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Author Topic: wood  (Read 1041 times)

Offline trapmusher

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wood
« on: February 14, 2018, 04:17:58 pm »
In his last video, Hoop talks about wood. In the comment section he goes on to explain why he isn't a fan of balsam fir if other essences are available.

Obviously, you burn what is available. However, there is more to the burn than heat. There is ease of lighting, smell, sparks, splitting and the list can go on.

Personally I would not burn popular in a tent stove if I had balsam fir. But in an open fire, where sparks are a concern, popular would be my number one.

In hard woods black ash splits by itself. But it can be a pain to get going as it takes a long time to dry. The odour of the smoke is loved by some but despised by others.

White birch is great but you need to cut it live and keep it dry. Standing dead birch seems to rot from the inside out.

Yellow birch can be king unless you have to split it. It always gives me splinters unless I'm wearing gloves.

Comments?

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: wood
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 04:28:57 pm »
Up here we don't have lots of choices, we burn what is dry and available, that mean mostly jack pine and white spruce, occasionally poplar, some time willow or alders.... Birch, even if there is some in the area are not often a viable choice for the reasons you mention!!


Offline memaquay

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Re: wood
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 05:12:42 pm »
For winter camping up here, jack pine is king.  You can usually find standing dead ones.  You will know when they are good and ready because there won't be much bark left on them.  Black spruce is next, but usually hard to split.  I burn balsam, but it rots quickly once it is knocked over, so you often end up with punky wood that burns but doesn't have much longevity.  Tamarack will really spice things up for you, if you like that red glowing stove and pipe that looks like it is going to melt straight to China and burn your tent down at the same time.

Sometimes find good standing dead poplar, and will burn it if I have to.  Birch, as previously mentioned, is only good when cut green and allowed to dry.

At home, I burn mostly birch in my wood stove, although if I find nice jackpine on the deadish side, I will take that too.  If I'm really lazy, I'll burn poplar, because it is huge, no-one wants it, and it grows right beside the road.  Trees practically jump into the back of the truck asking to be burnt.

Offline awbrown: N. Illinois, USA

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Re: wood
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 07:28:54 pm »
What one burns is a product of where one camps. I remember a few years ago at the Winter Camping Symposium, we were able to draw our fire wood from a collection of cut oak........Our friend Hoop was almost beside himself gushing about the luxury of burning oak.

Where I live and do most of my camping, I have tons of oak and other hardwoods. Guess I'm a lucky camper.
I love winter......I don't look fat in wool!

Offline trapmusher

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Re: wood
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 07:43:33 pm »
Alder burns good and hot even if it doesn't burn long.

I've never burned tamarack. One year there was a family of jackpine cone harvesters camping out on my trapline. It was rainy November and they weren't toasty in the tent. They were looking for a dead tamarack to burn.

I burn white and yellow birch in the house. I also burn some red maple and black ash. For fast/short spring/fall morning fires we'll burn popular and fir.

 I presently have 17.75 metric tons of yellow birch in the yard that I am slowly cutting up and splitting. I slpit with a fiskers X27. Cold weather helps with the curly pieces and they are almost all curly pieces. I keep the smaller pieces and chips to burn in the Knico.

Offline rbinhood

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Re: wood
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 09:30:32 pm »
I burn hard and soft maple, poplar, birch, and occasionally, oak. Two years ago, I cut a lot of basswood, which is very plentiful around here. Burns fast and hot, often called gopher wood, or more appropriately, go for wood.
"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."
Henry David  Thoreau

Offline K.

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Re: wood
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 08:39:01 am »
I've found wood selection to be a bit of a crapshoot since I'm not doing enough camping to become truly skilled at it. Wood that is obviously dry and not rotten is somewhat rare. The majority of the time it seems to be a fine line on the continuum from just dry enough to slightly too wet, and I don't seem to be very skilled at judging water content by heft alone, particularly when rot is a confound that also reduces heft. I don't think it is possible to use a moisture meter on frozen wood, but in the interests of getting better results I'm tempted to cut samples from around the camp on the first night, warm them up to get the reading, then go back to the driest wood for the rest of the trip.

Offline lonelake

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Re: wood
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 08:48:04 am »
I tend to burn conifer mostly. Pine and Spruce are the easiest to identify in Winter. Spending valuable energy processing wet wood is a waste. I believe in efficient actions while out in the Winter. That means, getting the most out of the energy spent. Hardwoods burn great, but are more difficult to identify in the Winter.

LL
Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons. It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment, and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.
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Offline Wilderwes

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Re: wood
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 12:04:44 pm »
Where I live, there are really only two hardwood choices: birch and poplar. Birch is our premium firewood for home heating, but is only good if it is cut before it dies and then seasoned. I have mostly camped in areas where the forest is a mixture of softwoods and hardwoods and poplar has often been the best option. I have found poplar to be decent wood for burning. If you find it dead with the bark naturally off - either standing or leaning against another tree, it is quite dry and ready to burn.
I am hoping to get out to camp in a "truer" boreal forest where I will be burning more spruce and pine, but in the meantime, I don't mind some poplar.

Offline Forse07

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Re: wood
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 12:48:57 pm »
We are rarely picky. On our last trip we mostly found blown over birch that was still a bit wet. We just split it very small and it burned well enough to keep our tent warm even in temps of -30F.

Offline Jawax

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Re: wood
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 03:09:37 pm »
Like K. above, I still find it a bit of a crap shoot even though I've been trying and getting better at selecting.  Still stumps me how I can grab two logs that seem the same, yet one burns great and the other just barely. 

Two years ago while camped at the dogsled race a neighbor camper pulled out early and asked me if I wanted his extra wood.  Obviously I said yes, expecting he had gathered it in the woods.  He brought over a couple pieces of hard wood he said was elm from his home.  I put two good sized chunks of it on a bed of coals that night before bed and pampered down, and the next morning that stove was still kicking out heat some 7 or so hours later.  Never had a burn like that with jackpine.