went.

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    It's almost as big as my head! LOL!

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    POOF!

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    The wood was wet but that tinder bundle made my twig fire ROAR! LOL! I didn't collect 3 times the prep, because I had to soak the fire pit when we were done. The weekend was coming to and end but it sure ended on a high note. :D

    P5210201.JPG

    A roasted marshmallow for breakfast seems like a good way to celebrate but I might be a terrible mom. ;)

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    The Reward: One of the most satisfying cups of Joe I've ever had. :D

    P5210217.JPG
     

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  49. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  50. NWPrimate

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