Southeast Wilderness Survival
The two-stick hearth-board is another way of achieving fire using the fire-bow method. This is a simple type of hearth-board that offers a few advantages over the traditional type of hearth-board, but can also be more challenging. The simple two-stick hearth-board technique is one that I learned from a friend named Rick Marchand, a knife maker and survival instructor in Canada.
For this demonstration I chose to use Yucca because it is simple to work with and is indigenous in many areas of the Southern U.S.. Yucca is a very soft fibrous...
For a two-stick hearth using Yucca stalks the list of needs is small: Dried Yucca stalks, something to cut with, 5 to 6 feet of cordage (a little less will work in a pinch), something to use as a bearing block, and a curved branch to make a bow from. Usually two stalks should yield plenty of material. Sometimes one stalk is enough but they do not always grow straight and often I get enough straight material for the hearth from one stalk and then the spindle from another. The Yucca has to dry naturally while standing, harvesting and drying green Yucca does not work.
Yucca is a very soft fibrous plant. It is the ends of these fibers rubbing against the hearth board that creates the friction necessary to produce enough heat to turn the dust into an ember. Yucca is very easy to work with, and a sharp knife will slice right through it fairly easily.
The hearth board is simple to make, all that is needed are two straight pieces to tie together. I have been able to make this work with a board only 8-inches long, but since typically only one coal can be achieved per socket I tend to like to make my hearth boards about a foot long so that I have the potential to achieve several coals from one board.