How to make the Swedish Torch

The Swedish Torch, also known as a Canadian Candle, is a self-contained, slow-burning fire consisting of a single log. Its unique design allow air to flow freely in all directions, keeping the fire lit from the inside out. Whether you are looking for an outdoor cooking solution, or if you simply want to impress your buddies with a cool campfire, you can't go wrong with the Swedish Touch.

Step #1) Find a Suitable Log

The first step in creating a Swedish Torch is to find a log that's roughly 10 inches in diameter and 2-3 feet tall. Avoid dead, decaying, and/or broken logs, but instead choose 'healthy' logs with no major imperfections. You may have to spend a little extra time searching, but the end result will be well worth it.

Step #2) Cut The Log Into Six Equal Parts

Using a chainsaw, make three cuts into the log going about ¾ of the way down. This should split the log into six equal parts, allowing for greater ventilation. As always, use caution when operating a chainsaw to prevent kickbacks. Knots or other rough patches in the log may stop the blade and trigger a kickback.

Step #3) Add Kindling

Gather some dry kindling (the drier, the better), and place it on top of the log. Spread the kindling evenly across the top, using caution to ensure it's not clumped up. Don't worry about the filling the cracks with kindling, as mother nature will take care of this for you. When the kindling burns, the air in the cracks will suck the burning embers down. You can check out the video below for a demonstration of this phenmmenon.

Step #4) Lighting The Swedish Torch

Now comes the fun part: lighting your Swedish Torch. Using a tool of your choosing (lighter, matches, flint, etc.), light the kindling and sit back and enjoy the show. After a couple of minutes, the fire will travel from the top to the bottom of the log, at which point it will be protected from the wind. This allows the Swedish Torch to burn for hours without interruption. There's no need to add additional logs or fuel, as the enclosed nature of this fire will keep it burning.

Video: Swedish fire torch. One log fire. Neat trick for patio/camping


Want to see an example of the Swedish Torch? Check out the YouTube video published above. The six-and-a-half-minute video shows the exact steps to making a Swedish Torch. If you want to see the good stuff (i.e. the fire), fast forward to the 3-minute mark.

Photo credit: m.prinke