Making a bowdrill fire when it's warm and sunny out, and when your abilities
are unhampered by fatigue, snow, and cold, is relatively easy!
add the factors of snow, cold, wind, and perhaps darkness, and it's an
entirely different story. Much of this discussion applies to other
- Snow: One has to be very careful that snow does not get mixed in
with the nice coal that you're creating with your bow drill. It can get
spilled onto your fireboard by your bow when you are stroking away with
it. And you need a good base to place the whole apparatus on, so snow
doesn't spill over the edges and cover everything.
- Cold: You may need to have your gloves off for some of the time.
Your hands may become rather cold, when they need to manipulate the
equipment or the newly glowing coal.
- Wind: A wind in winter has much more impact on you and the
fire-making process than in warmer months. Wind chill can become a major
- Fatigue: Tromping about in the winter can be more demanding than in
the warm months, due to the deep snow, and you may be carrying more
equipment. Thus you may be fatigued before you even attempt to make a
fire from bow drill.
- Equipment: Your equipment will be cold, and so you have to heat up
the sawdust (to make a coal) more than in other seasons.
Also, your equipment has to be of better quality, as it has to perform
better than usual (since you have less slack in your environmental
conditions to play with).
- Stress: You will likely need a fire much more in cold weather than
in the warm weather. So you may be stressed out worrying that you "have"
to get fire. This can effect your results.
- Darkness: It gets dark early in the winter. If there's no moon,
and/or it's cloudy, you may have trouble seeing when you are trying to
make a fire. On the other hand, the snow cover almost always helps as it
is a lot better at reflecting what light there is.