Do you know how to make a fire on top of the snow? In this post, you’re going to learn how to make a Swedish log fire so you’ll be prepared if you have an unexpected overnight stay in the wilderness during January.
What if you can’t make a fire if it’s raining out or you’re in the middle of a blizzard? During those conditions, it’s even more crucial for your survival to get a fire going and fast.
Fire is essential for survival in the wild, even more so in the Winter months because of the frigid temperatures. But you don’t want to make any kind of fire. We want to make a fire that is designed to last and sustain the Winter weather.
There’s a type of fire that’s designed to be made on top of wet ground or snow. Its called a Swedish log fire. And it’s called a Swedish Log Fire.
- Use a Chainsaw
- Lighting the Log
- Cooking on the Log
This is the fire to build when there is snow on the ground. Make this fire if the ground is wet or snowy.
Step 1 – Use a Chainsaw
In your area starting looking for a suitable log. Make sure the log you find is extremely dry. Place the log in a standing position, use a chainsaw to cut into the log as if you’re cutting into a pizza. It might depend on the width of the log, you can cut in quarters or sixths.
The amount of cut totally depends on how long you want the fire to burn. Make the cut three-quarters of the way down the log, stopping about 5 inches above the base. You do not want to cut too far down as you will need the log to stay as a whole without pulling apart.
This will also help when you are moving the log from one point to another. If your log falls apart, use an old metal coat rack or a piece of wire to hold it.
Use a hatchet to do rough chippings on the outside of the log. The rough edges will easily ignite when the embers fall on them, making the log easier to light. You do not have to do the entire log.
Step 2 – Lighting the Log
Collect all the wood shavings or tinder together. Place wood shavings, tinder or pine needles on top as well as inside the log. Do not put too much in shavings in the log as this will prevent airflow; therefore, your fire will not last. Another option, you can use a quicker method which is placing a firelighter or liquid fluid on top of the log and light it.
Once the fire blazes, the embers will fall and ignite the shavings in the log, and that is how the inside of the log will ignite. This process will take approximately 30 minutes. If you are in a location where there is a lot of wind, the process will get easier. The flames will start from the middle of the log and continue to burn outward.
Step 3 – Cooking on the Log
Now that you ignite the log, you can use a cast-iron pan, a water kettle, or a Dutch oven for cooking on the flat surface of the log. There’s no need to tend the log.
When using an Axe make sure the following:
In the first step, find a log that has flat ends suitable to use. Using a splitting axe, split your log into quarters or sixths. It is perfectly okay if the cut isn’t perfect.
Last step but not least, using a metal coat hanger, reassemble the log pieces and use the hanger to hold them in place using pre-split wood
During the pre-splitting, the wood process, arrange the wood ends down and the bark facing outward, so it appears to be a log.
Use a coat hanger (metal) to secure the base of the newly formed log. The fire could extinguish quickly by throwing water on it or leave it to burn out.
Here’s the video showing you how to make a fire on top of snow if you want a visual.
You don’t necessarily have to build one out in the wild, you can buy these logs that are built with the same concept at Swedish log fires.
There is also something called an improved Swedish Fire Torch. This video shows you the improved design.
If you need to make a fire in the middle of a thunderstorm or in a blizzard, this is your best option for fire.
We hope this article helped you learn how to make a Swedish log fire. You may also want to see our guide on how to build a self-feeding fire.