Have you ever been getting ready for camping at the very last minute? Hastily, going through your mental checklist to make sure you have not forgotten anything.
Sounds like pretty much every single camping trip preparation, doesn’t it?
Then at the final hour, you think about the fact that you’re going to need some firewood for roasting marshmallows, cooking food and staying warm to enjoy yourself throughout the evenings.
Here are 4 easy tips that you can do to make sure you get the most out of your firewood and enjoy your recreational fire experiences
When purchasing firewood and preparing ahead of time, you can make sure that you have good quality firewood that is dry and ready to burn. If stored somewhere at home waiting for you, you can just use some for every single backyard fire and camping trip. Buying in bulk instead of last-minute will completely reshape how you burn and how much you enjoy your recreational fires.
Buying your firewood early in more substantial quantities will not only get you a better price on your wood but also give you peace of mind, preventing you from scrambling before a trip and having to settle for a low-quality way overpriced firewood.
Supply and Demand are what sets the price for firewood. Once you are secluded at a campground, if you need wood, they can charge whatever amount they deem possible. This leaves you paying outrageous prices at campsites and convenience stores for a lesser quality of firewood.
2. Quality of Firewood
Right off the hop, you need to know if the firewood that you are purchasing is dry and ready to burn. The ideal moisture level is 8-20% depending on the type of firewood that you are purchasing.
Suppose you want to be sure when buying your firewood. You can purchase a wood moisture meter from any hardware store near you and make sure that your firewood is burning ready before using it.
Burning wet wood will result in low flame, less heat and vast amounts of smoke. This happens because the firewood is challenging to start and will struggle to burn due to the amount of moisture locked inside the wood.
Next, you want to understand the different species of firewood and their burning characteristics.
Softwoods will provide a low to moderate amount of heat, with larger volumes of smoke and popping.
Hardwoods provide a more extended and hotter burn with a generally less quantity of smoke and a low to no amount of popping.
This means if you would prefer to have a more traditional campfire with popping and crackling, then the softwood is probably better for you. Still, suppose you are looking for a low-maintenance high-quality fire. In that case, you should be looking at purchasing hardwood for your recreational fires.
3. Quantity of Firewood
If you have very little space for storage with all of the gear you need for camping but want to have long, hot fires, then taking hardwood with you will give you the best results.
Hardwood generally burns 2-2.5 times a long and hot as your average softwood, which means you need half the amount of wood to get the same amount of energy. Instead of taking 6 bags or bundles with you, you would be able to get by with 3-4 bundles.
The most popular hardwood for recreational burning is birch. Birch has a pleasant aroma with a long hot burn, low-density smoke and zero popping. It leaves very little ash and can give you a low maintenance fire that will burn hot and long all night long.
4. Fire Starters
When you get to the campsite and need to start your fire, it should be effortless, not a struggle. If you bring the right supplies with you, you can have that fire going roaring hot within minutes.
You are going to need kindling and fuel to get the fire going. Small pieces of firewood and dry wood bark work as good kindling. We like to use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) as our fuel. It is inexpensive and works fantastic. Dip a few pieces of paper or paper towel in vaseline and distribute it around the kindling.
You can make a triangle of logs standing up around the kindling or use the log cabin method with a few levels of firewood log squares stacked on top of each other. Once you light the paper on fire and it reaches the petroleum jelly, it will burn hot and long enough for the wood to catch fire. You have an absolutely effortless fire that will keep burning indefinitely.