Forget Spending Hours Gathering Firewood. Use This Genius Technique To Turn Trash And Biomass Into ‘Fire Cakes’

We all know that when in any sort of survival situation that fire and it’s associated warmth is totally vital to us. Without it we’re likely to freeze to death in the winter, we won’t be able to cook our food or boil water and we leave ourselves exposed at night.

Fire of course requires fuel in order to happen, and there’s the major problem for us. The only fuel that most people think of is firewood. Sure firewood can make a great fire, but there a couple drawbacks to it:

  • It’s bulky
  • It can get wet
  • It takes a lot of energy to gather it

The last one always gets me now that I’m getting older! So I was really interested in the technique shown in this video about using existing trash and biomass and turning it into easily transportable ‘Fire Cakes’ from the folds at Survival Sherpa:

Step 1

Get two 5 gal buckets. $3 each at walmart.

Drill a lot of holes in it, about 2 inches down from the lips and around 3/16 size-ish. I used a soldering iron. You can use a screw driver and stab holes all in there. Go around all the bucket and on the bottom.

Step 2

Place the holy bucket inside the other normal bucket. Start putting your papers, leaves, bio material in it.

Add your water and fill’r up. Doesn’t really matter if you have too much water. You can leave these buckets of water setup by the mailbox, then just walk by and toss stuff in.

Step 3

You need a custom drill bit, which I have. A good thing to do is find an old table saw blade and weld it to a shaft of steel. This is “the hardest” part of this setup. Drill away and in seconds you will have a nice pulpy wet mess.

Step 4

Next, pull out the holy bucket and let it drain. I put the draining bucket on top of the other bucket to save the water – you can re-use the same water many times.

Step 5

You should have a press that goes far down into the bucket to press out the remaining water.

I found a bucket that someone cut the bottom off.. well perfect. But you will probably want to place a bucket down on some wood, trace around the base and cut out that piece of wood to use as a press.

Step 6

Set your press inside the bucket over the pulp. Then I set the re-used water bucket inside of that bucket (because water is heavy). That will work over time. I also sat on it.. put my anvil on it.. and stood in it. It’s pretty quick. whatever heavy you have for the top.

Step 7

Now once most the water is pressed out – take it out to a sunny/dry place. Turn over the bucket and tap on the top. It will take some time to dry, depending on your location. We live in the desert so this will happen fast. If you want it to dry faster, cut these logs as you would a pizza, into sections.

There you have it! A cheap way to make homemade fire cakes, and they’ll be sure to last a long time! For more on this and other cool survival info and tips, please visit Survival Sherpa.

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