A Swedish Fire Torch, aka “Canadian Candle” is a smart and efficient means to keep warm in the woods. Lazy campers love this trick because it’s an easy way to build a campfire that doesn’t need tending and lasts for hours!
With just one four-piece log that you cut at home or right at your campsite, you can keep your whole crew warm, fed and lit up long into the night.
Why Make a Swedish Fire Torch?
When you make a Swedish fire torch you are saving a lot of effort. Forget finding heaps of dry wood to keep your campfire going; a single Swedish fire torch can burn at least four hours!
- Uses just one piece of wood
- Requires no tending
- Flat base makes it stable for cooking
- Long burn time
- Works in many conditions: keeps fuel source off the ground
- Reusable as a base for a larger fire
Make a Swedish Fire Torch in Six Lazy Steps
- Find the thickest log available. Use a chain saw to cut the ends as flat as possible.
- Stand the log vertically in a campfire ring, then make chain saw cuts beginning at the top, as if you were cutting a pie into four pie-shaped wedges.
- Don’t cut all the way to the bottom: you’ll need about six inches of uncut wood at the base of the log.
- If your log breaks because you cut too deep, don’t worry: you can either wrap bailing wire around the outside to hold it together, or just dig a hole underneath the log, place it in the center then gather enough dirt and rocks around the base to hold it together. Allow an even amount of gaps in between each wedge.
- Next, place small bits of kindling in a criss-cross, alternating style between the wedges. Use larger sticks between each layer of kindling to encourage the fire. Place a small pile at the top of the log to expedite the burn.
- Use a match or lighter to ignite the kindling. Air will circulate in between each wedge and encourage the fire to grow inside of the log. As the kindling burns it will fall to the bottom of the wedges and help the log burn for a few hours without any intervention. In the meantime you can use the top as a cook stove!
Those Swedes know how to make efficient campfires.
The logs will eventually split apart and fall over, so be sure to make a Swedish fire torch inside of a campfire ring. Once the logs are apart, you can use them as a base for an even larger bonfire.
No Chain Saw? You Can Still Do This
You can make a Swedish Fire Torch without a chain saw. Just gather four long, thick logs with flat ends and stand them upright, like this: