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mpetey
Ok so I go camping at a campground  and the biggest issue is firewood. I like to make a campfire but the campground sells wood and its not cheap. I live in an apartment and cant store it. Its hard to get firewood because it is still somewhat cold out and people seem to scavenge it. I do look around the campground for sticks and wood but people have already done this before me. I bring an axe so splitting is not an issue its finding it. Last year I went camping after a storm and there were logs all over the road I travel on. This year people took wood because of the ever changing weather. Any tips?
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1hpycmpr
Check CL, Offer Up, and similar sites.  Might even find free stuff just to haul it away.  My neighbor always brings home end cuts of lumber and I will get a lot from him to take camping.  Gotta be careful because lumber tends to snap, crackle, and pop embers out of the fire!  When burning logs and sticks, I try to burn what is from around the area instead of transporting the wood in from a totally different area.  Less chance of  introducing new critters/diseases.
Mark
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NYGfan
I bring home  old pallets from work and break them up to burn. The wood they sell at the campgrounds is usually not very good and often still green. I work for the county transportation dept and when we cut down hard wood trees we keep it at the yard for us to use . Great for the someplaces but most campgrounds won’t let you bring uncertified wood in for fear of bugs. 
Joe
Mil-SpecOps #0219
Stovie and Damn proud of it

 
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mpetey
The campground I go to has bagged wood that is good but gets expensive. I will look on the road as I think they are doing construction where I go so maybe they have some logs.
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Eel
Be certain to know the rules and regs of your hosts - Forest Service in CA prohibits picking up deadfall, rules vary depending on operator elsewhere.  Joe (NYGfan) has a good point: there are several areas in SoCal that are under quarantine for forest pests, no can remove wood from these areas..

EEL Eclectic Lanterns, div.  Doofenshmirtz-EEL Incorporated.

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mpetey
Years ago they didn't want you to bring in wood from another state but said a lot of people do. I will see when I go tomorrow what they say this time.
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LakeGeorge
A HGP?
Gary Coleman, I am.
I.C.C.C. #1035
11th Annual East Coast Coleman Convention, June 5-9, 2019. Gettysburg, PA
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mpetey
That would work
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MotorcycleDan
mpetey wrote:
Years ago they didn't want you to bring in wood from another state but said a lot of people do. I will see when I go tomorrow what they say this time.


I brought wood into CA from UT for last Septembers Nor Cal get together. I was checked at the border check station. The employee said just as long as there was no sign of bark beetle, I was fine. My wood was clean, and they gave me a card showing that my wood was inspected.

Defiantly check to see if the campground you are going to allows wood collection. Most do not. When I worked for the NPS, I wrote tickets all the time for wood collection. When the downed wood is gone, people start cutting down live trees. The Pacific NW is different. There is so much wood down, they want you to collect it!
Dan ICCC #900
ICCC Treasure
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huachuca
Many federal campgrounds here in the southeast require firewood to be certified as 'kiln dried' and that stuff does get expensive at $5+ for a bundle of  5-6 pieces.  Also, we travel out west for several weeks each year and it seems there's often a ban on campfires due to dry and/or windy conditions there.  Having seen the damage done by the Woolly Adelgid to the Hemlocks in Great Smoky Mountain NP and the devastation caused by forest fires , I understand and agree with these restrictions. 

Our solution is a portable propane campfire which, if you put it inside the campfire ring and squint just a bit, does sort of resemble a real fire. Actually, these things do have a number of pluses - easy to start and shut down, no smoke and no cleanup  .There are several manufacturers of these, the one below seems to be popular with the rv folks.  We swapped out the ceramic fake wood logs in ours for glass fire beads which work better for us.  

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Campfire-Portable-Propane-65234R3FA66413/dp/B01MA0MSZM/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=big+red+campfire&qid=1556549856&s=gateway&sr=8-2
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xvz12
I've pretty much given up on the firewood thing, we have a profane 'campfire' that we use.....instant on, we can cook on it if we want to, no muss, no fuss.  YMMV
Wynn - xvz12

ICCC#1560
MilSpecOps Syndicate #77
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0150
Looking for almost anything kero...[wink]
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brucesheehe
When there are campfire bans, I use a Handy Gas Plant as my fire.  

It makes a great heat source for a corn boil.
Bruce Sheehe
ICCC #889 - Connoisseur of Time, Friends, Leisure, & Coleman   Altoona, PA - The Mountain City - Near The Eastern USA Continental Divide
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holliswood
I seen some type of fake looking stuff shaped like quartered wood in the camping section a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t smell to funky and there wasn’t any bark etc that would make a mess. Was supposed to burn for two hours and replicate a real campfire. I haven’t tried it yet but will sometime soon. Don’t know if this helps any or is in your interest. 
Spending more $$ on GPA’s than my meds
snipesfred on Insta
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cjr
My wife and I camp in Wisconsin's state parks regularly (our goal is to stay in all of 'em eventually), but since 2014, there's a state law requiring campers to purchase firewood within 10 miles of the state park, or from a state-certified seller (couldn't even tell you where those are located).

Ostensibly, this is to prevent the spread of harmful pests and diseases -- particularly the emerald ash borer and gypsy moths.

Anyway, while I usually can find cheaper bundles of firewood for sale outside of the park, it's often very wet and the buck or two I might save on a bundle isn't worth it, versus just buying it from inside the park for $5 per bundle. Definitely not cheap but at least it lights.

Not sure if others states have this sort of law? I'd be interested in knowing...

As for the OP's questions, it's difficult to find much fallen wood on-site anymore because previous campers look for it, too. Seems like the choices these days are to pay the prevailing bundle rates or switch to LP-fueled versions as other posters have?

cjr

Chris

[colemanlanternlogo] ICCC #1615
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JimL
Hollis' idea seems a good one to me.  Those fireplace logs can be expensive, but we're now into the clearance season of anything to do with winter, including those logs.   I saw them for a buck per log on clearance last year.

-Jim

If your hands and under arms are bleeding, your beer bottle might not have a twist off cap.

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zoomkat
You might get a 502 and experiment blocking the air intake until the flames are just right (bright, but not smelly or sooty), then put some lava rock on the grate (or in a bottomless pie pan on the grate) to provide for some radiant heat.
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Yosemite John
Lots of cut trees in Yosemite Valley this year---beetle kill that was either brought down by the late season heavy snow or felled because of safety concerns in campgrounds and alongside roads.
Too much wood in fact. 
All free for the taking and burning within Yosemite National Park,
One way to get rid of those beetles, anyway.
A Happy Camper
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hikerduane
I had a run in with a Ranger in Lassen VNP a couple years ago, said I could gather wood outside the CG, as long as pieces would fit in the fire ring.  Guess you have to ask first.  Many Forests will let you gather campfire wood to use while camping, usually cant gather wood within a CG, usually the case if in a Park or FS CG.
Duane
Duane-All seasons, year round backpacker and camper.  So many stoves who's counting.
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pateco
Pallet wood is mostly Asian hardwoods. Check behind you local mall or warehouse district for discards. Bring a sledge hammer or pry bar to break them up. Or an electric saw as seen in the below video.

Life is a Beach

BernzOmatic Appreciation Club #049
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holliswood
pateco wrote:
Pallet wood is mostly Asian hardwoods. Check behind you local mall or warehouse district for discards. Bring a sledge hammer or pry bar to break them up. Or an electric saw as seen in the below video.



Not sure if all Lowe’s Hardware does this everywhere but our two nearest locations give their busted up pallets away for free. Only downside is tack/nail removal. If one so chooses to remove them. 
Spending more $$ on GPA’s than my meds
snipesfred on Insta
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mpetey
Got bags of kiln dried wood  at the food store where I live-I did see the people by me bringing the Dura flame logs to use but they can be expensive also.
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Coast to Coast
I have used these wood stove fuel blocks before.  You have to establish a fire first, but they burn slow like a log and they aren’t expensive.  About $5.00 for a pack of 20.  I’ll usually buy one bundle of firewood at or around the park to get things started and then burn these the rest of the time. Click image for larger version - Name: FBA8FA28-A85D-44E7-ABB1-6840DB4E8115.jpeg, Views: 407, Size: 96.71 KB
-Bird- Milwaukee, WI.

ICCC#1776

The Coleman Blue‘s 243’s #143
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holliswood
Figured I’d post these just in case:
34248E9B-F39D-4943-B466-45B1A49B1A9C.jpeg  20809D35-430B-4FE5-91CA-62777D0968AE.jpeg 
Spending more $$ on GPA’s than my meds
snipesfred on Insta
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mpetey
Yes but it isn't wood I was reading. Its funny I didn't see any logs going camping but seen a whole bunch leaving today. They were practically cutting them up and stacking them along the road.
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Scouterjan
I usually gather some larger dimensional cut offs where they build new houses
Jan
"ebgone bahwagh agi" Harvest Gatherer

Mitakiuye Oyasin " All My Relations"
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Yosemite John
The problem I see with fireplace logs like Duraflames are that they don't do well for cooking over
A Happy Camper
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PetroMax
Maybe for an apartment dweller store bought firewood would work . I buy medium and large size boxes of firewood at my local Northern Cali discount supermarket for $7 and $13 a box respectively. I then halve the logs to make them easier to burn and just bring 2 boxes with me in my car. Last camping trip I was burning a mix of that wood and some pine I scavenged and seasoned for a couple of weeks. IMG_0422 - Edited.jpg 
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fuel brained
Myself I get free splits from the firewood sellers in the area for cleanup and I make bio bricks from newspaper and sawdust. I never have to buy wood. My 2cts worths
Pastor Jeff
God said "Let there be light" so He let His Son shine.
SoCal and Lovin' It
US Navy Submarine Cold War Veteran
MilSpec Ops #1960 "Feel the Roar"
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bowenstudios
Many of the parks in wv won't let you in with wood for the pest reasons, unless your from with 15 miles or something. As for picking up wood, I worked at a state park a few years back, we weren't aloud to even clear fallen trees unless they posed a safety hazard or were directly in the campground because they were considered habitats. They would write tickets if they caught you gathering wood. 

On the pallet wood, many of the pallets I see here are oak or pine, I try to stay away from pine because it pops so much but the oak is great. Can usually find free ones and just cut them up with a sawsall. I burn with the nails and all, use them in my home fire pit as well.
BernzOmatic Appreciation Club #651
Mil-SpecOps #0651
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mpetey
The problem with pallets is the nails that come from it. Years ago when I went camping a big group was using the site before me. They must have burned pallets because there were nails all over the place. Having BF Goodrich TA tires which are not cheap on my Jeep at $185.00 a tire, I told the campground either move me so I don't get them in my tires or send someone to clean them up. They moved me and told me they should have cleaned up better.
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Yosemite John
How many campfires do you intend on having and for what purpose?
Large fires take a lot of wood, small fires not so much. 
For cooking you'll want coals more than a conflagration.
Early in the summer you're apt to find cut wood from hazard mitigation
but later on there won't be any wood for gathering anywhere near a camp ground.

My firewood is usually a mix of store bought almond and any cut timber I happen to find on the way up as well as grapevine stumps or mesquite charcoal for cooking. Only desperate times call for burning scavenged pallets and then only within fire rings because of the nails
A Happy Camper
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mpetey
I will have a campfire every night I'm up camping-thank goodness I went camping earlier in May as I start a new job day after Memorial day.
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Yosemite John
Like the sound of the surf and the birth of a child, a camp fire is elemental to the very soul of human beings.
Like the sound of the surf, which is unchanged from the very beginning of time, the experience of a camp fire is the same now as when the earliest men discovered fire.
It's familiar, it's part of our shared History.
So it's no wonder this is such an interesting topic!
A Happy Camper
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PetroMax
At campgrounds I always see people struggling with a campfire , they can't seem to get a decent one going or that picturesque totally useless bright fire city folk like myself think we ought to have camping.

I messed around with all kinds of fire starters but I have come back to this one as being the fastest way to start a camp fire.

/ http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bernzomatic-WT2301-Campfire-Torch/54806362

Also at campgrounds folks have a hatchet they think will process fire wood , I did too. I always see campers trying to burn too big pieces of wood  and even  even boxed fire place wood needs to be cut for effective burning .They need a large all purpose axe or splitting axe. I tried a number of axes and have found this one to be perfect all in one for me. 

/ bigbeartools.com/store/outdoors/axes-hatchets/AGDOR-Felling-Axe-Montreal-Pattern-Larger-Model-3-5-lbs-p28337907

It is big and heavy but powers through anything a camper can throw at , too its a proper  wood handled axe and looks the camp axe part. 

What I find works also is combining soft and hardwoods for a energetic fire. The fast burning soft wood turbo charges the splits of hard wood . Makes a pretty fire for viewing .
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mpetey
Yes I bought big logs last year in August and they would not light easy. A camping neighbor seen me struggling, and offered me his Fiskars axe. The propane head on the torch works wonders. I also bought homemade fire starters on E bay that are basically wax and wood sawdust and they work great. My 1st fire when I go I use a ferro rod and that starts things going. I also bring my own Fiskars axe.
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Yosemite John
If you're trying to get rounds to burn, you'll want a real ax, or even a maul
I dislike hatchets because of the much greater chance of injury. 
OK for pounding tent pegs and turning large kindling into small kindling though.

However seasoned wood burns better and is easier to light.
Almond burns clean and lasts, almost as well as Oak.
Try burning fruit wood or pine and you'll burn a lot more wood, even for a modest size fire.
When I'm gathering wood I look around for dead fall Cedar and Fir.
Tamarack Pine sure makes good kindling though!
A Happy Camper
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Yosemite John
Around my town, the homeless collect most of the available wood scraps from construction sites, and pallets, for their fires.
A Happy Camper
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Yosemite John
Speaking of axes, here's great video on how to hang an axe
A Happy Camper
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Quick Cal
Speaking of processing firewood. I use a big knife and a saw. I also use "fatwood" that I get a home depot or lowes. This stuff is great to help get you going.

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mpetey
I start another job on Tuesday as when I left the other job I went camping. I will actually be working with wood!
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chrisnjenn
Congrats on the new job, Peter.
Chris
ICCC #1772
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mpetey
Many thanks! I'm nervous -it is at a company that makes interior and exterior doors but it is a job and a new learning experience.
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Quick Cal
mpetey wrote:
Many thanks! I'm nervous -it is at a company that makes interior and exterior doors but it is a job and a new learning experience.


I hate being the new guy. Just walk right up to the biggest, baddest mofo and punch him right in the mouth. Oh wait. That was prison,,,lol. Just kidding. Congrats on the new job.
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mpetey
Well the new job is a bit different-first day they had me with a guy assembling doors until they wanted me to go with a driver to help out on a truck making some deliveries. The doors are heavier than my liking. Kind of hard as my arms are short and cant barely reach around the door so I aggravated an existing arm injury. Day 2 spent all day on the road with a driver got back to shop and spent another hour there. They kept[t me that day 14.5 hours. Next day in the shop screwing in door hinges and on a machine. Yesterday after going in, I had to clean up and then was on a machine. After lunch had to go on the road with a driver and that MDF gets heavy! We had 25 pieces maybe 6 feet long. My body is screaming and is all bruised up. Not the job I thought it was and they tell me people usually leave after 2 weeks. Will I make it? I don't know what the plan for me is.
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PetroMax


This is a good illustration of a fire lay that I didn't really understand well until I saw it here.But Nessmuck's own illustration of the fire shows a fire reflector being used. The updraft created by the fire on a wood platform really seems to make it work well.
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mpetey
I stack wood in an H pattern and it helps when there is air that can get to the wood and circulate. Last time I went camping, every fire I started was roaring within minutes without any additional help. I will go camping in September God willing as I had to leave the door company after I fell during a delivery and the company didn't seem to care. I work at an amusement park until September 8th,its low pay but something.
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