Few preppers know the intricacies and complexities of selecting the right firewood. This is tricky business, considering that this process isn’t nearly as simple as it seems.
Instead of simply choosing a random tree to chop down, it’s important to first understand how that particular wood will react to the flames. Will it burn, or simply produce a lot of smoke (with very little heat)? Will it smell when it burns – and if so, will it smell good or bad? Is this wood seasoned, or will it take forever to burn?
Without knowing the answers to these questions (and many more) preppers will be lost when it comes to making a survival fire.
Luckily for you, we’re sharing some crucial…
Survival Tips You Never Knew About Choosing Firewood (Part Two)
NOTE: We’ve got a lot to say on this topic – and we’ve already written one survival article on this already (you can read it here).
The Best Way To Split Logs
Believe it or not, there’s an art to log-splitting. Instead of hacking away incessantly, make sure to split your logs into either quarters or halves. This helps your fire burn more easily, and the logs will burn for longer than they would if you’d kept them whole.
It’s also important to make sure you’re making sure each log section is the same length as the others you’ve split. For instance, each piece needs to be between 6-8 inches wide (or 3-6 inches if you’re splitting them for your fireplace). When it comes to length, shoot for 16 inches maximum for split logs (or 16 inches long for fireplaces).
Many preppers are nervous about having to split wood for the first time. And this is completely understandable – especially considering they’ll likely also be in a grid-down scenario when this happens (unless they have proper training beforehand).
Below is a video to help you lean how to cut and gather your own firewood. This will help you prepare for a grid-down scenario, and can help you feel more confident in your abilities.
Get The Most Bang For Your Buck
Paying for firewood is an alternate (and easier) way to go. However, there’s an art to this too.
When you buy firewood, make sure to always purchase it in a stack. The pieces should be laying flat against each other horizontally. And all of them should be facing the same direction.
Otherwise, you’re not getting a good deal. That’s because other options – like the “log cabin” style of wood stacking – includes less wood. And so you get a lot less for your money.
Use Proper Storage
Here’s a cardinal rule. NEVER store your firewood in your home, or in your bug-out shelter. Although this keeps the wood out of the rain, it’s a breeding ground for all sorts of termites, ants, and other insects. And by bringing that into your home, you’re bound to have a pest problem.
Instead, store the logs outside in a completely covered area (like a shed). If you don’t have one of these, you can rest them on a bench (or anything else that keeps them off the ground) and stack them horizontally, with the bark facing up. Then cover the logs with a tarp. Use rocks and other heavy items to weigh down three sides of the tarp, and let the fourth side stay open for ventilation.
Now for the explanation for all this…
First off, you stack your logs bark-up since the bark is a natural barrier. With the bark facing the sky, it will help prevent rain from completely soaking the wood.
Second, it’s important to keep wood off the ground to ensure proper ventilation around the logs. You can also place them on a pellet, rack, or on long, thin logs that run the opposite direction.
Furthermore, the tarp is an excellent survival tool to have for any camping/bug-out experience. Not only will it protect your logs, but it can also provide you shelter in a storm.
Look Over Each Log
Here’s a lesson many of us have to learn the hard way. When it’s time to build your fire, don’t just pick up a log. Carefully look it over before you touch it. Otherwise, a spider, snake, bunch of termites, etc. might crawl/slither out and give you a surprise you really don’t want.
Cut The Right Trees
In normal situations, law prevents you from pulling off to the side of the road, cutting a tree down and bringing it home with you. You’ll need a permit to cut the tree down – even if you’re in the wilderness. You can get this permit from your local Forest Service. Otherwise, if you get caught you’ll be in a LOT of trouble.
In addition, remember that just because you have a permit doesn’t mean you can cut down any permit you wish. Certain regions have certain laws saying what you can and can not cut down. So make sure you follow the rules unless you want to pay a giant fine.
NOTE: I recognize this is assuming we’re not in an SHTF situation. In crisis-mode, let’s face it… everyone will be fending for themselves, and doing what they can to stay alive. I’m just trying to keep you protected from any legal trouble in the meantime.
Hopefully you learned a few things about firewood in this article. Remember to check out Part One of this blog (if you haven’t done so already) for more tips. Remember, the more you Prepare Now, the more likely you’ll Survive Later!