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Thread: friction fire with bloody hands....Help?

  1. #21

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    Interesting thread.
    Last edited by sjj; 11-05-2015 at 01:06 PM.


  2. #22
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    When I got back into to town I watched the recorded recent episode of Discovery Channel's N&A and saw an over confident 23 year old lady put far to much trust in her ability to start a fire with a bow drill set she had only used to start a fire with twice before in UTAH now rely on it in tropical (humid) Panama.

    http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/na...ios/kim-kelly/

    Then her much older partner (Gary Underhill) was advised to tap out a few days later due to lack of water and food. There are several other ways to purify water. (Find a clear plastic or glass bottle down by the ocean shore clean it out and solarize water for about 6 hours and a few others.) Anyway my main point is she should have taken a fire starting method she had practiced and not just said "OH I saw this used on TV, and it worked under idea conditions twice for me, good to go." FAIL when others are depending on you!

    Overall she did fairly well, but when you are young and healthy there is a greater margin for error. I did a lot of foolish and down right stupid things when I was her age and younger and lived to tell about it. BUT I had both a father and mother who taught me better to be concerned about the welfare of others, mostly by their actions demonstrated everyday.

    Always ticks me off when these newbies waste hours building shelter then think to build a fire to purify water after it starts to get more humid as sun sets. An experienced jungle survivor knows you can stay warm by a fire in driving rain holding 2-4 palm branches over your head or simple 3 stick tripod to help. But try starting a fire in a light rain or downpour, it is a PITA! Especially by rubbing sticks and if your bow is a very short BONE! OMG just shoot me now! Gary showed the patience of a saint!

    Off topic but when trapping animals use whatever means, brush sticks to funnel them toward the noose and bait or whatever not all haphazard like what she did. In introduction she said she had killed small game, but when she killed the caiman she said it was her first kill and cried about it. WHAT?!?

    Why do I torment myself by watching this nonsense? Pop Warner Football is less painful to watch.

    EDIT: Especially in a hot, humid, pathogen infested environment, HYDRATE your body first! then you will have more strength and energy to build a better shelter and forage for food. Common freaking sense, ask any true jungle dweller, indigenous or not. "Survivors" occasionally survival despite their incredible stupidity and lack of common sense.
    Last edited by TXyakr; 10-06-2015 at 08:41 AM. Reason: hydrate 1st!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightSG View Post
    Nobody grabbed five good tires and stock Chevy wheels before the moss grew? That thing would have been stripped to the frame within a week here.
    I think that Suburban has been there for about 4 months now, private land on both sides of the river and rapid is fairly strong above and below it about 50 yards. but I was able to maneuver my WW kayak in multiple times to assist people who go hung up there. Most paddled successfully to the far side. We had someone over there to grab them as well. And we were both directing them with hand signals away, talk before the rapid etc. I extracted 4 good tubes from this Cul-de-sac of trash 2 from Texas State Tubes and 2 from Don's Fish Camp. I never took a tire lug wench and large canoe with me but considered it. ha ha ha. All total I rescued 6 kayaks over 6 trips down this rapid stuck at just this spot. No one died on my watch!

    One lady paddled in there with a canoe trying to find her lost paddle, I told her it was a good way to reshape the canoe's hull more hydro-dyanamically. She got ticked off and paddled on we saw her paddle further down river in some tree roots, she still missed it. There was as a washed out section under the old dam with a whirlpool sucking stuff down. IT WAS A DEATH TRAP. Not worth the risk for a $50 paddle IMO. We she other groups doing very dangerous acts of foolishness almost overtime we go on a river or lake, that is why some people hire us. We are very safety conscious and have an excellent record. One little girl in our group asked if I was on the river everyday. I said "I wish! I am and an Electronic Engineer Mon-Friday. This only on weekends."
    Last edited by TXyakr; 10-06-2015 at 09:10 AM. Reason: safety first

  4. #24
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    Default Hand Drill Horseweed Legit! not a hat trick cheating video

    This is one of the most REALISTIC videos I have seen about starting a primitive fire with a horse-weed spindle via the hand-drill method in humid conditions. He talks about the importance of practice and preparation! Video is 31 minutes long full of good ideas and tips not a 30 second hat trick.

  5. #25

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    so again I failed horribly.... I believe next time I try I am going to go bow-drill.

  6. #26
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    I have never been successful at hand drill only bow drill and with good cordage not slippery nylon paracord. I have been looking of horse-weed standing dead in the wild, never there when you need it. Lots of ragweed this year however one of worst in this area. First time ever for me I went to Dr. yesterday and got steroid shot for allergies and he also gave me antibiotics even though I don't quit seem to be there just yet but major pain in chest, body aces all over. Been spending most of my time outside day and night. Still no sign of horse-weed (I know exactly what it looks like). If I can manage it (against Dr's orders) will explore an new area this Saturday down by a river that may have some, hard to see when eyes are running and breathing is labored and sinuses full, throat on fire... dang pollen... must wear a Shemagh and frighten the children, beard sticking out bottom freaks out adults as well. ha ha ha

    Did you try clapping hands, working with stone (knapping), auto mechanics, landscaping etc. to get major callus on your hands. Sit there if watching news/TV/reading emails and on and off spin a spindle to develop you hands and technique a few minutes/hour on and off everyday. It is like learning to hike long distance barefoot outside, takes a lot of time, very few people ever achieve it most just fake it.

    Rambo Outfitters has good ideas, I like his suggestions. He appears to be for real unlike most people online who are mostly just full of hot air. I will not name names...

  7. #27

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    Well I am a Pc guy. although I do all my own auto mechanics, Ac/heating work, go fishing and walking as often as possible. so my body has the endurance, the hands just dont last. they shred up like a bodybuilder trying to tenderize meat. LOL

  8. #28
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    Nice thread. I would also point out in a real survival situation all these cheat methods you point out TX are pretty damn good ideas. The match rubbed inside the notch on your board for one. I think even a failed match is better than nothing if you are trying for friction.

    Makes me want to try a hand drill but I like my 4 methods of fire starting I carry with me lol. I think I would use a magnifier / polished soda can before trying a hand drill.

    An aside, but you don't have to go the drill method if your hands are shot you can wrap em and try a fire plow. (yes like the movie Cast away)

  9. #29
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    @ Davidlastink I agree common sense says take fast and easy fire starter tools and make darn sure you don't lose them. I need to post a photo of how I have some small ferro rods attached to my foot wear but even these can be lost like in mud or wedged in rock on a fall down hillside etc. or stollen by a raccoon or bear while you are sleeping etc. etc.

    The primary purpose of practicing with "rubbing sticks" is if you lose everything you brought and must fashion a knife out of broken river stone, clam/mussel shells or whatever and "make fire" with an extremely primitive method. It is much easier if you have actually done it and not just watched a few "Youtube" videos, most of which are highly edited if not totally fake and deceptive. At least you will get warmer with all the physical exertion but most people would be better off just walking out of there and not even trying to start a fire because they haven't got a "snow ball's chance in hell". Or if they are badly injured just pile a lot of debris on top of themselves for warmth and wait until the sun comes up, then crawl to an open area and try to signal for rescue without a fire, pray for luck you will definitely need it! I sure hope you are not bleeding out too badly (internally?) from the wild animal attack or fall down the hillside.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXyakr View Post
    @ Davidlastink I agree common sense says take fast and easy fire starter tools and make darn sure you don't lose them. I need to post a photo of how I have some small ferro rods attached to my foot wear but even these can be lost like in mud or wedged in rock on a fall down hillside etc. or stollen by a raccoon or bear while you are sleeping etc. etc.

    The primary purpose of practicing with "rubbing sticks" is if you lose everything you brought and must fashion a knife out of broken river stone, clam/mussel shells or whatever and "make fire" with an extremely primitive method. It is much easier if you have actually done it and not just watched a few "Youtube" videos, most of which are highly edited if not totally fake and deceptive. At least you will get warmer with all the physical exertion but most people would be better off just walking out of there and not even trying to start a fire because they haven't got a "snow ball's chance in hell". Or if they are badly injured just pile a lot of debris on top of themselves for warmth and wait until the sun comes up, then crawl to an open area and try to signal for rescue without a fire, pray for luck you will definitely need it! I sure hope you are not bleeding out too badly (internally?) from the wild animal attack or fall down the hillside.
    Most definitely TX but truth is learning the woods and tinder is just as important, so I hedge my bets as much as I can. I tried the fire plow method with some really old fencing I have lying around, I started to break a sweat before I got any where with it. Picked the fencing because it was basically ready made into the shapes needed, I will try later with a stick from the oak tree out back, but I am no expert on different woods etc. I mean I know what they look like form the vids etc, but I doubt I'd be sure in a survival situation that really required my to know.

    Truth be told I did it more to see if I could keep up with the physicality of it. I can definitely do it, with use of my arms / non- injured back/ abdomen, but I would not be able to with a an injury taking out either arm or to my back/ abdomen. Push comes to shove I have ferro rods, several lighters, waterproof matches, batteries and even my phone battery if need be. Just hope them thievy Racoons keep their mits off.

  11. #31

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    Hand drill is a desert technology. Humidity, not temperature, is what makes handrail difficult. If you are in a moist environment, like here in Maine, moisture is your number one blockage when it comes to hand drill. Winter tends to be dry here, which is nice, because it is easy to get the wood stove going with a hand drill in the morning instead fumbling for all the right bow drill parts (we have a barrel with dozens of mismatched sets). When your hands recover, choose a spindle that you know has been kept off the ground and is dry. Place it on your cheek and it should be warm, not cool. Cool means wet, warm means dry. Also, be sure that the end of your spindle that makes contact with the fire board has no leaf scars on the edge. Inconsistent density will create a vibration that will shake your coal apart. When you choose a form, be sure that it is comfortable and you can lean your center of mass over the spindle. Being contorted and uncomfortable is a big issue in ones ability to apply consistent downward pressure. "Floating" is sexy, but not necessary. Just remember that your blisters are from pushing in and rubbing. You want to push down and glide with as much length of your hands as you can to get as many rotations as you can. Sometimes this is best done with the blades of the hand, with other folks, riding to the tips of the fingers works best. Play with your form until you have it "dialed in". After that, start slowly to "prime the pump". Pre-heating before applying you "all" helps get your coal before you wear out and/or get blisters. Fatigue leads to poor judgement which leads to blisters. First establish a smooth roll using the entire length of your hands with each "run". Accomplish a sustainable rhythm until you see the first wisp f smoke, than apply increasing downward pressure, than increase speed. When you have thick, white, billowing smoke, add eight to ten more strokes before checking for your coal. The dust should be black and a thin wisp of smoke should continue after you stop your technique. Take your time gathering yourself and shuttling your coal into a tinder bundle. Once you have a coal, the biggest threats to success are shocking the coal apart and a crappy tinder bundle. Here is a link to our instructional video. Good luck! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF9GiK_T4PA
    Last edited by primitiveskills; 10-23-2015 at 01:00 PM.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by cacteye View Post
    so again I failed horribly.... I believe next time I try I am going to go bow-drill.
    Cacteye, were you ever able to start a fire with the hand drill? I've been trying for a few days now and can only get a pile of dust and smoke. I am sure I must have been close one time yesterday!

    I am using horse weed for the spindle and cedar (fencing kind) and a dried out peice of pine from my yard. I don’t know much about wood types and most of what folks say they use I can't find.

    My hands aren't bleeding (yet), but they are sore as you know what. Anyways, i came across this thread and was wondering how it all worked out for you.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

  13. #33

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    Hand drill off the landscape is originally a desert technology. Knowing this helps, even in humid areas. On clear days, or in winter when the cold makes the air dry, we can have greater success with hand drill. Gathering materials is the second consideration after conditions. In Maine, the primary method for fire starting was bow drill due to the rain and humidity. The bow adds a mechanical advantage and allows for a spindle with more mass and a larger diameter to reach temperature and overcome the humidity issues that impede most hand drill novices and challenge many seasoned practitioners. As for materials, a straight spindle with a pithy center is preferred when in the field. I would recommend training on a cedar spindle on cedar fire board to avoid blisters and bleeding hands. In the field, Elderberry, horse weed, mullein, goldenrod, and evening primrose are numerous and effective. It's important to harvest the upper two thirds and leave the bottom third as the capillary action of the plant is designed to transport fluid and if it is connected to the ground, it must be dried before it can produce a coal. After I harvest a spindle I will out it in direct sunlight hanging from a brach for at least forty minutes. Your firebird can be made of any softer non resinous wood. I prefer the tops of dead standing balsam fir. Regarding form, your blisters are caused by pressing IN too hard and going too fast from the get go. Start smooth and slow and emphasize downward pressure rather than inward pressure. Don't increase speed until you see whisps of smoke. If you feel a "warming" on your hands STOP! Be patient. Wait untill the next day. Your calluses will be a source of pride, but they will eventually peel without practice. We have a family rule that the wood stove can only be lit with hand drill. The youngest is a master at keeping the coals in the stove, but the two boys just take it in stride. While hand drill will not always provide a coal in the outdoors, knowing its limitations and when conditions are ideal will open up opportunities the common bic flickers can only dream about. Hope this helps.

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