Bushcraft and keeping the fire alive


While out and about with children nothing seems to excite like the opportunity to light a fire.

On bushcraft sessions we teach ways of making fire using many methods whether it be with a fire steel or from the friction of wood on wood.

Hand drills, bow drills and fire plows require patience, perseverance and of course all the conditions to be just right. As any bushcraft instructor will tell you, making a fire in this way is no quick fix – if you give up early it won’t happen, if you use the wrong wood it won’t happen, if you use bad technique it won’t happen. Along with all this, if the wood is wet you have set yourself a very hard task.

Starting the fire is not the be all and end all. Before attempting it you need to gather all the materials so that when you get that all important ember from your friction you can transfer it into your tinder and get it blazing. Similarly once it is ablaze the job is not done, you must care for and look after your fire if you want it to last.

Spreading the word of Christianity can be compared to a friction fire.

First you must put the ground work in – collecting your materials, living right and setting a good example so that if you can create that ember in someone else the fuel of what they have seen in your life is ready to let the fire take hold.

Secondly you must be willing to persevere. It can take a long time to create the ember and for someone to take notice, don’t give up early, they might be on the very brink of understanding why you care so much about what you believe in. Sometimes the time just isn’t right – the wood may be wet, but if you keep setting a good example and trusting in God one day the wood may be dry and the timing will be perfect.

Thirdly you must be willing to keep feeding the fire. Fires can fade and die if they are not nurtured; we must continue to encourage those around us in their faith so that it will grow.

Finally we must remember that we too are fires that need to be cared for and nurtured it is our role as Christians, not only to encourage others but to accept that encouragement ourselves.



– Graham

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