We all love camping, which can be the cozy hearth that brings friends and family closer. It helps them gather around at the end of a busy day, enjoying nature. Firewood is an important aspect of camping as it is required for a bonfire and many other things. It is the most efficient fuel for domestic heating.
Firewood is a renewable resource and the most cost-effective fuel for camping adventures. One of the most astounding facts about Firewood is burning it does not contribute to global warming as it is carbon neutral.
Pine, poplar, and bass are softwoods that are easy to light and burn fast! Even though they are easy to light and burn fast, hardwoods such as cedar and oak make better fires than softwoods.
Some regions have specific rules and regulations for firewood stacking, and hence, you should make sure that you familiarize yourself with these regulations to avoid potential fines, thereby stacking your fire in a compliant manner.
Following are the six essential rules for how to stack Firewood:
You should take every possible measure to stack Firewood properly. It is important to wear gloves and boots to protect yourself. It is advised to wear a sleeved shirt when handling Firewood. If the Firewood rubs across your forearms, it could cause splinters and cuts.
Thus, it is important to wear a sleeved shirt. Carrying small loads of Firewood lowers your risk of injury, and the more pieces of wood you carry, the greater the risk of injury.
Raise it off the ground
The bottom layer of the log pile needs to be a stable base as if the logs are placed directly on the ground, they will likely develop moisture buildup.
This buildup will cause the wood to rot. If you leave it on the ground, it can also invite pests. Thus, you should raise it off the ground to prevent water from seeping in!
Allow for plenty of airflow
Airflow is essential for stacking wood. Campers would want to stack their Firewood loose rather than right. This will automatically allow the air to flow through the stacked pieces of wood. It also keeps them Dry. Kiln-dried Firewood is the type of Firewood which has a very low moisture content.
Stacking with the end cuts exposed is also crucial, as these are the cuts that tend to absorb the most moisture.
Make sure to leave a foot of distance/space between multiple rows of Firewood.
Trim away the weeds and plants
One should trim away the weeds and plants from the Firewood as it contains vegetation that might burn and cause further hassles. Combustible vegetation is the material that is left in its natural state. If you leave the vegetation as it is, it will easily ignite, burn, and cause fire. This includes grass, weeds, litter, and waste.
Moreover, allowing weeds and plants to grow around the Firewood highly increases the chance of moisture staying around the pile.
Create a stable structure
It is important to build a sturdy stack, as the last thing you would want is the stack falling over you! Make use of bricks, pallets, or paving slabs for elevating the wood pile from the ground.
Start by placing the heaviest and the largest logs at the bottom to form a solid base. Gradually decrease the log size while maintaining stability. Avoid making stacks more than four feet high.
What are the firewood stacking techniques to try?
There are some ways to stack your kiln-dried Firewood. Different firewood techniques come from different regions around the world, and the following are some of them:
American stacking method
This is the most straightforward technique of stacking wood. While stacking wood, you should stack one layer of wood and further proceed by changing the direction of the wood for each preceding layer.
As the woodpiles are long and narrow, they create easy access to individual pieces while blending into the background of a deck. The anchor pieces are also kept vertically on either end of the pile.
The German stacking method
The wood house or the German stacking method is designed to allow air flow from outside of the stack in the center. This method keeps all the pieces of wood dry. This method is suitable if you are camping at a sunny spot as it needs the sun to create a convection current that ultimately flows the air throughout the pile of Firewood!
Follow the below steps for the same:
- Construct a Firewood ring and ensure that you place the ring on your base.
- Keep one piece of Firewood leaning against the ring.
- Prepare a row and start the next one by following the above steps.
- Continue until you are six rows high.
- Make your piles 18 rows tall by repeating the same steps.
- Fill in the space by placing Firewood in the middle of the ring.
The shaker stacking method
Also known as the Amish method, the shaker method is the one in which the sticks touch at one end but have bigger gaps at the opposite end. These woodpiles are better than the rectangular-shaped woodpile. They repel water and also dry out wood faster.
Follow the below steps for the Norwegian stacking method:
- Start laying logs in a circular fashion on a pallet.
- Fill the middle with smaller pieces of wood as the circle continues to rise. This provides firm support to the woodpile.
- Top off the stack with smaller pieces of wood and ensure their bark faces out when the stack reaches about 3.5 feet high. It is very important to ensure that you use Firewood that is seasoned.
Preparing a neatly stacked pile of Firewood is incredibly satisfying. Out of all the methods, placing the wood in a radius pattern is the best way for stacking Firewood owing to the fact that it allows the wood to dry even more rapidly. When you stack it in a round, it comparatively takes less time and less space.
Regardless of which method of stacking you try, look out for the orientation, as it allows air to circulate freely! Happy camping!