perjantai 2. joulukuuta 2011

Rakovalkea, a gapfire or maybe a longfire.

 Someone asked, about a fire he had seem a few times on Finnish films. Its this, the "rakovalkea", that translates in to "gap-fire" but i´ve seen similar named as "longfire´s".   Here, its long fire, if it has only TWO ( 2) logs, the three log fires are different story. Very traditional fire for staying over night in the woods,especially  under cover of tree´s and in lean-to´s. Few different ways to do it, but this one, is one thats even a secure, safe one, as it has the supporting poles, made from fresh wood, to prevent the logs from dropping to ground just like that. Usually if you sleep by fire, you put a smaller branch of thin log between you and fire, to stop possible dropping burning log from rolling against you, and preventing you to roll too close the fire, in sleep. You should sleep sideways, so the fire will warm your feet and head, but its ok too, to sleep feet towards the fire.

 I think that youll get a good idea of longfire´s construction from that picture. Just remember to carve a groove in to the lower log,and fill it up with the whittlings, small sticks, maybe tarwood and birch bark, juniper bark will also work. Plus, the sticks, between the logs, that make the gap, they should be fresh, and moist wood so they wont burn as fast as the logs, and if possible, whittle the sticks, in shape of wedges, tapering ones, so you can push and pull the stick wedges, to adjust the gap,to keep it small, so the fire will burn slow, but hot, for hours. A properly built, longfire with 8inch diameter logs, can burn for some 8 hours or so. And traditionally,  the measures are :

-1 inch in diameter is an hour, in burn time, but this depends alot, from the type of log,weather etc. I think you should not build longfires fromwood thats thinner that 4 inches but you can offcourse, do small miniatyre longfires, from any sticks, just to learn it etc. Commonly, however, the 8 inch log was popular size.

-1 meter in length  per person sleeping around it. In some cases, and for obvious reasons, it wasnt rare habit to measure the log, so that there was a length of axe, per person,and in finland, back in the days, the most common axe measure, was from 50 to 65cm, in most of cases, it was 50 to 55cm. The "meter" length came later when people started to carry devices to measure :), before that the "jack" measured everything with comparing to tools and arm/finger etc measures. Even today, it works, the fever for accurate measuring, in the bush, is weird. Theres about nithing that should me measured in tiny tolerances like millimeter on centimeter. And a meter, its all the same, if its 99cm meter or 102 meter  there :)..."About" will do just fine.

There are also older methods, without supporting poles in the ground, but  i´ll show you one, during winter when i´ll be making one. Meanwhile, you can try to build your own versions of it. As long as you can adjust the gap between TWO logs , its close to longfire that we use here,and as i said, theres many many ways to do it.

Rakovalkea, in finnish.
Different campfires, as shown by Björn "Nalle" Corander.

5 kommenttia:

Toaster 802 kirjoitti...

Thanks for the info about this kind of fire building. While Vermont is not as far north as Finland, We get plenty of snow in our long winter. I am hardly a newbie at winter outdoor living, but I had not seen this kind of camp fire until I first encountered it at the end of this video.

Thanks for filling in the holes in my understanding on this subject.

Gorges Smythe kirjoitti...

I've never seen that before, though I HAVE seen fires as long as the man they warmed and, of course, log reflectors.

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

With a fire built like that, it doesn't matter what the temperature is outside. :) I haven't used a fire like this yet in Finland, but maybe this coming winter I will. My wife's grandfather wanted to show me some things like this, and I'm eager to learn what kinds of tricks he knows.

Thanks for showing.


Finnman kirjoitti...

Rakotuli is great source of warmth whole cold winter night if build properly it´s also safe. I have seen a few but never build my own though.

Great topic to show people that old great way to make long lasting fire. It´s not so much used anymore, sadly :(

- Finnman

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Thanks for showing this fire lay. I have never seen it before. Only used long fires and reflectors. We are in full winter here in Upper Michigan so I will try it out soon.

Matt P.