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Making a Paracord Bow Drill

In this video presented by Lester River Bush Craft, you'll learn how to use a paracord bow drill to start a fire. Using a paracord bow drill is a simple and effective way to start a fire in an emergency. And with a TITAN SurvivorCord Bracelet, you can even start create your bow drill with the SurvivorCord on your wrist!

There are many ways to start a fire when out in the wilderness. If you get stranded and have a paracord bracelet, you can start a fire to keep warm, signal for help, or to cook with. The paracord bow drill is simple to make, and if you have a paracord bracelet (which you should) you can find everything you will need in your surroundings.

To make the bow, you will need the outer strand of your paracord bracelet and a three to four-foot stick. Cut notches a few inches in from the ends of the stick. Create an over hand loop knot at one of the paracord. Put the loop around one of the notches and pull the paracord to the other notch, looping it around. You want the notches facing away from you. You should have two strands in your hands, one making up the bow, and the other is the remaining end of the paracord

Now create an in-line Prusik knot by taking the remaining end of paracord and going over the bow strand, then under and through the loop that was just created. Go over and under again, and when your paracord end comes out the other side, go under the bow line just below the first knot, then over and through the loop that was just created. Repeat once more and tighten the knots together. This will allow you to adjust the tension in the bow to compensate for the stretch caused when you put your spindle in the bow line.

To start a fire, you will need a piece of wood with a notch cut out just big enough to fit your spindle. Your spindle should be a stick with a good diameter, cut to about six or eight inches, and smoothed out with a knife. You will also need a somewhat flat rock to place on top of the spindle as a hand old, a piece of bark, birch works well, and some kindling. Kindling can be anything from jute twine frayed out to dried stringy wood and leaves, even dry moss will work. You will want to work your kindling into what resembles a fluffy bird’s nest.

Take your bow and place the spindle in the center of the bow string.  Next place your piece of wood with the notch in it on top of the bark. Twist the spindle to wrap the bow string around it one time, adjusting the tension as necessary. Place a spindle end in the notch, put the rock on the top of the spindle and while pressing down move the bow back and forth. This should be making the spindle turn, creating friction that will make embers on the bark, it should start to smoke.

Once you think you have enough embers on the bark dump them onto your bird’s nest and gently blow on it until a fire starts.  You can put your bark on the fire and start to build it up with dry materials. Now you have a fire! So, the next time you find yourself in an unfortunate situation and have a paracord bracelet, you'll be able to start a fire fairly reliably.