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How to make a Swedish fire touch? How to make a Swedish fire log?
A Swedish Fire Torch - also known as a Canadian Candle or Swedish Fire Log is a highly efficient campfire for cooking.
It was first invented by the Swedish military during the Thirty Years War as an efficient means to have a campfire in harsh weather conditions. It requires just a single log and can be constructed even when the ground is damp or covered in snow.
It makes efficient use of wood and provides and quick and easy to cook food while camping or hiking. Before we start, if you are looking for a quick video tutorial there is a great YouTube vid from Kent Survival which is available here.
Benefits of a Swedish Fire Torch
Efficient use of wood: By careful processing of the wood, the Swedish Fire Torch produces a directional flame that burns from the inside out and only uses one log.
Flat Surface for Cooking: The surface of the log provides a flat surface for cooking. Depending on the size of the log, it can easily accommodate a dutch oven, water kettle, or cast-iron skillet, for example. It is important, however, to maintain the fire's access to oxygen. Cooking systems with legs will help maintain this airflow.
Quick, Usable Flame: Because of the flames of a traditional campfire are hard to manage, using practice usually involves waiting for the flames to reduce to embers before cooking. This can easily take an hour plus. The Swedish Fire Torch focuses the flame, allowing you to cook within 20mins.
Keeps the Fire Off the Ground: Even with dry wood, it can be difficult to build a traditional-style campfire when the ground is wet or covered in snow. The Swedish Fire Torch helps insulate the fire from the cold, sometimes wet ground. The Leave No Trace Campaign encourages responsible land use and nature protection in the US. They are big advocates of the environmental benefits of elevated fires have.
Self Ventilating and Self Feeding:
Unlike most campfires that require your continual attention, the Swedish Fire Torch is completely self-sufficient once burning. The fire will continue to burn down, and oxygen is drawn in through the slits in the sides of the log.
Selecting the Perfect Log
The most important step in building a Swedish Fire Torch is to use dry wood. Freshly cut, green logs are filled with moisture and will not burn successfully. Make sure to find the driest log possible, sourcing already felled, deadwood is also more environmentally sustainable. View our guide here for the best wood types for campfires.
Swedish Fire Torch Variations
Depending on what tools you have access to, there are a couple of different ways to make the Fire Torch. Here are your options:
Axe a Whole Log:
Source a dry, suitably sized log with flat surfaces at either end. Next, split the log into quarters or sixths. It is okay if the splits are not all exactly the same size. Then, reassemble the log and secure the splits together using a piece of wire, metal coat hanger, etc - anything that won't burn!
Assemble Pre-Split Wood
Source the pre-split wood. Make sure that they come in similar dimensions and have flat surfaces at either end. Then, reassemble the log and secure the splits together using a piece of wire, metal coat hanger, etc - anything that won't burn!
Chainsaw a Log
Source a dry, suitably sized log with flat surfaces at either end. Stand the log on a flat piece of ground and using the chainsaw cut slits into the wood. Depending on the width of the log, cut into quarters or sixths. As most chainsaws come with crosscut blades, cutting along the grain might prove a little tricky. Bucking spikes used as a fulcrum can provide better leverage. Make sure not to cut the whole way though! Stop with a couple of inches to spare at the base of the log so that it maintains its structure!
Rough up the inside edges of the torch with a hatchet or knife. This process increases the surface area and will ensure the log catches fire more successfully.
Lighting Your Swedish Fire Torch
You've done the hard work! Now time to get the fire started. Like you would with any other fire, gather tinder and kindling. Stuff kindling throughout the log, make sure to not pack too full to allow for a sufficient flow of oxygen. Then, light from the top. For a full authentic outdoor experience and practical reasons we recommend using a ferro rod, we are one of the industry leaders for ferro rods. You can view our full Fire Starters collection here.
Let us know in the comments how you got on!