Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Swedish Torch...

10:28 am - 63 degrees - overcast...

Imagine a real log fire you can take with you anywhere, light instantly – then enjoy its flames, heat and magic for hours; well that’s what a Swedish Torch is all about!

The Schwedenfackel or Schwedenfeuer, when roughly translated means “Sweden Fire,” is also  know by other names including Swedish Fire Torch, Swedish Log Candle, Swedish Log Stove, Canadian Candle, Norwegian Fire Torch...and the list goes on.

The Swedish Torch gets its name from the Thirty Years’ War in Europe between 1618 and 1648.  During this war the torches were used by the Swedish soldiers.

Through a specially developed sawing process the soldiers were able to use fresh pinewood for a source of heat.  This way they didn’t have to travel great distances for firewood at camp, especially in snowy or swampy conditions.

These days the Swedish Torch is mainly used for leisure activities.  It also makes an excellent elevated cooking fire or a signal fire.

There are a few different designs that we have seen based on this idea.  Basically the Swedish Torch is a rocket stove.  It concentrates air and heat in a confined area and produces an incredible concentration of energy in the form of fire.  It is unique because it uses only one piece of fairly decent sized wood as its fuel. 

The log is either cut (usually only three quarters of the way down, but other variants do include totally splitting) and then set upright (ideally, the log needs to be cut evenly and on a level surface for stability).  Tinder and kindling are added to the top to start the initial fire.  Eventually, the fire is self-feeding.  The flat, circular top provides a surface to place a kettle, or pan for cooking, boiling liquids, etc.  The elevated position of the fire also serves as a better beacon than the typical ground based campfire in some instances. 

The Swedish Torch, made from a single log, can burn for several hours under good conditions.  Of course burn times will vary, due to factors such as log size, type of wood, moisture content, and wind and weather conditions.

Our Swedish Torch was 14" wide by 30" tall.  Because of the size, Tony made four top cuts, that went three quarters of the way down the log.

The tinder we used to start the initial fire was the left over shavings from cutting the log planters {click here}.

Once the tinder starts to burn, the hot embers drop down into the cuts on the log, igniting the inside.  The picture above was taken about 15 minutes after lighting the tinder. 

The above picture was taken about 2 hours after we lit the Swedish Torch.  You can see why its called a torch - it gave off quite a bit of light.

This morning, this is what was left of our Swedish Torch... and a little buck stopped by to check it out.



  1. That is SO Cool.
    Next time I have a log, I know what I am going to do with it.

  2. I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin. (A Big City)
    But I do have some friends houses in the suburbs where I can try out the Swedish Torch.

  3. I know that this comment is a bit late, but do you recommend creating the set of grooves with a bowsaw or by other means? This concept befits light summer camping where a full-fledge fire isn't obligatory.



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