I have been looking into these two methods in a lot of detail recently.
I don't think I will ever have to use these skills in anger. I study them because I like learning them.
I look at them in the context of the environment and resources in my local area. Personally I am not interested in the jungle or desert or any terrain we don't have in Ireland. I am thinking in terms of going out with nothing and making fire within a short time. I am also talking about not having a fire already. Think ancient hunter lost and dressed in simple clothes with no equipment.
I am also talking about using all natural materials as our ancestors would have used.
I think they both have advantages and disadvantages.
I have heard people say that our ancestors would not have used fire by friction because of our damp conditions. People say that percussion would have been the thing.
Of course the weather has not all ways been as it is now. It was colder at one time and also warmer.
Personally I am not a fan of percussion. It requires a number of elements which are hard to come by in northern ireland, iron pyrites and the proper tinder. Also these elements require preparation. To go out and make fire by percussion from scratch is very very difficult even if you find a piece of iron pyrites which in itself is incredibly difficult to locate without ebay.
Fire by friction, once a good level of skill has been attained only requires simple carving and a piece of suitable cord if using bow drill. Hand drill is even simpler. I have gone out, when fresh, with nothing and made fire with hand drill from materials foraged on the day. It did require lots of effort but we must remember that our ancestors would be super fit and strong. Failure at fire by friction -if the materials are right is often a case of endurance.
Its a very interesting topic.
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