How many times did you light a campfire only to realize you ran out of firewood? Trust me, it happens more than we’d like to admit!
But if you’re prepared in advance, you don’t have to live through that disappointment ever again! If you’re wondering how much firewood do I need for camping, we’ve got you covered!
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about firewood and campfires!
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How Much Firewood Do I Need For Camping: A Guide
How much firewood you need for your camping trips depends on a couple of factors. You’ll need to consider investing in good quality firewood. You might also want to look at the climate and weather conditions when you go camping.
When it comes to using firewood, it is not as simple as cutting down a few trees and using the wood for your campfires. It’s just a little more complicated than that. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read further and find out how much firewood you need for your camping trips, and why!
What Factors Affect The Amount Of Firewood You’ll Be Needing?
These are the factors that majorly affect the amount of firewood you need for each trip. Of course, there’s more. But these are the most important ones and will give you a fair idea of how much firewood you should carry!
- Length of trip
The most obvious one. The number of days you will be spending on your camping trip will play a big role in just how much firewood you’ll be needing. Most times, we often forget to calculate for the whole trip and just carry enough firewood for a single campfire.
- Amount of campfires you’re planning to light
While one may think that this is the same as the length of your trip, there is one primary difference. If you’re going for a five-day camping trip, for example, you may not necessarily light five campfires (one each day). And carry a whole lot of firewood, only to have to carry it all the way back, is a waste of both time and energy. This is why you should plan ahead of time!
The weather plays a very important role in how fast you’ll consume your firewood. Colder and sub-zero temperatures will naturally mean a lot more campfires than usual. This means that you will run out of firewood a lot faster! Also if you’re going to be going to a location where you could expect rain, remember to carry extra firewood in case your stash gets wet or comes in contact with any moisture.
- Type and quality of firewood
The key thing to remember is to shop from authentic distributors. You do not want to buy wood that is rotten or contains any moisture from within. This type of wood won’t burn for long, or at all, and you’ll find yourself in a shortage. Facebook marketplace or your local vendors are typically a good option to buy locally sourced firewood.
- The freshness of the firewood
Similar to the authenticity, the freshness of your firewood matters a lot. Most often than not, firewood comes from specific tree varieties or wood from trees that have been chopped and dried in the sun to get rid of their moisture content. Fresh wood will create a lot of smoke and may also pop or crack, which isn’t very efficient for campfires.
So how much wood do you really need?
Sure, you know the theoretical factors that determine the amount of firewood you will need. But what about in practice? You’re probably still wondering how much firewood do I need for camping?
The thumb rule goes as follows. For an hour of campfires, people generally use 1-2 bundles of firewood. For a day of camping, you’ll probably need 2-5 bundles.
How Much Firewood Is In a Bundle?
You’ve probably heard this term being used a lot. But what exactly is a bundle of firewood?
A bundle of firewood contains four to five sticks of wood. A stick, also known as a log, is a piece of wood that is rough 10-15 inches in height. Therefore, you will require about 4-5 logs/sticks of firewood to get your campfire going for an hour.
All kinds of locally sourced firewood generally cost between $5 to $7.
Buying The Right Type Of Firewood
Like I said, buying quality firewood makes all the difference in how long it will burn. But then how do you tell good firewood from the bad?
Here are the things you should consider before buying a bundle of firewood.
The first and the main thing you want to consider while buying firewood is the type of firewood available. You should only burn seasoned (dried) wood.
- Hardwood – This type of wood is obtained from dicot trees like oak, ash, beech, etc. It is rather expensive but burns for a large amount of time. Hardwood is also harder to ignite due to its multiple layered growing cells.
- Softwood – Softwood comes from trees like pine, fir, spruces, etc. It is much easier to ignite and very much on the cheaper side. Although they won’t last as long, they’re great for wet weather conditions!
- Greenwood – Greenwood is wood from the trees that have been very recently cut. It has to be seasoned and dried in the sun for at least nine months before you can use it as firewood. However, it is a lot cheaper and you can buy it in bulk and season it at home!
- Storage space
While this isn’t really a direct factor that will affect the type of firewood you end up buying, it is still very important to consider. While buying your firewood in bulk to get a cheaper deal may sound tempting, you might want to consider if you even have the space to store all of it. After all, if you fail to maintain it, it’s going to rot after a while.
By authenticity, I mean genuine traders who will vouch for the quality of their wood. Good firewood should not appear flaky, and will not make a hollow sound when hit with a piece of log. Explore various local sellers, buy small quantities of firewood from each, and make a decision based on your own experience!
Does Firewood Go Bad?
Contrary to what most people might think, firewood does routinely go bad after some point.
This could be due to several factors. The wood could’ve been in contact with moisture or rain, or you could’ve bought a lot at a time and not stored it right. While rotten firewood does burn, it is a lot less efficient and can be potentially dangerous.
How to Make Firewood Last Longer
If, in case, you bought a lot of firewood from your vendor, follow these steps to store it right and make it last longer.
- When working with fire, start small. Burn a few logs first and consistently add another few. This will help make the firewood last longer.
- Even if the fire feels almost burned out, move the logs around. They will last longer than you think.
- When storing, keep your logs in a clean and dry place.
- Wrap your logs with a tarp and store your logs at an elevated platform during rain and snow.
- If your firewood feels wet, leave it in the sun to season.
- Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter to determine the percentage of its moisture content. It should not be more than 20%.
Finally don’t forget to check out all the campfire safety rules before you decide to go camping!
How can I get cheap firewood for camping?
Source it locally! Alternatively, buy cheap greenwood in bulk and season it yourself.
How long does a bag of firewood last?
A bag of firewood can last anywhere from 2-4 hours.
Can you burn fresh cut wood?
Fresh cut wood is what you call greenwood. You can not burn it. Greenwood needs at least nine months in the sun before it is firewood material!
Now that you know just how much firewood you need for camping, you’ll never run out of firewood at the last minute again! And you won’t even have to carry unnecessary, extra bulks anymore!
Remember to source local, good-quality firewood and light a proper campfire, your wood will burn for hours! If you have any further questions, feel free to ask us!