We all need heat during the winter months, but what happens when you heat by woodstove and you run out of wood? Well, that is exactly what happened! Often times it means spending one day a week cutting and splitting wood for a full day. It is always nice to have friends and family that are close by, that have the time to help. When you have help, when you work together to get odd jobs done, a lot more gets accomplished and in a shorter amount of time. Not everyone will have others close by to help, so it is very important to try to get enough wood cut and put aside for the following winter. If this does not happen and you find yourself out of wood in the middle of winter, we are here to tell you, you will not freeze, it can be done! It will be a lot harder. It is not easy to walk through 3 feet of snow, dragging huge logs out to the splitter, all the while 15 more centimeters of snow is falling, but…..I can be done!!
One Sunday we spent about 3 hours at our friends place helping them collect firewood. It was a good day. A lot was accomplished. We were exhausted, but not as exhausted as our friends would have been had they spent the whole day doing wood. We were happy we got out and got some fresh air and exercise! If you have ever done wood before then you know there is no need to go to a gym because country living is the only exercise you will need. Our friends didn’t ask for help, but we had nothing going on and let’s face it, chores done with help are a lot more fun, and a lot more efficient.
When we arrived at their place trees had already been cut so we brought our large utility sled and headed into the bush. You can purchase these large utility sleds at almost any hardware store. Remember to dress warm, wear high boots, snow pants and an old jacket and mitts you don’t mind getting dirty or torn during lifting all the logs. Once we got into the bush we started loading the logs into the sled and pulled it to the back of their house, where the splitter was located. We then sorted the large ones that needed splitting and the small ones that could be tossed right into the wood pile. My husband was splitting, our friend was cutting the trees and logs, and our friend, her children and I are loading the sled with wood. The logs were heavy and the deep snow made difficult to pull the sled. The children were great to have helped push the sled as we took turns pulling it out of the bush and to the back of the house. The hardest part was walking through the deep snow as our feet keep sinking in past our knees. We did many trips back and forth from the bush to the splitter. This turned out to be a good system. We had one man using the chainsaw, another on the log splitter and 4 of us (woman and children) loading, unloading and stacking the wood. We managed to get enough wood to last them for a couple weeks in this short amount of time. Our friend said they would have spent the whole day trying to accomplish this amount of fire wood, in what we all did in just a few hours. Many hands make light work!
When cutting wood for fire there are a few things you need to remember. Our friends use a cook woodstove as their primary heat source and oven to cook with. This means they go through a lot more fire wood than the average person using an ordinary woodstove to heat their home. This means the wood gathered for our friends would last them two weeks, may last you 3, 4 or 5 weeks depending on how warm you like to keep your place. Another thing to think about is wood that is cut in the summer, fall or spring and is able to sit for a time and dry out, would ignite faster, keep a fire better, heat better and may last longer. Wood that is cut in the middle of winter, that you may do weekly or biweekly, will heat your home. However, remember that it may be harder to get a fire started and to keep it going. It is always best to cut and prepare all your wood for the winter before winter comes and let it sit and season. This article is to let you know that if you do not get it done, or you run out, it is still possible to heat your home with firewood. Our friend is trying to plan ahead the best method to ensuring their firewood will get completed. One way is to set aside one day a week to cut and gather wood each year as this may provide them with enough for the following winter. Perhaps this is a plan you may wish to try to prepare your own firewood.
You may be thinking, “I don’t have the acreage to provide my family with enough wood for a woodstove”. If this is you, you are not alone. We do not have a lot of acreage or an abundance of trees to provide firewood for our home for the coming years. However, I am learning that that is no reason not to have a woodstove. We heat our home right now with Oil and it can be very expensive over the course of the winter. I would say we probably spent about $1,800 this first winter in hour home, give or take. Our friend informed us that we could as an alternate heat source put a woodstove in and buy our firewood. Buying firewood can be very expensive, so weigh your pros and cons. However, our friend informed us that it is cheaper to buy the logs, have them delivered and we cut and split the wood ourselves. Apparently it is roughly $700 for a tandem of logs, which could last two winters. This would mean more work for you, but would also be a benefit to your health, and look at the cost we would be saving every year on Oil. Look into options in your area, find out prices and how many quarts you would need to heat your home for a winter. Research a good woodstove that would suit your home and your lifestyle. God will provide a way.