I came across an interesting technique for fire starting called the fire roll or "Rudiger roll" method of fire making while watching some outdoor
and bushcraft videos. Seems relatively quick and simple compared to most friction fire methods.
It's pretty easy too since the main components seem to be obvious enough:
Fibers: Plant material seems to be preferred. Fibers have to be tough enough to not break apart, fine enough to bind or matt easily, shouldn't be too
smooth, and should be of a material that doesn't melt or turn gummy when hot (why synthetic fibers don't work). Animal hair may even work too, but
has higher ignition temp and smells unpleasant compared to plant fibers.
Friction (material): Ash from a previous fire seems to be common. Oxidizing materials also seem to work great like rust or powdered bleach. But it
seems any fine powdery material that gets in-between the fibers and aids in heating from friction is suitable. Dust from lichen or shelf fungus, or
perhaps even crumpled leaves should work.
Flats: Two hard flat surfaces to perform the rolling with. Boards are common, but rocks, bricks, tree branch split down the middle, etc. If you're
tough enough, maybe even using bare hands? (Not recommended, but probably amusing to watch.) This aspect seems pretty stupid-simple.
Force: I think this may be a bit of the tricky part. The material you roll up should be as tight as you can get it. However there should be some
noticable binding and rubbing of the fibers inside the roll against the grit of the friction material. So you have to press down enough to help mash
the fibers against each other, but not so much that you flatten out the roll. You want to be able to keep rolling it back and forth until the ember
As for how it's done? Just watch...
Really does look like less calluses than hand drilling, or less skill involved than trying to get a bow together, and it seems to allow for more
common and varied materials.
I believe you could make the roll considerably larger allowing more different materials to be used.
Great technique for urban/suburban survival but looks like you need very clean and dry materials (as well as straight and flat), not always easy to
Looks worth learning and exploring for sure.
Chemical additives are a wild card. Old news papers flare up like gunpowder in house fires. Since the 1980's most paper has fire retardant chemicals
in it. As do most household products. I think clothes do to.
Whatever fiber is tried has to be dry, disrupted out of its weave, and rolled tight. I guess.
I like learning many ways to do things. This seems to be a good way to do things. You could use a big rock outcrop, possibly some fine birch bark or
tinder moss, and a piece of split wood to do that out in the wood.
I suspect other paper may work too, if you rough it up and crumple it a bit before making a roll. Some papers do have clay or other additives though,
which would make them harder to ignite with this method.
However I'm surprised I'm mostly seeing the same two guys testing variations of this in the videos. You'd think there would be more giving it a shot
if it works as well as it appears to. (I think I'll try this sometime in warmer weather to give my take on it.)
a reI fail to see how this guy RUDIGER can claim tio have invented this in the 5 60s when I learned this fire roll from my Cherokee grand ma in 1950
and she learned it before 1900 from her grand dad and so on all the way back through before 1800 in my familyply to: pauljs75
just don't waste time on cedar bark as your fiber it disintegrates its better for birds nest AND I fail to see how this guy RUDIGER can claim
too have invented this in the 60s when I learned this fire roll from my Cherokee grand ma in 1950 and she learned it before 1900 from her grand dad
and so on all the way back through before 1800 in my family
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