The Perfect Fire Starts with a Well-built Woodpile
Stacking firewood can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s much more to it than you might think. Whether you’re stacking in the city, the country or in the backwoods, a few tips will guarantee a beautiful blaze every time you strike a match.
Location, Location, Location
While you’ll want to choose a spot that’s convenient, you also don’t want your woodpile built too close to your home. Preferably you want to build it about 30 feet from the door. Why? Any closer and you’re inviting insects and rodents into your home because they’re naturally drawn to stored wood. In fact, you should never stack wood against a fence, shed or garage as it creates the perfect cozy shelter for bugs and vermin.
Stacked Wood Needs Airflow
Ensuring good airflow is essential when stacking wood. Wet wood won’t burn, and damp wood doesn’t fare much better creating more smoke than fire. There’s an old Nordic saying that wood will dry well if there’s space for a mouse to run through the whole woodpile. So, stack wood bark side out allowing a little space between logs for air to circulate. Moisture can result in log rot, water stains, fungus and mould.
Short Stacks are Safer
Building a sturdy and safe woodpile is essential. It should be no higher than 5 feet tall to maintain stability and logs need to be cut as straight and uniformly as possible. Longer logs create a more stable structure than shorter ones and logs that are halved are the most sturdy. Build your woodpile on a level platform, like a wood pallet, this avoids a wood-slide and keeps logs off the ground.
Keep it Covered
Unless your woodpile is under a covered roof, snowy Canadian winters make it necessary to cover stacked wood with a tarp. It’s important to attach the tarp securely to endure all weather conditions, but also loose enough to maintain air flow. Don’t extend the tarp all the way down to the ground. Be sure to leave the bottom of the stacks uncovered so air can circulate.
TIP: Looking for more woodsy wisdom? Check out Lars Mytting’s Norwegian Wood. Not only does he capture the romance of the great outdoors, he offers endless advice on fire-building, axes, chainsaws, and so much more!
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