How To Make a Swedish Fire Torch Without Chainsaw

A Swedish Torch is a method of camp fire that allows you to burn a log clean and even, with out much up keep.  This is good if you don't have time for a fire pit, you have limited wood, or you want to do some cooking.        

Benefits of a Swedish Fire Log or Canadian Candle

According to Fresh Off The Grid there are 5 main reasons for a Swedish Fire Torch

While there are countless ways to make a campfire, the Swedish Fire Log offers some distinct advantages – especially for cooking. 

Efficient Use of Wood  By carefully arranging the wood from a single log, the Swedish Fire Log produces a directional flame that burns from the inside out. 

Flat Surface for Cooking  Placing the end of the log face down gives you a flat surface on the top for cooking. Depending on the size of your log, this surface can easily accommodate a water kettle, dutch oven, or cast iron skillet. [Note: We used a camping dutch oven with legs to allow airflow to the fire beneath it] 

Quick, Usable Flame   Because the flames of a traditional campfire are hard to control, it is usually best to wait until it burns down to embers before cooking. This can easily take over an hour. The Swedish Fire Log concentrates the burn of the fire, allowing you to cook over a focused flame within 20 minutes.

Keeps Fire Off of the Ground  – Even with dry wood, it can be difficult to make a traditional campfire when the ground is very wet or covered in snow. The Swedish Fire Log method keeps the fire up off the ground to start, preventing vaporized water moisture from putting it out. 

Self Feeding / Self Ventilating  Unlike most campfires that need occasional tending, the Swedish Fire Log is completely self-sufficient once properly lit. As embers burn at the top, they fall down into the log, burning it from the top down. Air is continually drawn in through the slits on the side. 

The hard part?

You're going to need to make some cuts into a log to get your torch to work properly.  Usually, you'd need a chainsaw to get this done, but in this video, you'll learn how to make a modified version that only requires a handsaw.

First find smaller logs and cut them down

In a survival situation you may not have perfectly cut logs laying around.

Find smaller logs and sticks that are no thicker than an arm or leg.

Gather any bark or wood clippings.

You will stuff these down into the torch when you stand it up.

Make The Logs The Same Length

You can get your logs the same length by laying them next to each other.

Wrap Vine, String or Paracord Around The Bundle

When you have about 10 small logs cut up, tie them together in a bundle so they can stand vertically like a single log.

You can use paracord for this if you want, but you will not get the cord back, as it will eventually burn up.

Once you have stood your torch up, use all of the kindling and tinder you collected when you hacked up your sticks.

Stuff dry leaves and your smallest kindling into the log and let it burn.

You can adjust the head of the flame by adding wood on top and blowing air into the base of the logs.

Check out last week's survival hacks.

Does your survival kit contain a waterproof fire starter flint?

If your matches get wet, or your lighter runs out of fuel, you need to be able to create a spark.

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  • Bud J on

    Great article. Good idea to know how to do this. Thank you.


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