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Fire Log prepared and stuffed with kindling.

Finnish Candle.

This is something that I’d heard of but only ever seen in a TV program by Ray Mears, He referred to it as a “Swedish Fire Log” but I’ve been told since that they’re better known as Finnish candles, which has a nice ring to it.

Well when someone turned up at a BCUK meet up with a log already prepared for this I was very interested to see how it would actually work.

The log is prepared by cutting lengthways with a  chainsaw to about a foot from the bottom.

In this case the log, pine, was cut three times giving six vertical segments.

The cuts are then loaded with birch bark and other tinder or kindling and this is lit to ignite the log segments.

In this particular case some small twigs were also added to the kindling which turned out to be a mistake as they blocked the vertical air flow needed to ensure good ignition.

After a slightly discouraging start these twigs were removed from the cuts and with just bark the result was much better.

The original idea behind the fire log is to create a controllable fire which can be lit on snow, as the base does not heat up and can be packed into the snow to keep the log vertical.

Once the fire is burning well, a billy can, kettle or skillet can be placed directly on the top for cooking or heating.

Fire Log lit and starting to catch.
Fire Log ignited and burning well.A billy can on top of the fire log.4

This is certainly an interesting technique if you have a chainsaw, but a similar effect can apparently be produced by splitting the trunk with an axe and packing the sections carefully apart.

 

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