The Swedish Candle

pic-51I thought I would share this good idea with you.


Its called a “Swedish Candle”. It makes a very enjoyable campfire to sit by for the evening, there is no need to add wood to it every 30 minutes or so either, just one log, one match. It also makes an excellent cook fire as billies, kettles etc. can be placed on top.


First select a good sized diameter log, the one shown here was just short of being 18″ in diameter. I cut this log right at 42″ in length.


You then rip the log length wise to within 4″ of bottom cutting it three times to make what looks like a cut pie on top. Tip your chainsaw in-wards at the bottom to make the inside of cut lower than outside. This gives the fire once lit air from below which is drawn up the length of the log to top, like a chimney and helps to feed the fire with oxygen.







































When you are ready to light your candle, prepare it by sliding dry tinder such as birch bark, pine needles etc. into the slots which you have cut down the length of the log.






















At first it will look like the above, after about 5 minutes you will no longer see a flame, but your log will only smoke like below.






















After about 10 minutes it will flame back up and begin burning from the inside out. Slowly at first till it will begin to look like the log below, at this point it had been burning about 1 hour.






















Your log will keep burning from the inside out, no need to add more fuel to your fire at anytime.


After 3 hours of burning this log had taken on this look.






















This log lasted for a little over 4 hours of strong burning without ever adding more wood to the fire.


Make sure you log sits on a good hard surface so it will not tip over while burning.


**if there are any points you would like to raise or any information you would like to add  regarding this article, please feel free to use the Comments box below.**

21 Responses to “The Swedish Candle”

  • lee fraser:

    I can vouch for the aesthetic beauty of the Swedish fire log,in darkness it radiates lines of light. Also the fire lantern which Preben made works well-although a fair warning is not to have anything that will burn underneath it as it sheds hot coals occasionally….its just an alternative to the gas lanterns. by far my fave is the long log fires which can and will burn throught the night…..

  • Tony:

    Hi Lee,

    Do you have any details on the fire lantern that Preben made? I’ve never seen one of those and I’d be interested in finding out how to make one.

  • Mike:

    Beautiful! I’m definitely going to be trying this out next time I’m in the woods. Did you bury the end of the log in the ground? Also, you have made all the cuts through the centre of the log – if you off set them slightly you could make a central wedge as well – maybe better for thicker logs?

    I’d be tempted to cut half a dozen of these in advance and have them stashed under cover ready to burn :D

  • Tony:

    Hi Mike,

    No the log wasn’t dug into the ground. It was entirely free standing. However, if you don’t have a large log or for that matter a chainsaw. You can stand four similar diameter logs together by digging them into the ground.

  • Dar:


    Looks sweet and we are making them this weekend with scouts. One question – do you light it at the top where you made the cuts or down at the bottom?



  • Tony:

    Hi Dar,

    I tend to light the candle at the bottom. The flames will generally climb their way to the top. However, if it looks like the flames are struggling to take hold, there’s nothing to stop you lighting both top and bottom.

  • Seriously, your post is really amazing. I must say that from now your blog will develop into one of my preferences. Maintain it likely mate !

  • Josh:

    Thanks for poosting this! We saw these around Chritmas Markets in germany, and I hav ewondered for years how they were made!

  • Forrest:

    Thank you for sharing. I greatly appreciate your teachings.

  • Lori:

    Have you heard of putting Sterno or kerosene down in the log before lighting to assure a good burn?

  • Peter:

    How long should I leave freshly cut eucalyptus wood before it’s suitable for making a lantern?
    Should the cuts be made before the wood is dry – I.e. will it speed up drying? – or is it best to wait
    ‘ Til it has dried out before cutting?

  • Tony:

    Hi Peter,

    To be honest, I have no idea. I’ve never used eucalyptus to make a Swedish torch or anything for that matter. Eucalyptus isn’t a native tree here in the UK. The only place you’d find it growing here is in someones garden or perhaps some parkland. I’d suggest making the cuts and then leaving the log to dry out. That should help the log to dry a little quicker. I understand eucalyptus is quite oily and sappy, is that right?
    Sorry I can’t be more help with this. Hopefully someone will come along who has experience with this wood and be kind enough to leave a reply.

  • Jay:

    Hi. . My brother gave me a swedish candle as a present. I thought he had given me a log? It was only when We stayed with some friends at their teepees and i got my log out and it totaly amazed every one. It had been made with some wood shavings and wax on the top. We lit it from the top and it slowly burnt down. It gave of some real heat. And burnt for a few hours. Every one was toasty and it looked real gorgeous too. Now We want to make our own. These look amazing as the y burn down. Thanks bro for a great present.

  • Gez:

    If you light them at the top with a hot coal or something they will burn for much longer. I have used fire lighters but a coal from a fire or some charcoal is the best. I find that Larch wood is the best to use when slightly green, within six months of felling is good as the sap in the wood is still present but the wood is quite dry. Hard wood can be used but it needs to be well seasoned first and burns quite quickly compared to the much cheaper Larch. Look good though don’t they?

  • Does anyone make a metal “holder” to ensure the log doesn’t fall over?

  • Les Stene:

    how Swede it is.

  • Tony:

    Hi Blading Babe 4 Life, I honestly don’t know if anyone makes a metal holder for these candles. I have never seen one myself. To be honest though, I really haven’t found the need for one.

  • DanL:

    I did a take on this using a hollow log. After cutting the slitsi turned it upside down. Packed fullof twigs and smaller diameter limbs. It was a gorgeous fire. Not unlike the original, both work well and save on a lot of wood gathering.

  • Edie:

    This is such an awesome idea. We save the lint from our dryer for fire starter. Should work great for this

  • Gary:

    As I have already split wood piled up, I’m gonna try tie-wiring pieces together in a mock Swedish Candle configuration and see if that works as well. I will certainly give this a try when I get logs again, though.

  • Juba:

    Jätkänkynttilä mean ” jackman candle “

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