"The more you know, the less you carry" - Mors Kochanski.

October 27, 2008

Hunters and a cool way to cook lunch...

So my brother and his kids came to stay with us for the weekend and we gave them a grand tour of the property. They said they loved it! Had a great time driving the kids around on the ATVs and exploring. We even found a tree-stand that a hunter had set up on our property. Not impressed but it turned out to be a neighbor that was confused about the property lines. Spoke to him today and he seems real nice. Came to an agreement and things were worked out.

Anyway... onto the main topic of this post which is a neat trick to heat up a pot of water. I found it really neat. So here is how it works:

Get yourself a pot of water (Juice Can), a cotton ball with petroleum jelly, and some lighter fluid.
The lighter fluid is optional but it makes getting the fire going much faster. Then you get yourself a good sized log that is dry. Like this:

This was a piece of Poplar from our stock of wood for the furnace.
My advice is that you try to make the wood as big around as you can and as dry. Now you need to cut an 'X' in the top of it. (make sure the wood will stand up on its own)

Here is my brother starting to cut with one of my old bowsaws:

That did not work out well as children under the age of 8 standing out in the rain do not have the greatest of patience. So we had to find a way to cut the notches faster....

This works...

Notches about 4 inches deep, complete:

Now you will need to place the cotton ball in the center of the 'X' and then pour a large amount of lighter fluid (if you have it) and then strike it!

Now just let it burn! Leave it for about five minutes (or whatever you think it needs) to let it burn enough to put a pot on it.

I found that once it really started going, the wind blowing in from the side helped to keep the fire going. All told, it took a little more than 20 minutes to get a pot of water to a full rolling boil. That was not including cutting time. But it did get the water boiling and I did not have to add anything or help the fire in any way!

(opps sorry. forgot to fix this)

(and this...)

(there we go... much better. Neck was getting sore)

Sorry did not measure the amount of water. But if you are thinking you have dozens of way you could heat water faster, remember this! I lit it! And left it!

I am sure there are a few pro and cons to this but I thought it was neat! I always have a swede saw blade in my belt (between 2 layers) with my possibles pouch... but that is a post that shall have to wait.

Thanks for reading me,



  1. Well, I've seen it done before but never with such panache. :)

    Great work.

    I think the kids would get a kick out of this and think we'll have to give it a try next weekend.

    Great post.


  2. Just found your cool blog tonight Decado and I love it! This "x"ing a log thing is a pretty slick trick that I've never seen anywhere before. Can't wait to try it out.

    Thanx for sharing.



  3. Thanks guys! Glad you liked it! Thought it was pretty neat myself. Just so you know, I found out, don't try to use Poplar that is not as dry as the one I took from the woodpile, it won't burn! Just an FYI.

    Thanks again for your comments!


  4. Looks like your really getting into the swing of being a country lad!

    Gotta say though mate your mrs is teaching you a thing or two about posting regularly!

    best wishes

  5. This type of cooking fire really stands out when using it in deep snow.
    Since the bottom of the log stays cool, the fire won't sink down in the snow drowning/suffocating itself...