#AskPaulKirtley Episode 36 – Bow Drill Woods To Avoid, Edibility Of Beech Nuts, Looking After Teeth & Nails The Indigenous Way, Natural Meds or Charcoal For Stomach Upsets?

by Paul Kirtley

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ask paul kirtley episode 36

In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions about how we might look after our teeth and nails without modern tools, natural meds and charcoal for stomach upsets, the edibility of beech nuts, bow drill woods NOT to use, shorts in the bush (are they a good idea?), some curious rings around a tree, uses of Himalayan balsam and pot lifting – what on earth are we doing?

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Bow Drill – The Keys To Success
Intermediate Wilderness Bushcraft Course

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What Is #AskPaulKirtley?

#AskPaulKirtley is my Q&A video and podcast series that aims to answer your questions about bushcraft, survival skills and outdoor life.

The idea here is partly to take the strain off my email inbox and get answers out to people in a more timely fashion.

Rather than send an answer to just that one person, I’d like others to benefit from the answers too. So, just in the same way I’d previously write an email answer, here I’m going to speak the answer (which is much quicker than me typing out an answer, so I’ll get more questions answered as well as benefiting more people).

Click here to find out the different ways you can ask me a question.

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog:

#AskPaulKirtley Episode 26 – Bow Drill Reality Check, How To Get Fit For Backpacking, Kit Mentality and My Views On Survival TV Shows

#AskPaulKirtley Episode 3: Kids & Bushcraft, Ticks, Alternative Tinders, Friction Fire Woods & Seeing More Wildlife

Water Mint, Mentha aquatica – A Not So Wild Tea


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Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcraft, a wilderness bushcraft school, offering bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Howard

Thanks for another useful episode Paul. I am so glad to know that my inability to get Oak to hold an ember, when bow-drilling, is not totally down to my technique, or running out of puff when trying it.
All the best, keep safe and keep up your exceptional good work. Dave.


Paul Kirtley

Hi Dave,

It’s good to hear from you and I’m glad this particular episode held some useful info for you.

Thanks for watching/listening and your feedback.

Warm regards,



Adrian Spring

Hi Paul, Thanks for that, always good to get your opinion on these things, sound’s similar to hazel nuts, I’ve heard some people have had an upset stomach after eating too many raw cob nuts. That said i used to scoff them down when i was younger and never had any problem, maybe im half billy goat .Will have to have some tasting sessions.
Thanks for all your hard work. Much appreciated chief.
Thought you had forgotten me for a while.


Paul Kirtley

Haha, not you’re not forgotten Adrian 🙂

I’m the same re beech nuts. Never had a problem eating them and have eaten reasonably large quantities in the past.

Warm regards,



paul walsh

hi Paul
another very interesting episode esp about friction fire and woods to avoid as this is an area that interests me greatly , i was therefore supprised that you included holly and ash in there as i have often used these woods as drills ( will now experiment with them as hearths now )
keep up the good work


Paul Kirtley

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, holly and ash both have a tendency to be too hard when well seasoned, particularly holly.

How big/strong are you Paul?

Warm regards,



paul walsh

hi Paul
regarding my build etc re bow drill woods , im not massive 5″11, 12 stone ish , but i have done physical work all my life however my lady got her first ember using a holly drill and she isnt as strong as me , maybe a fluke i look forward to more experimenting
keep up the good work , many thanks


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