PK Podcast 037: Dan Hume On His Quest For Traditional Fire Skills

PK Podcast 037: Dan Hume On His Quest For Traditional Fire Skills

My guest in Paul Kirtley Podcast episode 37 is Dan Hume, Bushcraft instructor and author of The Art of Fire.

I’ve known Dan since 2006 when I was working on a tracking course and Dan was with us for work experience. The following year Dan joined us on the team at Woodlore. This was during the time I was there as Course Director. Dan and I worked together during a four year period from 2007 to 2010. So, it was a real pleasure to catch up with Dan on this podcast.

Even from a young age Dan was dedicated to mastering bushcraft skills and he predictably went on to lead courses himself and, ultimately headed the team at Woodlore.

In 2017 his book The Art of Fire was published. It documents his mission to travel to remote parts of the world and learn first-hand how traditional fire skills are still being relied upon by indigenous peoples to this day.

Fire plough action
Dan made a quest of capturing details of traditional fire techniques. Here the fire plough. Photo: Dan Hume

Dan has since left Woodlore and he now splits his time between the UK and Southeast Asia.

In our conversation, Dan shares some interesting anecdotes from his quest for fire, as well as some technical details on various fire techniques. He brings us right up-to-date with what he’s doing now and I also ask what Dan’s advice would be to young people who want to pursue a career in bushcraft education after leaving school, as he did.

Without further ado, please enjoy the following conversation with Dan Hume….


How To Listen To This Podcast

You can listen to this podcast here on my website by using the player above. Just press the play button.

You can download the podcast episode .mp3 file by right-clicking on the download link to save the .mp3 file down to your local machine/device.

Subscribe to The Paul Kirtley Podcast on your favourite podcast app:

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Player FM
Radio Public
Also…. subscribe on the dedicated podcast-only RSS feed.

Dan Hume learning fire skills in the Philippines
Dan learning about traditional fire skills with the Aeta people in Luzon, Philippines. Photo: Dan Hume.

Connect with Dan Hume

Dan Hume on Instagram

Links For This Podcast

Pitt Rivers Museum
Alfred Russel Wallace
West Papua
Peninsular MalaysiaBismarck Archipelago
New Britain
New Ireland
Luzon, Philippine

Books Mentioned In This Podcast

Thanks For Listening!

Thanks for joining me on this podcast. If you have any comments about this episode, please leave them in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page. Thanks!

And Finally…

Finally don’t forget to leave an honest review & rating on iTunes or on Stitcher.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of this podcast and I read each and every one of them.

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog

PK Podcast 036: Mors Kochanski And Jon McArthur On The Global Bushcraft Symposium

PK Podcast 035: Anna Lewington On Adventures In Ethnobotany And The Bounty Of Birches

PK Podcast 034: Lou Rudd On The Motivation To Traverse Antarctica Solo, Unsupported and Unaided

PK Podcast 024: Why Your Bow-Drill Time Obsession Is Important

Northern Forest Fire Lighting Fundamentals: Pulling It All Together

10 thoughts on “PK Podcast 037: Dan Hume On His Quest For Traditional Fire Skills


    1. Hi Jim, thanks for your comments and sharing some of your story. I’m glad you found this podcast interesting and it brought back some memories!

      Warm regards,


  2. Really enjoyed this podcast! My favourite so far! Just ordered Dan’s book, can’t wait to read it & have a go with the fire plough!
    All the Best,

    1. Thanks for the feedback Jake. Glad you enjoyed it.

      I’m sure you’ll love Dan’s book!

      Let us know how you get on with the fire plough… 🙂

      All the best,


  3. another great podcast Paul, thank you, had been searching for that since your last podcast, re-listened to the Anna podcast 4 times but still couldn’t find the comment again after half hearing it in the first listening

    1. Hi David,

      Glad you liked the podcast with Dan.

      Sorry but I don’t quite understand what you can’t find? Happy to help if I can.

      Warm regards,


  4. Hi Paul…
    Managed a lazy Sunday morn coffee and a tune in to this after a frosty early walk along the River Findhorn.
    Great to hear you chat with Dan and to hear some more of his story.
    I admire Dan’s approach, he was my teacher on the Woodlore Fundamental and Journeyman courses and he always took the time to share his passion of the subject around the fire well beyond the teaching elements required, this was inspiring..
    I’ve had my copy of the book (from Dan in person) for a year and thoroughly enjoy dipping in as a reference to further my own fascination with making fire.
    It’s funny isn’t it, it’s only one skill set among so many and there are indeed easy ways to achieve it but like the time you put in to learning about the trees and plants, the wildlife, to find food and use tools (to name a few) understanding and appreciation of this wonderful element runs deeper with the many methods.
    Another great Podcast Paul..

    All the best

    Alan Linee

    1. Hi Alan,

      As always, it’s lovely to hear from you. I’m glad you enjoyed this podcast and found it a worthy accompaniment to Dan’s book.

      I agree it is wonderful how deeply into different areas we can delve and how this repays us with a deeper understanding and insight.

      Hope we can catch up again before too long.

      Warm regards,


  5. HI Paul, enjoying Dan Hume’s podcast interview. I found your website through my subscription to T Jack Survival and his podcast interview of you. I like Dan’s take on his work and teaching coming from the heart. As a wilderness skills and nature awareness instructor for 24 years now in the USA. I feel the same. It’s a work of the heart and will and skill. Great website by the way Paul. Keep up the good work. Maybe will have the opportunity to meet some time. Perhaps at the Busch Craft Symposium in Alberta next year.

    1. Hi Mark, thank you for your positive words. I agree it comes from the heart, at least for those of us who are genuinely passionate about the skills and sharing them with others, in addition to the connection with nature and like-minded fellows this process affords. It would be great to meet you at the next GBS. This will be in the UK in 2021 (I’m co-chairing the event). In the meantime, please keep in touch.

      Warm regards,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.