What Type of Firewood Is Best?

What Type of Firewood Is Best?There is nothing quite like a good campfire or the heat radiating from a woodstove. Hearing the crackle of the embers, watching the glow of the flames and taking in the scent of the burning wood are incredibly comforting. Wood choice makes a big difference in the quality of the flames, burn and heat. The following is an overview of what firewood is the best choice for your fire or woodstove.

Campfire Wood

Hot, fast burns help get a campfire started. Choosing softwoods such as spruce, pine or hemlock is a good start for a campfire. Burning faster, hotter, softwoods such as the conifers gives an easy start and fast source of heat.

Next Addition to the Campfire

After the softwood choice has been started, a good selection of wood for the campfire is a hardwood such as ash, birch or maple. Add these woods to an already burning campfire.

Woodstove Choices

Hardwoods are the sticks of choice for woodstoves. Burning longer and producing a consistent heat source, hardwoods also produce less creosote. When burning hardwoods, split wood is the better option to begin with as more surface area makes for easier burning. Once the fire is going and a bed of coals is present, use half to full logs.

Oak, Hickory and Walnut

Dense and stout, oak, hickory and walnut are optimum choices for either woodstove or campfires. Start your fire with softwoods before adding these wonderful hardwoods. Giving off consistent heat, these three woods have a high BTU, or British Thermal Unit, content.

Seasonal Woods

If you are having a fire in the fireplace for the holidays, look for spruce, pine and fir. These softwoods burn hot and fast but give off a wonderful aroma that is very festive.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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