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Sat, Nov 19



Practice Ancient Fire-Making

Fire-making is a fundamental survival skill that will boost your confidence and increase your enjoyment when hiking and camping.

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Practice Ancient Fire-Making
Practice Ancient Fire-Making

Time & Location

Nov 19, 2022, 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM CST

Prairiewoods, 120 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA 52233, USA

About the Event

You may have seen wilderness survival programs showing skilled people easily creating campfires without matches or lighters. You can learn those same valuable fire-making skills to become more confident in your hiking and camping endeavors.

During this class, you will experience the basics of friction fire-starting using a bow drill. We will mindfully wander through the woods, carefully identifying and gathering ideal trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses for a primitive fire. You will then learn to craft those natural materials into a bow, fire board, spindle, handhold and tinder bundle. Proper techniques for spinning up an ember from the tools you created will then be learned and practiced.

Watch this bow drill fire-making video to see the techniques you will learn.

Tips will be shared about tending the wilderness to increase its health when foraging for materials. You will learn more about prairie and woodland plants while enjoying a closer, mutualistic relationship with nature.

Afterward, a rich, forest tea and snacks will be enjoyed around a fire you helped bring to life.

You are invited no matter your level of outdoor experience.

Everyone leaves with a bow drill set and an improved understanding of how to successfully make a fire.

Please note…

  • Sharp tools will be used: knives and tree saws.
  • Hot embers and fire will be created.
  • Be prepared to hike on and off trail with changes in elevation. 
  • Participants must be 15 years or older to attend (or they must be constantly accompanied by an adult).


Required items:

  • Appropriate clothes for hands-on outdoor learning: hat, pants, durable footwear.
  • Leather gloves.
  • 1-3 bags for carrying materials: haversack, backpack, fanny pack, old purse.

Optional items:

  • Sturdy outdoor knife, preferably with a fixed blade.
  • Portable tree saw.
  • Water bottle.
  • Notebook and a pen/pencil for taking notes.
  • Handkerchief.
  • Portable outdoor chair.
  • Food to cook over a fire.


Sliding scale fee: $120 - $30, based upon your access to resources.

Attendance is capped at 15. Please register soon.


We need a minimum of 10 attendees to host the class. Please invite friends and family to ensure the event happens as scheduled. We would love to meet your loved ones.


Taught by Fred Meyer and August Stolba.

  • Fred is a bushcrafter at Backyard Abundance. He offers years of experience as a permaculture designer, Master Gardener, hiker and wild edible forager to help you thrive in the outdoors.
  • August studied design ecology at the Evergreen State College, focusing on the anthropogenic factors that affect social, economic and environmental sustainability. 


We meet at Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center: 120 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA.


The event is held outside. Masks are optional. We will try to maintain 6' distancing.


  • Abundance of Resources

    This fee is for people with expendable income. This option allows you to assist others in attending our classes by “paying it forward” for those who have less access to opportunities.

    Sale ended
  • Traditional Resources

    This fee is for people who have the resources they need to make ends meet and can attend our classes at full cost.

    Sale ended
  • Reduced Access to Resources

    This fee is for people who are working hard to make ends meet on low wages and have less access to resources and opportunities.

    Sale ended
  • Under Resourced

    This option is for people who have low access to resources. Examples include those with income below the poverty line, people living with mental and physical health concerns, and people experiencing insecurity in basic needs attainment.

    Sale ended



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