branch-to-burn-9Primitive skills that our ancestors used to survive, are often viewed as antiquated and rather useless with all of today’s technology and advancements in survival gear. Today, we buy sharp tools rather than relying on flint knapping. Fires are started with matches or lighters. Animal hides are either bought at a store or taken to a professional to handle. While modern convenience is nice, it is also beneficial to learn these old ways. It is actually rewarding to work with one’s hands and really get back to basics. It allows you to experience the same things your ancestors did and really connect on another level.

Today’s survivalist experts like to teach some of those primitive skills simply for a lesson in patience and the chance to reconnect with the days of yore. There is also another very good reason you should practice some of these primitive skills. What if you are unable to get to your survival gear? Could you start a fire without your flint or matches? Learning how to make and use a bow drill could very well save your life one day.

A bow drill is the simpler version of rubbing two sticks together to start a fire. It can be a bit frustrating when you are first learning this essential skill, so it is recommended you allow yourself a couple of modern conveniences while assembling your bow drill set. Paracord can be used for the bow string in place of natural cordage you would need to find in your environment. You will also want to use a knife to help you in the construction of your spindle and hearth. With that said, eventually you should also make a bow drill set with, and from, nothing but natural materials.

The video will show you how to make your bow drill tool set. After you have your bow drill tool set, it is time to learn how to use it.

Craig Caudill uses paracord for making his bow drill set. He is also a regular contributor to Dan’s Depot and an outdoor instructor.


  1. Mary Jane says:

    Now this is a really neat article. I have heard about these things but never tried making one myself. With the video, I just may have to try to do it. Thank you for publishing this. Looking forward to Part 2.

  2. admin says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Mary Jane, Making and using a bow drill requires a little bit of skill, but like anything once you know how to do it, it is like learning to ride a bike. Very cheap an affordable to get all the parts…and is one of the most valuable skills you can have when the SHTF