Lake District Bushcraft: Friction Fire Lighting
What better way to learn about bushcraft and fire than an expedition into the Lake District? We met with Ben McNutt, owner of Cumbrian Bushcraft experts Woodsmoke in the hills above Windermere to learn how to light fire without matches, despite the damp weather. This post is part of our Family Adventure Capital Season ..
How to light a fire without matches
Wilderness expert Ben McNutt did an apprenticeship with Ray Mears. He has spent much of his life learning bush-craft from indigenous people around the world. And he was listed as one of CN’s top 50 travellers in the world. Put it this way if I were to be stranded in the jungle, desert, on an icecap or even on a Cumbrian fell, this is the guy I’d want to have around. Most Woodsmoke courses last a week or more; we only had an hour. But in that small amount of time he showed us a core bush-craft skill – how to light a fire using only the natural materials around you. This method of starting a fire without matches is called the bow drill friction fire lighting technique.
We couldn’t wait to share some pictures of this magic. One word of warning, please don’t try this in your local woods, forest or at home unless you are absolutely sure fire-lighting is permitted and know what you are doing.
Or have Ben with you.
First gather and prepared your materials
Now for the hard work starting a fire without matches
You’re aiming to make smoking embers
Now for the magic…
There’s no smoke without…
Cool eh? Fire without matches!