It only got into the low teens but the north wind made it feel a lot colder. I restocked the porch wood pile using the older section of the wood pile. I had forgotten that Poplar makes a very fast hot fire. I think poplar and pine are about the same as far as BTU’s but poplar is a very twisted grain wood and hard to split and also leaves a lot of ash after it is burnt. But it you want a cheap fast burning wood and don’t have to split it Poplar is not a bad choice. If you need to split wood for kindling and are using an Axe. I would choose pine over poplar.
I have split almost enough of the older wood to start restacking it for a new wood delivery. My goal is to have better access to the older wood and not block it off by any new wood delivery. Letting any wood season for 1-2 year improves how hot and clean the wood burns in your wood stove. Much like everything else in your preps you have to rotate your wood and use the first in first out method.
I think I will use about 2.5-3 cords of wood this winter. It is difficult to be more precise as I’m using some firewood that is several years old and some wood that is from trees that were cut up last summer and Mom borrowed some wood last year and all of my wood piles are spaced out in different areas. I have a small home that is 1240 sq.ft. . I have installed a new roof, new windows and new siding with an addition of a little more wall insulation within the last 5 years. With all of that said, I think you can heat exclusively with fire wood with about 2- 3 cords per average winter. Bad thing about SW Idaho is that average winters don’t happen all that often. So I would recommend anyone heating with a wood stove have at least 2 seasons worth of firewood for an “average” winter.
Tools to have if you decide to heat with a wood stove.
- An axe. It does not have to be fancy or costly. 3/4-1 pound axe should split most soft/semi-hardwoods for starting fires from any wood that is delivered that is “stove length”.
- A hatchet for cutting kindling. I prefer using a hatchet for cutting kindling as it is lightweight and I think much safer to use cutting smaller chunks of wood as you can literally bonk the wood and hatchet together against a wood stump rather than swinging an axe to cut smaller chunks of wood.
- A splitting wedge. I don’t like those star type wedges as they take more effort and they don’t split wood into sections. A simple wedge will split big chunks of wood and it usually does not get buried in the wood. I use a splitting wedge that has a handle. I can stabilize the chunk of wood as I bonk it driving the wedge through the wood.
- A 3-4 pound sledge hammer. This is is to bonk the wedge through the wood. I have a heavier splitting maul and I almost never use it as it is to heavy to be accurate hitting the splitting wedge. It is very easy to use a smaller sledge hammer to bonk a splitting wedge through a chunk of fire wood. Especially if you are disabled a woman or anyone with limited strength or endurance. If you are strong enough to use a heavy maul and wedge good for you. But almost anyone that can lift a 4 pound sledge hammer can split wood that can mean kids, women and oldsters. You can heat with firewood even if you are not a lumberjack .
- A battery powered and electric powered chainsaw: I have nothing against gas powered chainsaws if you need to cut a lot of wood they are a great tool. If you are just trimming up some oversized chunks of fire wood the are a overpowered for most people that don’t use chainsaws. Don’t poo poo cutting and trimming trees and limbs for kindling. Chain saws are great for yardwork or trimming back fallen limbs that fall in storms.
I’m sure there are plenty of people that will say bad things about the wood I burn. I live in Idaho and oak trees don’t grow here even maple trees are considered an invasive species. Doug, red fir and pine are about the best firewood we can get in bulk. We do have fruit woods from the orchards but getting them is a bit hit or miss. Of course any one that extols the wonders of hardwood as a firewood and the price that it sells for back east and is willing to sell me 3 cords and transport it to Idaho and sell it for the same price paid back east I am willing to listen.
I had a sick kitty last week and I think he is over his digestive upset. I think he had a peeing issue. Well he peed all over my firewood starting paper and that seem to fix his on/off issues of being uncomfortable but not really in pain. I added a little bit of lard to help keep some calories in the cat and help any hairballs pass through the digestive track. I remember cats can get crystals in the urine if the diet is a bit wonky. I’m taking the cat in to the vet next week for a basic checkup and shots and perhaps a test or two that might explain the “illness” .
I am almost blanking out 2020 and 2021 as the stupidity is to much to deal with looking back those feel like lost years in my opinion. I’m feeling pretty positive that my position is getting stronger despite the fact the us economy is going all Higgedly-Piggedly. I admire the the folks doing the truckers convoy but I think it is the wrong answer to the problem.
I think the answer is to just say no and stop playing the game. Buy local and pay the cost. Stop using Amazon, Netfix Cable/satellite TV. I think is called “Irish Democracy” when you decide not to follow the local rules and laws that are just idiotic. Stop being afraid of the “Karens” of all sorts and live your life as you see fit. I don’t think you are evil and if I think you are wrong I’ll tell you. If you think I’m you will tell me. I only delete spam in my comment section of the website. A few people that get repetitive about ” if you don’t do this we all die” Other than that the comment section is open.