Imagine this: You’re stranded in the middle of an unknown island. There’s no cellphone signal. No shelter. No nothing. The cold breeze is starting to blow as the night approaches. You felt chilly. You looked around and find nothing but some twigs, dried leaves, and pieces of wood. Hopefully, you’re wearing shoes with laces, and this might be the key to your survival as temperatures drop.  How? By making a Bow drill.

Controlled Use of Fire

Since the Early Stone Age, when the Homo erectus discovered the controlled use of fire, humanity’s life had never been better. Meats were no longer eaten raw. Nights were no longer dark, and forests were cleared for planting and made it easier to spot game.  A fire was also security as most animals are deathly afraid to approach anything burning. It was indeed one of humankind’s first great innovations. Indeed, it can be said that Mankind has not only survived in a Fire-Ecology but has thrived in it. With all the inventions and innovations that we’ve made, you can start a fire with a snap of a finger. We have match sticks, lighters, heck, even a magnifying glass. But what would you do if you didn’t have any of those in hand?

Going back to the makeup scenario, here’s what our Native American ancestors would’ve done to start a fire (and you can do, too): Bow drill.

Exhibit in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photography was permitted in the museum.

What You’ll Need

The first thing to do is gather all those twigs and woods around you. You’ll need to find: