Rubbing two sticks together is likely the oldest of all -fire-starting techniques, and also the most difficult. Besides proper technique, you have to choose the right wood for the fireboard and spindle. Sets made from dry softwoods, including aspen, willow, cottonwood, and juniper, are preferred, although a spindle made from a slightly harder wood, combined with a softer fireboard, can also work. The friction of the spindle against an indentation in the fireboard grinds particles from both surfaces, which must heat to 800 degrees?F before a glowing coal forms. This must then be transferred to tinder and -gently blown to life.
Using a hand drill is one of the simplest friction methods, but high speed can be difficult to maintain because only the hands are used to rotate the spindle. It works best in dry climates.
Step One Cut a V-shaped notch in the fireboard, then start a small depression adjacent to it with a rock or knife tip. Set a piece of bark underneath the notch to catch the ember.
Step Two Place the spindle, which should be 2 feet long, in the depression and, maintaining pressure, roll it between the palms of your hands, running them quickly down the spindle in a burst of speed. Repeat until the spindle tip glows red and an ember is formed.
Step Three Tap the fireboard to deposit the ember onto the bark, then transfer it to a tinder bundle (see "Tinder Bundle-Â¿ on page 56) and blow it to flame.