Firewood

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Firewood

Postby Lin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:41 pm

I have a couple of questions about firewood.

If you need to take your own firewood, where do you get it from? We tried the servo bags, but I find it burns a bit too slow for a campfire unless you chop it up into tiny pieces. I think it's more meant for slow combustion heaters.

It wouldn't be a problem if I was a good wood chopper. But I have back, neck and shoulder "issues" caused by arthritis, so I just cannot see myself swing a big axe over my head. I've tried with a small block splitter, but didn't really get anywhere. Fortunately I often camp with people who are excellent wood choppers, but I would like to find a solution to this issue for those nights that we (as in my 5yo daughter and I) camp alone. Any ideas?
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Re: Firewood

Postby hoadie72 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:46 pm

That's what I use and don't have any dramas. I don't like it burning fast because fast means more heat which can be a bit unbearable.

My Bunnings sell some "wood" that's made from (I think) compressed wood chips or sawdust. I tried it once 2 years ago and I think it burnt quicker than regular wood, though I'm not sure it burnt completely - probably would work better used in conjunction with regular wood.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Lin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:51 pm

I just found the servo wood tended to smoulder more than burn if it wasn't chopped up into smaller bits. Mind you, I am not the best campfire maker either!

I've used the Redhead firelogs once which are also made of compressed wood and hollow on the inside. They are very easy to light so perfect for campfire novices like me, but burnt way too fast so it would be extremely expensive to use them all night. They're good for me to get the fire going though.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Titch » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:51 pm

Keep an eye open at Bunnings and get a battery operated sabre saw.(Reciprocating saw)
As they are not a chainsaw you should be able to use it most places, not overly heavy either.
Ponder that.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Lin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:28 pm

Have you tried one for firewood yourself, Titch? I'm just wondering if it wouldn't take forever to saw an average-sized block of wood with a battery-operated saw. I wouldn't be cutting tons of it of course, so it may be worth it. If it works I'd definitely consider it.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Titch » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:34 pm

For cutting branches found on the road only, around 6inch (150 mill)
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Re: Firewood

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:41 pm

Lin wrote:I just found the servo wood tended to smoulder more than burn

I've used the Redhead firelogs once . They are very easy to light , but burnt way too fast .



Why don't you use a mix of servo wood and the firelogs Lin. You say one burns too quickly the other too slow so why not use a mix of both.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Pauly » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:52 pm

Lin you say your not the best fire maker so how about we work on that first.

Fire needs 2 things fuel and AIR, If the wood you buy is seasoned (plenty of servo wood isnt dry enough) then I suspect you are not getting enough air into your fire. The key to a good fire is coals because coals make heat, hot air rises causing air to get sucked into your fire. When you are putting your wood on never put 2 bits side by side close to each other, forget the pictures you see of nice neat tee pee style fires, they are ok for getting the fire going with the lighter wood but once burning put your wood on randomly but with plenty of air gaps, picture a Zenga stack (that stackable timber game where you pull out bits, that would burn really well :grin: .

As for where to get wood, the problem with the servo wood is its a bit short and compressers your fire. A bag of that wood is handy to have but I would rather gather it beside the road from fallen branches. You need stuff from about the size of a match to stuff the size of your arm and about an arms length is good. If you have stuff that is too long find 2 trees or a fork in the tree to break it, or do as I do if I havent got the chainsaw, drive over it with the landcruiser :grin:. If the branch bends its not dry, dry wood burns wet wood smoulders

The small match sticks are for starting and then you build up in size and as long as you have plenty of air getting in you can build up in size quickly.

Ps if you need to use an excellerant to start a fire please use kero NOT petrol.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Poodle Jewel » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:31 pm

I usually wrap newspaper reasonably tightly and in that put fire starters,then on top of that i put LOTs of tiny dry sticks then on top of that some small (what i call) chips of wood,when that gets burning well i then slowly had bigger pieces but only add the BIG ones when it is really burning. We are lucky here in our area you can drive out "country" and buy wood cheap,I usually cut a bag full of chips before i go. I also our citronella oil over my wood a 2/3 hours before hand,normally,also because it gets dark quicker in these cooler months i stack my fire around 2 in the afternoon,pour citronella oil on it then light it around 4/5.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Lin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:45 pm

Thanks for the advice. I do know the theory of how to make a good fire and have watched lots of other people do it but often can't get it to work very well in practice. We often camp in places where you're not allowed to collect firewood either. So appart from the twigs to start the fires, I tend not to.

We're getting some from the managers at Wee Jasper this weekend. I'll see how I go this time!

One great trick I recently learnt is to use the electric pump to get the fire blazing. Works every time. But if you have to keep doing it every 5 minutes, it's obviously a badly made fire!
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Re: Firewood

Postby hoadie72 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:50 pm

I'm in the same boat, I camp in National Parks, so you can't collect firewood. What I've done is buy my wood in advance and season it in my garage, because the servo wood is often green.

Are you using the electric pump like bellows? That's funny! If you're doing that I reckon you're stacking your wood too tightly, and there's not enough airflow :)
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Re: Firewood

Postby Pauly » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:20 am

Pick up your wood outside the NP. We have the camper so we throw a heavy tarp over it and load it up. I guess if you dont have a trailer or roof racks its awkward.

If your usingt the pump I guess your woods not really dry or its to tight.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Lin » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:42 am

Are you using the electric pump like bellows? That's funny!


I thought it was extra funny after my 5yo daughter had gone camping with her dad and his friends and I'd gone camping with my friends, one of whom showed me that trick.

On our next camping trip together I was attempting to get the fire going and my daughter said: "Oh mum, check out the trick that Dan taught me!" and started blowing on the fire. So I picked up the pump and said: "Check out the trick that Cam taught me" and made the flames shoot up a foot high. :***

But I will need to keep practicing to stack the wood right, that's clear. It's often so easy to let others do it if they're there and more experienced.

And thanks for the tip on the servo wood often being green. I wouldn't even have considered that.

And yeah, picking up firewood on the way is hard when every inch of the car is filled with stuff already.
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Re: Firewood

Postby Beagle » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:31 pm

I use firewood from both servos and Bunnings. What I also do is store it under the camper so the wood I use this year I bought several month ago and has been sitting under the camper for at least 6 months. I have bought a couple of army duffell bags from the army disposal store and put the wood in them to take it on camp. These can easily be tied on the camper trailer. Additionally I do wood work at home so I have a good supply of kindling.
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Re: Firewood

Postby patty7862 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:46 pm

Lin

When you are at Wee Jasper, if you walk along the dry river bed, there is plenty of wood on the ground that can be broken up for fires. Also if you collect the dry pine neeldes that is a good fire starter. We did not have to leave the campsite for our Easter trip as we had all the wood we needed. We actually left a pile of wood that we did not use ready to go. Enjoy Wee Jasper

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