How To Start a Fire With Sticks

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Are you wondering how to start a fire with sticks? Knowing how to start a fire pit with sticks is an important skill for everyone to have, especially survivalists. You might be in a dire situation where you need to start a fire for heat, light, or to cook your food. Of course, you should also know how to start a DIY fire without matches if you are a regular camper or in a survival situation.

After you read this article below, you’ll know how to start a friction fire with two sticks and other natural materials. Then, you’ll be prepared the next time you find yourself in the outdoors or in an emergency!

Source the Right Materials

To start a fire with nothing but sticks, you need to make sure you have the right materials. The exact materials you need will depend on the method you use.

Some of the most important materials you need to have include:

  • Plenty of dry, straight sticks – poplar, cottonwood, cedar bark or yucca tree branches are our favorite!
  • Lots of dry dead wood or wood shavings
  • Pine needles, dry leaves, lint, cotton balls, and dry grass you can turn into a tinder bundle or tinder nest
  • A dry, straight stick

If you want to start a fire with string, paracord, or shoelaces, you may need to have that as well. You need to make sure the sticks are dry, or they will not work well. If you are wondering how to start a fire with wet sticks, you need to make sure you dry them before you use them.

Three Basic Methods For Starting a Fire with Just Sticks

In general, there are three basic methods you can use for fire-making with nothing but sticks. They include:

The Hand Drill Method

The first method for starting a fire with just sticks is called the hand drill method. The steps in this method include:

  • Start by placing the butt of the long, dry, straight stick on the flat wooden board.
  • Then, your handhold should be on either side of the stick.
  • Start rubbing your hands together to make the stick twirl back and forth.
  • As you twirl the stick in place, make sure you create downward pressure between the stick and the ground.
  • The goal is to create lots of energy through the friction between the stick and the ground. This energy will be transferred from the stick to the piece of flat wood, creating embers.
  • Remember that you will need to twirl the stick a lot to create embers.

You can take a look at a video of this method in use.

The Fire Bow Drill

Another common method for starting a fire is called a fire bow drill. You will need to find a branch in the shape of a C to use this method. You will also need to have string or some cordage, which could be as simple as a shoelace to create the bowstring. 

The steps to follow for this method include:

  • Cut the string to a length that is 1.5 times the length of the bow.
  • Make sure the tinder nest for the fire is ready.
  • Then, place the flat bearing block on the ground. You’ll be drilling the stick into this fireboard.
  • Take the long, flat stick and place it on top of the board.
  • Take the string and loop it around the stick. The string needs to be tight, and you shouldn’t allow a lot of slack. If you pluck the string, it should have plenty of rebound. 
  • Attach the string and straight stick to the bow.
  • Place the tinder around the flat stick on top of the fireboard.
  • Use your top hand to hold the straight stick in place. Then, move the bow back and forth vigorously to drill the straight stick into the flat fireboard. You should see smoke start to come from the fireboard itself. 
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This method can take some practice, so you may want to take a look at this video which will show you how to go through these steps.

The Fire Plow

You might also want to try the fire plow method. Two sticks are rubbed together to produce friction, heat, and fire.

The steps involved in this method include:

  • Make sure you have a stick that is cut to a dull point.
  • Then, have a long, flat piece of wood that has a groove cut down the middle.
  • Take the stick with the doll point and rub it against the groove in the board.
  • You should do so in a plowing motion to produce hot dust.
  • Add tinder to the groove to light the fire.

How To Start a Fire with Just Sticks

If you would like to start a fire with just sticks, you need to make sure you have the right materials. Even though there are plenty of options available, they all involve friction. If the sticks are wet, you should try to find dry ones instead. Wet sticks require a lot more embers to light. For best results, use dry sticks.

You must create plenty of friction between the sticks before you can produce embers to light the tinder. Once the tender begins to light, you can add larger sticks to your teepee or bundle. Eventually, you should have a large blaze. You should practice this wilderness survival skill regularly if you want to make it more reliable. 

Master Starting a Fire with Just Sticks

Ultimately, if you are wondering how to start a fire with sticks and string, it is important to practice regularly. If you practice correctly, you’ll know how to start a fire the next time you find yourself in the outdoors. Remember that you should practice starting a fire with a variety of methods to make sure you can start a fire no matter the situation. Regardless of whether you need light, heat, or a way to cook your food, you will always be prepared.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions people ask about making a fire with sticks include:

Can you start a fire with just sticks? 

Yes, it is possible for you to start a fire with just a few sticks. You may want to try the bow method, the fire plow, or the hand drill. Different methods work better in different situations, and you should practice them regularly to get better at them. 

How do you start a fire with sticks?

If you want to start a fire with just sticks, you need to create plenty of friction between the sticks. It is this energy that will generate embers that can light your tinder and kindling.

How long does it take to start a fire by rubbing sticks together?

It depends on how big the sticks are and how much friction you are generating. The more friction you generate, the faster the sticks will light. Furthermore, you need dry sticks. If the sticks are wet, you will need to create more friction and more embers for the fire to start.

Can you rub two sticks together to make fire?

Yes, you can rub two sticks together to make a fire. You can use your hands, the fire drill method, or a bow to do so. The trick is to generate enough friction to create embers that light your tinder. It will take some practice, but it can be a useful skill in a pinch.

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