Sunday, January 10, 2010


Sitting at my desk overlooking Deep Creek Lake and the people ice fishing, I think about a bonfire. Probably not the safest thing on Deep Creek but I love fire. Whether in a fireplace, wood-stove or in the great outdoors, the common element is wood. Not everyone finds great joy in cutting their own, so here are some tips on buying firewood. Most wood is sold by the cord or fraction of. A cord measures 4 feet wide × 4 feet high × 8 feet long. Any other arrangement of linear measurements that yields a volume of 128 cubic feet is acceptable. 128 Cubic feet is 128 cubic feet no matter how it is stacked. I am not about to break out a geometry book to figure out the volume of a pile. WARNING Do not be fooled by a pickup load being a cord. Measure what the wood was delivered in. Do the math and pay accordingly on the established cord price. Get 'SEASONED WOOD" wood that has been cut 6-12 months prior and allowed to air dry. This reduces odors, burns better, and delivers that satisfying crackle and snap. Know what type of wood you want, not all wood is the same. Locust, Oak, Hickory and Hard Maple are great. A stick of Apple gives a beautiful flame and aroma,  A chunk of pine will add sparks. If burning indoors measure your destination and order lengths that fit. Overall remember roasting hot dogs or making S'mores works great indoors.