Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Stocking Firewood at the Bug Out Location

For thousands of years mankind has used firewood for cooking and warmth. Even today thousands of people still rely on wood for their everyday cooking needs. When prepping for a SHTF event firewood could be a reliable and long term cooking solution.

Firewood is an important asset – but its only an asset if the person can utilize it. In this case a storm blew down an oak tree. Instead of the tree going to waste, it was cut up for firewood.

Cut and split firewood

During a long term SHTF survival situation, after the propane runs out, after the liquid fuel runs out for the camp stoves, its either going to be cooking with solar ovens, or cooking with wood, or not cooking at all.

After hurricanes Ike and Rita made landfall, I cooked for my family for between 2 – 3 weeks with firewood. For breakfast we would used a coleman stove to cook with, and for dinner we used my barbeque pit on a trailer.

One of the problems with firewood, it can be time and labor extensive to stockpile. The simple, yet expensive solution, is to buy a cord of firewood, then stockpile it in a dry location, such as a barn. Everyone may not have a barn, so a leanto built unto a shed may be a viable solution.

Rather than splitting the firewood by hand, a log splitter rented for a weekend, or even a day, could save dozens of hours of splitting firewood.

Here on the farm there are numerous pen oak trees that grow at an angle to reach sunlight. These trees are typically growing under larger trees. Because they are growing at an angle they will never grow into large and mature oak trees. The majority of my firewood comes from these young trees that may be around eight inches in diameter.

If the leaning trees are not cut down they will eventually break.

So the trees are cut down, cut into sections around 18 inches long, split, then stored in the tractor barn. Typically, I like to keep at least one cord of firewood on hand. However, sometimes use a lot of the firewood to clear out of lot of the old wood. To replenish the firewood, I may dedicate a weekend to nothing but cutting and splitting. The tractor mounted log splitter makes short work on the oak logs.

From time to time a storm may blow an oak tree over. When that happens I try to make the best of it. However, sometimes the oak trees are in bad locations that requires a lot of work to get the wood out.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018