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Here’s a very simple way to create a fire from a single log perfect for cooking, or just long-lasting warmth.
This fun campfire is called the Swedish log candle or Swedish fire torch. The Swedish log candle is the ideal-campfire for any season. It’s a single, specially prepared upright log that, once lit, creates a long-lasting fire which is raised up off the damp ground. It doesn’t need feeding yet gives out plenty of light and heat.
Making Swedish log candles does require some preparation but campsite service teams can often give you a hand.
1. Ensure that both ends of the selected log are level. The thickest end will form the base.
2. Set the log upright on the ground. Use a pencil and straight edge to mark cutting guidelines. The idea is to create three intersecting lines so that the top of the log looks like a pie that’s been sliced into six pieces.
3. Make the first cut with a chainsaw or large ripsaw. Cut down to about 5 inches from the bottom of the log, then angle the saw downwards so that the cut is lower on each side of the log. This will help draw air into the log once it is lit, creating an updraught.
4. Repeat this cutting technique, making two more cuts in line with your guide marks.
5. Place the log upright on flat, solid ground, or dig the base of the log a couple of inches into the soil for added safety. Ensure that the area surrounding the log is clear, as it may drop a few coals after an hour or more of burning.
6. Fill the cuts with tinder – strips of birch bark are ideal. The bark’s high natural oil content means it makes excellent tinder, even if damp. Do not pack too tightly as good air circulation is required.
7. Light the log from the top. When first lit, a small flame will flicker at the top of the log, which will gradually die down. The log will smoke for a while before the flames emerge again as the log burns from the inside out. In general a log candle of the size shown above will burn for two to three hours. Check out the full tutorial and watch the video for more details.
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