German Method for Stacking Firewood

German Method for Stacking Firewood
The German method of stacking firewood, known as the holzhaufen (woodpile) or holz hausen (wood house), is designed to allow air to flow from the outside of the stack and into the center. This dries all the wood, usually within three months, so you can plan to use the wood for your next camping trip in a few months. It does however, take practice to perfect the use of this wood stacking technique and isn't the type of woodpile that you put together when in a rush.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hammer or mallet
  • 7-to-8 foot stake
  • Measuring tape
  • Stick
  • Ax
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
Step 1
Build the firewood stack in a sunny and cleared area. The ground needs to be flat and measure 6 feet by 6 feet.
Step 2
Hammer a metal or wooden stake into the center of the cleared area. The stake needs to have a height of 7 feet above the ground.
Step 3
Measure 3 feet out from the stake in several directions and mark the ground with a stick-drawn line. This is to ensure you make a circle of wood with the stake as the dead center.
Step 4
Cut the wood logs into equal sizes of about 12 to 24 inches in length. It also helps if all the wood logs are similar in width.
Step 5
Mark the stake with paint at 5 feet 8 inches above the ground. As the wood dries, the pile shrinks. When you see your paint mark, you know that all the wood is ready for burning.
Step 6
Lay out some logs along your marked circular line around the stake. These logs should touch end to end and create a circle around the stake. This is the edge of the holzhaufen.
Step 7
Set logs around the circle with one end on an edge log and one end pointed towards the stake. You should now have the first outer layer of logs and the logs should be sitting at an angle towards the center.
Step 8
Stack logs in the center in an upright position. Continue to stack the outer circle and center logs until you can no longer see the stake.

Tips & Warnings

Do not place the woodpile near a structure that may be damaged by the wood falling. These woodpiles can fall if not level or stacked properly.

Article Written By Lynn Anders

Lynn Anders has more than 15 years of professional experience working as a zookeeper, wildlife/environmental/conservation educator and in nonprofit pet rescue. Writing since 2007, her work has appeared on various websites, covering pet-related, environmental, financial and parenting topics. Anders has a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and biology from California State University, Sacramento.

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