Friction Fire Bow Drill – Palmetto Bowstring

Friction fire practice. My original intent was to use all naturally found materials from scratch. I started off making everything from Longleaf Yellow Pine (common here in Florida) and Saw Palmetto fibers for the bowstring. I used dried Pine sap as a lubricant for the bearing-block.

Well, it didn't go according to plan. As I was prep'ing the set a thunderstorm was rolling in and it started raining. I did bring the materials home and tried again later, but just couldn't make it happen. So, I resorted to using a proven Laural Oak set with an in-line roller blade wheel as a bearing-block to at least get a coal and blow it to flame.

So, I ended up cheating, but what I was most interested in was how well the natural cordage bowstring held up. Surprisingly, after countless attempts today it never broke and is still usable.

Bow Drill Fire – All Natural (includes Saw Palmetto Prep)

Bow drill friction fire success using all natural materials from scratch (including the bowstring made from Saw Palmetto).

Several folks have asked how I made the Palmetto bowstring in my last video. Here I show how I make it.

I used Long-leaf Yellow Pine for all main components (ie. Bow, Fireboard, Spindle, Bearing-Block), Saw Palmetto strands for the bowstring, green vegetation as a lubricant for the spindle/ bearing-block, a dead leaf to catch the coal/ ember, and Palmetto fibers (ie. Monkey Fur, Palm Hair) for the tinder bundle. Everything was found on-the-spot. The only man-made item I used was the main blade on my Swiss Army Knife.

If I seem apprehensive it's because I've only done this a couple times and the heat, humidity, and weather factors here in Florida often keep me guessing, ha ha.

Overall, It took about 2 hours (from foraging to flame). Not too bad when working with unproven materials and I did have a couple problems to overcome along the way (a bad fireboard & bearing-block). So, it might seem like everything went really well, but there was some troubleshooting to deal with. I just edited out a lot of footage so it wouldn't be too long and boring. The main objective was to show the cordage preparation and success using it.

Plant/tree identification and uses: near coast (2 of 2)

Part 2 of me describing different plants/tree uses and identification. This video is shot about 4 miles inland from the coast to show the difference the further you go in. It covers pickerel weed, caesar weed, saw palmetto, cabbage palm, pine tree, spanish moss, and live oak.