After School Bushcraft – The ‘Swedish Candle’

Keep within the confines of sense, decency and morality, and YouTube can indeed be a wonderful tool in your search for knowledge. Whilst I agree that you can lose a large amount of time chasing through a variety of pointless videos to find the gold.  I believe that if you are learning something new, this has be to time well spent.

As an added guilt balance, I ensure that time spent in front of a screen for me and the kids is offset with quality outdoor time. Therefore, inspired by YouTube, the next mini bushcraft project was to create a Swedish candle , of sorts. Original Swedish candles (someyimes known as Finnish Candle) seems to be constructed from one upended log which is then split vertically into quarters with an axe, or chainsaw if you go for the more direct approach.   The alternative method shown below employs numerous smaller logs (large branches) upended, lashed together and the fire lit within.  They are ideally suited for snowy terrain, as the base doesn’t heat up.  It can therfore be packed down into the snow in order to remain upright.

Youtube provided an alternative from bushcraftmyway:

Title – (the swedish torch/stove – my way)

The homework had been done, so instead of sitting down to watch episode 2,343 of Spongebob Square-eyes me and the boys set about constructing our ‘British Candle’.  swede1One son was keen to help, the other decided he was better placed in the warm at his bedroom window.

I strated by digging a 2 inch hole in the back garden, the need to bushcraft more important than maintaining an immacutely manicured lawn.  I cheated slightly on the next step by using synthetic twine instead of natural twine then stuffed the middle full of birch bark, wood shavings and fine twigs.  My son Oli lit a cotton wool ball (soaked in vaseline) with a fire steel, his first successful fire-lighting experience, then dropped the ball into the kindling.  With 10 minutes of gentle encouagemnt (blowing and adding kindling) a good solid flame was established which allowed us to brew a mug of tea and fry an egg.  The food might not have been the most exciting but the effort put into cooking it, made it ever more rewarding.

My wifes friend happened to pop round and was amazed at what we were doing, wishing that she would do that with her kids. My wife was not so impressed with the smell of smoke wafting in and out of the back door.

Thanks go to  bushcraftmyway and of course YouTube, where I’m now heading back to seek out our next project.

 

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