When you're surviving in the outdoors, constructing a fire is a high priority. It allows you to stay warm, boil water, cook food, repel predators, and provides a tremendous morale boost.

For short-term campsites, using a few kindling sticks and small tree branches may be enough to sustain a fire, but they burn out far too quickly to keep the fire going continuously. Sooner or later, you're going to need to break down some larger logs into quarters for your campfire, or for use in our preferred technique, the Swedish torch.

Splitting logs campfire 02

However, if you don't have a proper axe, splitting logs can be tricky. For small logs, you can use a fixed blade knife and a piece of hard wood to baton the wood down to size. For logs that are wider than the length of your knife, though, this won't get the job done—you'll need to use the wedge technique.

This trick works similarly to batoning, but instead of hammering your knife through the length of the log, you'll be constructing hardwood wedges. Note that we said hardwood, as softer wood will buckle or crack if you start pounding it into a log. Here's a video that demonstrates log splitting with wedges:

You'll still want a knife of some sort to get the split started. The video host recommends a fixed-blade knife, but we're sure it could be done with a sturdy folding knife too. All you need is a crack on one end of the log that's big enough to insert the wedge, and you'll be good to go.

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