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Fire Plow

This technique requires determination, but works well.

  • Find a piece of softwood for your plow board, about 118 inches long and roughly 2 inches wide. Willow and poplar trees work well and are commonly found near streams and rivers.
  • Use a knife or sharp rock edge to carve a groove about an inch wide and 6-8 inches long in the center of your plow board, about two inches from either end.
  • Find a hardwood stick for your plow. It should be about a foot long and come to a point on one end.
  • Lay the board flat on the ground and insert the plow into the groove.
  • Rub the plow back and forth with moderate pressure to create small bits of wood dust.
  • Once you have a moderate amount of dust, raise the top end of the board up and rest it on your knee. The dust will collect at the bottom.
  • Rub as fast as you can with heavy pressure until the dust smolders. Pick up the board and gently blow until you have a flame you can transfer to tinder.