Have you ever tried to start a fire with a bow drill? P has. It took forever, and a little help from a friend, as well as three different kinds of tinder to get it started. And that isn't because he didn't know what he was doing. Starting a fire that way is really hard. Unless you really have no other alternative, it's a huge waste of time and energy--just what you don't need in the wilderness. Which is what most of those survival shows seem to do every single time.
We take along a couple of extra lighters, because we don't like the idea of having to start a fire with a bow drill. We also take along a small magnifying glass, which can be used quite effectively to start a fire, as any nine year-old boy can tell you.
Of course, there's no great television in doing in that way. But we don't go backpacking to entertain television viewers. We go to have fun and relax. And if those survival shows need any advice, we'd suggest that they ask any nine year-old boy for help. We're sure they learn a few things. \
That's our cook kit in the photo above left. No bow drill, but it works every time, and has for more than a thousand miles in the Sierra.