Learn the basics of making fire using a variety of primitive technologies including hand drill, bow drill, marcasite and flint, and the fire plow.  

Students will leave this course with a clear understanding of the principles behind how all of these technologies work and with enough information to continue to practice on their own to master the techniques.  Once the basics of these techniques are mastered then they can be applied to a variety of environments with different materials.

Some interpretations suggest that our ancestors began to control fire as early as 2 million years ago!  The ability to control and start fires at will completely transformed our ancestors’ relationship with the world.  Fire provided safety; it is thought that the control of fire allowed our ancestors to come down from the trees and sleep on the ground, safely, for the first time.  They could process their food through cooking to make it safe to eat, change its organoleptic qualities and increase its nutrient density.  Fire provided warmth and light.  Once fire technology was mastered our ancestors could travel into places they never could before and work long into the night.

Students in fire building courses will:

  1. Start at the very beginning by learning the basics of how fire works and the principles behind primitive fire technologies.  
  2. Then, students will learn the properties of different materials used in the creation of fire using primitive means.  
  3. Students will then make fire themselves using a variety of primitive technologies and
  4. Learn how to practice the skills on their own in order to master the techniques.