Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Montana Fire Log

We were in Thompson Falls, MT for seven weeks this summer, and while we were there we noticed that the only supermarket in town was selling what was called a campfire in a log. 
My cousin’s husband, Jerry McDonald (a nicer guy you’ll never meet, by the way), decided that spending between $9.95 for the small and up to $17.95 for the large fire log was just plain nuts.  So he set out to make his own version.  After all, if there is one resource in plentiful supply in Thompson Falls, it is timber – followed closely by resourcefulness.
Jerry starts with a pine log and drills a hole down the center for about six inches.  Then he drills a horizontal hole from one side of the log go intersect with the hole drilled down the center.
Then Jerry would split a piece of kindling and prepare it for an application of pitch.  Note that the deer scat  remains in the photo as it lends a touch of authenticity.   We were in the woods.
Pitch naturally collects at the base of pine trees or below a removed limb.  Jerry harvests some with his hatchet.
The super sticky pitch gets applied to the splinter of kindling. 
Then we fast forward more than two months to this evening in Missouri and Sandy now lights  that piece of kindling and slides it into the horizontal opening. IMG_2468
An hour later the log is going strong.

More from Missouri soon.  Stay tuned.


  1. Very interesting. I guess I am just to lazy and find lamp oil and the right wood combo is quicker.

  2. That's really neat but sounds like a lot of work. I'll just let IYQ (from the Class of 200 on the forum) make my fires for me.