How Much Firewood do I need for Camping?


A lot of individuals go camping these days for a reason or another. It could be to leave all the noise and hustle in town behind and get some alone time while for some;

it could be for environment change or the fun of camping or even some alone time with family and friends.

While camping, you often spend time exploring, listening and eating. The first day in camp could have enough food for all, especially cooked food.

But as days go by, you would need to cook food. It could be anything, from bakes to grilled dishes.

Did you notice camping is not fun when you come along with all the utensils and cooking materials? Imagine waking up from a cozy bed to a freezer with frozen beef, fish, vegetables and a standby gas cooker and a shiny frying pan to cook with. Seriously, where is the fun in that?

You don’t have to take everything to camp. Sometimes you should turn off the eBooks readers and read hard copies of books and do away with gas stove, because there should be firewood for cooking, making a camp fire and so many other things. To do these, you need firewood.

Now the big question - how much firewood do I need for camping? Sure, you can swipe the ‘I’ for a ‘you.'

Well, the truth of the matter is the quantity of firewood needed at camp is dependent on a few factors such as;

  • wood thickness
  • density
  • type of wood, and
  • The amount of moisture in the wood.

But then, how much firewood you need for camping mainly depends on how long you plan to stay in camp and how much wood you can take with you.

Thus, if you have plans to stay outdoor camping for say a whole month, then it would be best if you take just about a cord of wood or slightly lesser. Let’s say if a particular wood is 6 feet long then about 50 pieces could make a cord.

A full cord of wood is a large amount of wood that measures 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long and has a volume of 128 cubic feet (4ft * 4ft * 8ft). A cord of wood is not a single wood.

If you are buying, the seller will explain these to you and if you happen to be ordering online, great, order half a cord for two weeks and make sure the woods are really dry.

If they are dry, it’d be easy to carry and lighter, so you don’t have to worry about using a bigger vehicle or truck.

How much firewood you also plan to go camping with also depends on what you would like to cook at the camp or use the woods for.

If you are carrying a small cooker, then woods might only be needed to light up the night and help guard you while sleeping in your tents. You could use the small cooker to make breakfasts, launch and also for warming food.

If the gas for the cooker is being managed, then it’d be wise to balance the usage between woods and the cooker.

It’s also dependent on your camping location. A few locations have soft woods for starting a fire and even keeping warm at nights. If you have an idea how much wood is in camp, you could take lesser than half a cord with you.

However, fetching the woods in camping woods is a bit dangerous and risky. If you have to, don’t go too deep fetching any kind and size of woods. And don’t plan on storing them, you should only store woods found in camp if they are not infested with pests.

For me, camping is something I do intentionally with friends (I have never gone camping with family), and somehow, we get prepared months before going.

This preparation also helps us pick the right woods for camping. I like hard words. When you see a seasoned hardwood, it’s easy to tell that it is one.

Hardwoods are usually picked by experienced wood burners. Why? Because they are denser, harder and they burn very hotly. The fuel in hardwoods allows it to survive hard temperatures and last longer.

The color of a piece of wood tells a few things about that wood. If wood looks all fresh and green, it is not seasoned yet. Greenwood needs to dry before burning.

I once tried burning a ‘raw looking’ wood at the back of the house, and I never succeeded. Greenwood doesn't burn. If it burns eventually, it won’t burn well, and if it doesn’t burn well, then it is almost dry, not dry or seasoned.

You should also pay attention to the moisture of the wood. If the wood is too wet, it won’t burn. Wet woods are also heavy to carry and would likely burn when dry. But don’t be fooled. It gets tricky.

A wet green wood will take some time to dry up and more time to season. A wet dry wood could be dried in the sun and will burn after that.

Picking the right wood to burn is very essential. Hard, dry woods burn well, especially oak. The problem with oaks is that they have to be seasoned for at least one year before they could burn well.

Now this is important because even if you end up in the woods expecting some wood to burn for you, then you should be sure it’s really ready to do so.

Lastly, look out for pests in woods. These pests are disturbing and could ruin your camping. They could carry bacterial and fungal infections.

One of the ways to spot a pest infected wood is to look out for the pest’s eggs. This sounds weird but once you notice these disgusting eggs on a piece of wood or some of the woods, don’t go camping with them. They could ruin your plans and might infect you in one way or another.

In conclusion, these are some woods better than some, no matter the quantity. Hardwoods, for example, are very difficult to start fires while you can easily start fires with softwood like fir.

Soft woods may be lighter, but they burn quicker and might not last for a long period. They are easy to ignite because they contain resin.

If you burn a hardwood to some extent tonight, you can quench it with water and continue burning the next day.

If you are thinking of going camping with an insect predator to help fight off wood problems. Be sure to study the behavior of this predator. Pests could kill or infect them as well.

Softwoods are better fire starter so it’d be good to include them a few in your woods.

There is nothing wrong with buying woods treated with chemicals and paints against paint invasion but some of these chemicals are not good for the health. They release chemicals into the air while burning.

So be sure to find out the chemical used for a particular cord of wood before buying, especially when you plan to cook with these woods.

Don’t be afraid to use dead dry woods for camping, there is nothing wrong with them, as long as they are not infected. In fact, dead dry woods burn better.

A few of these points might deviate from the original title of this article, but you also need to understand the laws on moving woods before going camping with woods or better still, buy your woods close to where you plan to camp.

    Alison Lawrence

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