Episode 71: Gathering Firewood for my first Winter Off Grid

collecting firewood

If you ever had a solid old wood stove, enjoyed cold winter days inside by a warm crackling fireplace, or went camping long enough to make an open fire hopefully you had the privilege of gathering your own firewood. This weekend was all about collecting firewood. I took a good walk down the path outback of the camper and into the woods in search of downed trees that would be suitable for burning in the off grid camper once the wood stove is put in. After an exhausting time dragging downed branches back to the camper I realized that this was yet another stepping stone in my learning curve here on the off grid journey. Despite your efforts or just how much you think you will get done it is slow going! Yes a lot more firewood will be needed! This weekend’s work made it clear that I have a lot of work ahead of me if I am going to survive the unforgiving winter weather and stay warm until spring. This still being mid November temperatures during the day here in Va. have been very nice and quite mild. In contrast the nights have been getting cooler with the lowest to date in the lower 30s. This next week the at times wildly unpredictable weather man is calling for temps to dip into the upper 20s. Yikes that will be cold! Time to kick it into gear if I am going to stay warm this winter. This weekend’s mini adventure through the woods yielded two bonfires next to the camper under the stars (one on Saturday night & another on Sunday night!!).

“The man who chops wood heats himself twice”

Luckily I have the fortune to wind up with great neighbors and thanks to them I got my work cut out for me chopping and cutting more winter firewood. On Sunday my neighbor invited me over to collect downed tree limbs that were waiting to be found among the camouflage bed of fall leaves on his property. After an hour or so of good conversation and dragging branches out he fired up his backhoe stopping to fill off grid fire pitthe front with the first round of this winter’s firewood. Some of the larger pieces were exhausting and the slow ride down the way back to my camper in the life sized large yellow kids toy was fun to say the least. lol You remember that TV show The Wonder Years? The old theme song came to mind “have a little help from my friends” as I was steadily sawing away at the pile of branches the neighbor brought over. If by chance you are reading this thank you again. It was a huge help and I am grateful! If you ever had the opportunity to find, gather, or otherwise collect your own firewood you know it can be a lot of work. It was a very satisfying feeling as the sun went down looking around at the firewood that had been cut for the off grid camper’s future wood stove. One of my favorite quotes came to mind several times. “The man who chops wood heats himself twice”… between the good days hard work and the quiet time each night under the stars reflecting in front of my fire pit I now appreciate the saying that much more. My first winter here off the grid is coming up fast! I hope I can keep up with the cooler days by at least keeping warm chopping firewood. The colder days will soon be upon us all so now its time to remind myself of the ant and not wake up as the grasshopper! lol 🙂


Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Stocking firewood for the winter is a lot more work than you would think but well worth it!
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November 18th, 2015 by