Easiest Way to Bundle Firewood

Easiest Way to Bundle FirewoodThe wood you pick up--and need to carry back to camp--in the backcountry is going to be much smaller than the large, split logs you might tote around for car camping. Leave No Trace ethics recommend against collecting or burning anything but dead and downed wood no larger around than your wrist. With that being said, the basic technique for bundling wood--whether you're setting out for a car camping trip or prepping for a campfire in the backcountry--remains essentially the same: Group various small pieces of wood into one manageable chunk.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Old, large stuff sack or 3-by-2-foot piece of sturdy tarp
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Sewing needle
  • Nylon thread
  • 12-inch lengths of 1-inch webbing, 2 pieces
Step 1
Cut the stuff sack open straight down one side, starting directly underneath where the ends of the gather-cord emerge from the top of the stuff sack. Stop just short of the bottom seam--don't slice through it. If you're using a piece of tarp instead, just lay the tarp out and trim the edges, if necessary, to get it reasonably squared off.
Step 2
Locate the middle of the slit-open sides of the stuff sack. Mark two points, each 1 1/2 inches to the side of the middle, on one side of the slit. Do the same on the other side of the slit. If you're using the tarp, just locate the midpoint on both of the short sides of the tarp and then mark two points, each 1 1/2 inches to the side of that midpoint, on each side of the tarp.
Step 3
Thread the needle with nylon thread and stitch each end of one 12-inch webbing piece to the marks you made on one side of the slit stuff sack or on one end of the tarp. Do the same on the other side of the slit or on the other end of the tarp with the other webbing piece. These form the carry handles for your firewood bundle. Stitch at least 1 inch of webbing over each mark; crisscross over the webbing surface repeatedly to increase the stitched surface area, making it less likely to fall apart from the weight of the wood.
Step 4
Pile firewood inside your stuff-sack carrier or on the tarp. Remember that while in the backcountry you're going to be burning wood that's no larger around than your wrist, so you can carry a number of sticks inside one homemade carrier. When you're ready to move on--either back to camp or in search of more wood--just gather both handles in one hand and take the wood with you.

Tips & Warnings

Always check with local officials before collecting firewood or setting up a campfire; in some regions open campfires are prohibited, especially when fire danger is high, or there may be specific regional regulations about where you can, or cannot, collect wood or build a fire.
Because you didn't cut through the drawstring on the stuff sack--and you left the bottom panel intact--you can cinch the drawstring down to create a second "side panel" that will keep your firewood from falling out of the carrier to either side.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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