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Collecting Firewood

Discussion in 'Other Camping' started by 2sweed, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    In a lot of campgrounds these days you have to buy your firewood or haul it in with you, as no gathering of loose old branches can be done. Some camping areas try to protect everything including the old logs and twigs. so do you buy firewood, or do you haul in your own?

    I know that some wood puts of more heat then other kinds, as in pine burns well and oak is good for heating, makes a good hot fire. Maple when dried burns well, as does old apple trees. Do you have a favorite type of camp fire wood that you like to burn?

    When we wanted a hot roaring fire we put pine logs or a knot of pine on the campfire. If a long-lasting fire is needed use some oak, otherwise any dried
    burnable wood will do the job. Some kinds of wood will snap and crackle and pop do to hidden air pockets in the wood, when lit on fire.

    I think the best part of any campfire is sitting and staring into the flames while roasting hot dogs or marshmellows, on a long stick over a fire. Any comments?
  2. Faust

    Faust Explorer

    I'm lucky enough to have campsites that provide free fire wood still, mostly Spruce and Birch. As great as free wood sounds, walking 60 meters (200-ish feet) to sift through a massive pile of soaked, moldy rotten wood just to carry slimy logs back another 60 meters ten times a day is work. Plus quartering the wood and stacking 'em. Then trying not to freak out when starting a fire with wet wood while your eyeballs burn from the smoke can make the sanest person loose their mind. Oh, and then build a large wall of wood around your fire to dry it out.. My back hurts just thinking about this.. I'll admit it's damn rewarding when you sit down afterwards.. (aka beer time!).

    I find Spruce burns a little faster than the Birch (Yellow Birch, it's harder than the spruce), and the Birch burns cleaner too therefore It's the wood I prefer to burn when cooking.

    Rule of Thumb: Push your thumb nail into the wood, if it leaves a mark it's a soft wood.
  3. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    @2sweed, For hotter burning fires you want the denser/heavier wood - like you said oak is a good one. The down side is that the denser it is, you usually need a bigger fire to get it to start burning. Also, for marshmallows or any kind of cooking I prefer to let the fire die down a little bit so that I don't get smoke in my face and get closer to the embers at the bottom which provide most of the heat.

    @Faust, That's the reason that some camp grounds don't allow it I presume. For the more popular ones that get a lot of people come and going each day I would imagine that after some time the entire nearby area would be depleted of any kind of dead wood and you'd have to walk a file before you could find anything. Also people might get desperate and start taking branches from living trees which of course the campground owners do not want.
  4. Faust

    Faust Explorer

    Well the management association that looks after these sites consists of 7 companies in coal, lumber and gas. I assume the wood they provide are fallen trees on logging roads, hiking and equestrian trails and from expanding operations. There is always an ample supply of wood, for everyone, and this association takes care of 18 different camp grounds..
    These sites aren't too popular due to the distance from any major city so it's a real treat not having many other people around.
  5. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Wow 18 camp sites, I'm sure they know what they are doing then!

    That's what I meant about bringing in firewood from outside the camp ground, for the popular ones where the rules aren't followed this can be a real issue and you would probably need to bring your own wood anyways after a few season of people scavenging.
  6. bigteeth96

    bigteeth96 Newbie

    I have some woods near my house, so I usually prepare some of my own before a trip. If it is a long trip, then I'll bring an axe. I'm not too sure what constitutes as firewood, but I like to use big branches and broken pieces of logs. No problems yet.
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