5 Rules for Foraging Firewood

Follow these tips for a crackling, low-impact fire.
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Follow these tips for a crackling, low-impact fire.
Woodpile

Backpackers don't have the luxury of neatly-split wood. (Photo by Brad Montgomery/Flickr).

1. Look for dry wood with little or loose bark.
A good, seasoned piece will give a sharp crack when snapped.

2. Collect a diversity.
Softwoods ignite easily but burn out fast. Hardwoods produce better coals for cooking and are a good bet for a long fire.

3. Allow time to search far and wide.
Scavenge for deadfall away from camp to minimize environmental impacts.

4. Get enough so you’re not hunting for wood in the dark.
An armful of wood equals 45 minutes of fire.

5. Burn nothing thicker than an adult’s wrist.
To break a big branch, wedge one end in a forked tree and lever it toward you until the piece snaps.