WILDERNESS SURVIVAL: The Laplander Stove

The Laplander Stove

About 30 years ago when I was running around the north woods of Wisconsin near Hayward. I met an old gentleman who’s name escapes me now but he was an interesting and colorful character.

This old guy made his living by doing things in nature; for example he would cut fire wood in the fall to sell, hunt, trap, do day labor on farms etc. in summer he would fish and collect plants to sell to the local flower shops etc. ditto on the day labor.

I admire the fact that he did not have a full time job or any job for that matter and was not what folks would call successful by the modern American standards but to me he was rich beyond my wildest dreams.

To be able to earn a living from nature and to be content with that is something I have always wanted.

Anyway, He showed me what he called a “Laplander Stove”; pretty simple really because it is just a log with slots cut into it.


To make one choose a log about 4 hands high and 2 hands wide at the top, cut a cross into it going down about 2 hands. I used my cross cut saw for this.


Next fill the slots loosely with birch bark, twigs, pitch wood etc. to help light the “Stove”, these can be difficult to light but once you get them to burn you will have over 3 hours of good burn time with a “Stove” of this size. The flat top is excellent for setting your cooking pots or billy cans on for a brew or for cookin’ up some grub.


These Laplander stoves are also great to use in deep snow because they will not melt down into the snow as a conventional fire will do.

You can also use them in wall tents, tipi’s and other types of shelters. I especially like these fires because it really simplifies your equipment and eliminates the need for a wood burning stove in an extended survival trek.


If you do not have a saw you can split a log with your axe or parang and stick the ends in the snow then light it in the same fashion.


The next time you are out and about in a winter environment give the fire method a try – I’m sure you will see the simple benefits of this type of “Stove”.

~Tom “Tomahawk” M
Correspondent – Wilderness Survival
Tom is a US Army Veteran  (Scout Platoon , Pathfinder, Parachute Rigger, Cav Scout and Infantryman) and former International Civilian Contractor who has worked and lived in Africa and the Middle East. Tom is also a former wilderness instructor for several US and East Asian wilderness schools and has probably taken every wilderness survival course offered between 1980 and 2000. He spends his off times in Thailand Pubs telling drunken “I was there” story’s to impressed tourists.

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19 thoughts on “WILDERNESS SURVIVAL: The Laplander Stove”

  1. Ol Tomahawk is a long time friend, he recently spent time with me in the Phillipines, trekked in the Pampanga jungle and enjoyed his time with the Aeta guides of Pastolan village who work for Jungle Wild Adventures of Cebu.

    An extremely experienced wilderness nomad and always good company. Tom is a consultant to my company and his blog site well worth a visit.

    I look forward to his next visit in a few months.

    Aho

    Jungle Wil

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  2. Yep Tom is a good guy and a bastion of Wilderness Survival Knowledge

    ~James G

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  3. I was backpacking this last weekend, and made it to camp a bit early and tried this stove out. I used an el-cheapo pack saw to make the cuts. It turned out pretty well and burned for a long time.

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  4. Cool, did you take any piks?

    ~James G

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  5. No sorry, I didnt even think about that. I will be back out again in two weeks and try it again with pics.

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  6. Sweet, please do – this is a way cool stove

    ~James G

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  7. Ol Tomahawk is a long time friend, he recently spent time with me in the Phillipines, trekked in the Pampanga jungle and enjoyed his time with the Aeta guides of Pastolan village who work for Jungle Wild Adventures of Cebu.An extremely experienced wilderness nomad and always good company. Tom is a consultant to my company and his blog site well worth a visit.I look forward to his next visit in a few months.AhoJungle Wil  (Quote This Comment)

    hahaha, jungle wil! we have to buy a grande bottle of emperador and polish it off with our Aeta friends when i get back.

    save a few gals for me!

    tomahawk

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  8. I was backpacking this last weekend, and made it to camp a bit early and tried this stove out. I used an el-cheapo pack saw to make the cuts. It turned out pretty well and burned for a long time.  (Quote This Comment)

    cool stuff andy, im glad you tried it out.

    next time you should try the split log technique. BTW, how long did your “stove” burn?

    tomahawk

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  9. Making the cuts with a pack saw was very hard and time consuming, I would imagine in a survival situation you would burn to many calories creating one this way. I just picked up a gerber hatchet, I’m hoping it will arrive before this weekend, so I can do this right.

    I used a smaller log, I would say it burned for about 30minutes.

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  10. Making the cuts with a pack saw was very hard and time consuming, I would imagine in a survival situation you would burn to many calories creating one this way. I just picked up a gerber hatchet, I’m hoping it will arrive before this weekend, so I can do this right.I used a smaller log, I would say it burned for about 30minutes.  (Quote This Comment)

    cool, the log pictured in this article burned for about an hour and a 1/2 inside of my temp tarp tipi.

    it was perfect for heating up the space and boiling water for coffee.

    lemme know how the new gerber hatchet works out.

    tomahawk

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  11. Nice article. I’ve been searching online for this ‘stove’ for about two years. It was featured on a German TV program as a patio/garden heater.

    Do you have any other names for it? This article is the only reference I’ve ever found, that was was via a google images search.

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  12. this is priceless!!!(so simple & free!)
    greetings all from Belgium/Europe.

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  13. Does any specific wood log work better than the other… the picture looks like it is a pine log maybe? What about Oak or maple, etc?

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    1. any wood would work, it is just harder to light hard woods

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  14. neat to find this story. (and site too)

    try searching Lumberjacks candle. (jätkänkynttilä in finnish.. where lapland is)

    on top of the “normal ones” out of a log (pinetree is most common) i have also made similar style of vertical standing “fire” out of 4 or more chopped logs.. i just tied them together with baling wire from bottom and middle so they keep form for long time after you light it up. and with chopped logs you can actually monitor the gaps for the flames (too thin gap and it might not burn well) you can add a twig or rock or what ever to make the gaps bigger.

    and those slightly too thin gaps are one reason why often these candles also are either drilled or with chainsaw blade sawed an horizontal slot/hole in the bottom of the vertical slit/gaps. ( this bigger and extra gap feeds air from the bottom.. so it burns better and hotter and gives you a “natural” place in bottom of the log where from start the fire with kindles)

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