Build a Swedish fire torch

Swedish Candle

Build a neat, long-lasting fire that is ideal for icy conditions and small spaces.

You will need: 
Dry grass

What to do:

1 Gather the supplies for the Swedish fire torch. You will need tinder: dry grass, some leaves and bark; and some kindling: wood that has been split into short batons. You will also need a firelighter.

2 The main base for the fire is a single log that has been split into four quarters with an axe. You could do this before the meeting so that it is ready-cut before the Explorers arrive or let the older Explorers chop the log.

3 With the log standing on its end and with a gap between each of the four quarters – like pie pieces – start to pack the spaces with the batons, in a criss cross. Continue until you have layers of baton.

4 Pack the tinder on top of the batons, packing out the criss cross cavity between the log quarters. Using the firelighter, light the tinder.

5 This kind of fire burns well because the air is able to circulate through the gaps, and once the tinder is burnt, the heat burns down to the kindling, which burns the main log.

6 If the log has a flattish top then you can place a pan on top and use it to cook. This fire is especially efective in the snow – hence its use in Sweden and Canada, where it is known as a ‘Canadian candle’.


Good news! This activity links with the Explorer Survival Skills badge and Scout Outdoor Challenge badge.


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