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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Slit Fire (Rakovalkea) - An Interesting Finnish Fire Lay

 Original Article


A slit fire, sometimes referred to as a gap fire but also known as a ‘rakovalkea‘ gap fire in Finland, is a type of fire lay that is popular in Scandinavia. It is believed to have originated in Finland, and it gets its name from the way that the logs are arranged in a slit formation with a gap between them.

Slit fires are said to have many benefits over traditional fire lays. Once set and lit, they require very little maintenance and will burn a long time. They also produce less smoke. Additionally, slit fires are said to be easier to light and require less kindling than other types of fire lays.

If you are looking for an alternative to one of the more traditional fire lays, then the rakovalkea gap fire may be a good option for you.

It is a simple yet effective way to build a fire, and it has many benefits that make it worthy of consideration.

How to Build a Finnish Rakovalkea Gap Fire (Slit Fire)

  1. Start by finding two large logs that are about the same length. The logs should be around 3-4 feet long.
  2. With a hatchet chop a flatish edge along the length of each log.
  3. Make four spar poles. Each pole should be about double the width of both logs combined in length. Make one end of each pole pointed. A hatchet is the perfect tool for this.
  4. Hammer a spar pole into the ground tight up against, and about 6 inches in from the end of one of the logs. Do the same with another pole at the other end of the log. Ensure the chopped edge of this bottom log is facing upwards.
  5. Place spacer logs the same width as your logs, on top of the bottom log and at both ends. The top log will sit on these.
  6. Place a good amount of tinder and kindling on top of and over the full length of the bottom log.
  7. Lay the other log on top of the bottom log with the chopped edge facing downwards onto the tinder. This log should be resting on the spacer logs and tinder.
  8. Hammer in the remaining two spar poles parallel to the first two but on the opposite side of the logs. This will keep the two logs in place when the fire is burning.
  9. Your Slit Fire is now ready to light!

how to build a finnish rakovalkea or slit fire

Watch this video for a perfect example of how to build a slit fire

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