Proper care of firewood is essential to its use, and keeping the wood dry is certainly the most important factor. When wood is first cut, it is considered "green" and too moist with sap to burn well. In order for wood to burn with maximum efficiency, it must be aged until "dry" and kept free of excessive moisture such as rain, snow and hail. The best bet, if you don't have access to a woodshed or room on a porch to store your firewood, is to cover it with a tarp. While it seems deceptively easy, proper storage can make or break your supply of firewood.
Things You'll Need
- Assorted branches
- Tarp (with grommets)
- 50 feet of rope or cord
- 6 to 8 cinder blocks or large stones
- Box cutter or scissors
Lay down a row of branches or old two-by-fours. Place them far enough apart that each row, or rick, of firewood can rest on them comfortably. This bottom support will ensure that moisture does not seep into the wood.
Cut your firewood, and set each log across the branches or two-by-fours. Do not stack the wood higher than your chest; otherwise, lifting the wood and placing the tarp will be difficult.
Spread your tarp out alongside the stacked firewood. Make sure the tarp is long enough and wide enough to cover the entire pile. The tarp should have grommets along the outside edges.
Cut 3-foot-long lengths of rope or cord with a box cutter or a pair of scissors, and tie the pieces through the grommet holes on the tarp.
Place the cinder blocks or large stones around the edges of the firewood stack.
Pull the tarp over the firewood stack, and tie it down by fastening the cord or rope to the cinder blocks (or around the large stones.) This method works better than lashing the tarp to the firewood, as less wind will be able to penetrate the stack.
Tips & Warnings
- While the cost of a tarp is negligible, taking it off and back on can be a chore, especially in the deep winter. While a tarp is an excellent temporary cover, a woodshed or lean-to might be better if you use a large amount of firewood and have to get to the stack more often.
- Be extremely careful not to strain your lower back when lifting or placing firewood logs or cinder blocks.
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