Should You Bring Your Own Firewood?

You may have noticed signs instructing you not to transport firewood to your campsite. They want you to collect firewood from the area rather than bring your own firewood from home. Of course, popular campsites are often thoroughly combed and picked clean of firewood, or maybe a recent thunderstorm drenched the area and there’s not so much as a twig of dry wood.

So what should you do? Is it OK to bring your own firewood from home? Why can’t you move firewood, anyway?

The problem with moving firewood

Why is there such a fuss over transporting firewood? It doesn’t seem like moving a few stacks of split logs would cause any harm, but it can do more damage than you’d think.

The problem with transporting firewood is that it promotes the spread of invasive species.

People cover a lot of ground to explore new trails, cliff bands, rivers, and forests, and they need places to camp. Of course bringing firewood from a different state, region, or even just from down the road can introduce life that isn’t native to the area. Invasive species can wreak havoc in an ecosystem.

Transporting firewood can bring new insects, insect eggs, spores, fungi, moss, etc. that an area isn’t prepared to handle.

Is it OK to bring your own firewood from home?

Ideally you just collect firewood from your campsite, or a nearby area. But what about those situations where this isn’t an option? Is it OK to bring your own firewood?

Some states have regulations regarding the transport of firewood. But you should still avoid moving firewood long distances even if you’re in states that do not have regulations.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding to bring firewood from home.

  • The best option is collecting wood from the area, or buying local firewood from nearby sources.
  • Try not to carry firewood over long distances. Camping one or two hours away should be fine, but you don’t want to bring firewood from Arkansas out to Wyoming.
  • ¬†Generally speaking, you shouldn’t move firewood over 50 miles.
  • If you do carry firewood, make sure that you burn all of the wood. Don’t leave any for the next group of campers.
  • Keep firewood contained in a plastic tub. This also keeps your firewood safe from rain or morning dew.
  • You don’t always need a campfire.

 

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