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What’s the Difference in Firewood

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Every year we look outside and consider our woodpile. We concern ourselves with how much we have and if it will be enough if things get really bad. In most cases, wood is a supplemental source of heat. But in rare cases, you might depend solely on firewood for heat.

If this is the case you better have all the wood you need to stay warm. We have forgotten about the horrors of winter, most of us, because we have well-insulated homes and central heating that warms us at the press of a button. That is such an interesting thing to remember but its the reality.

Cold weather camping is a great way to earn that respect for winter back. If you think that the run from the store to the car in the cold is rough, well, spend a night out in it and you will understand the cold again.

Let’s look at some of the best firewood for heat output. What do you have in your pile?


This incredibly common wood is the king of heat output. That’s great news because it’s highly prolific.

Most people stock cords of oak both because of its availability and its heat output. This hardwood is good for a lot more than fire but it shines as a hardwood heat source.


Another common tree you probably walk past more than you realize is the dogwood. They are easy to ID in the spring because they are some of the first trees to bloom and they have those beautiful white blooms.

The dogwood is a serious powerhouse when it comes to heat but they aren’t as big as oak trees so you will need more of them.

Shag Bark Hickory

Another multi-purpose tree that puts off great heat is the shagbark hickory.

Hickory is a great hardwood for making tool handles. It’s not American hickory but it’s still a reliable wood and a master of heat output.

Knowing what wood will warm you is very important. The trees are a powerful resources.