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Efficient Firewood Pile Strategies for Firepits

Efficient Firewood Pile Strategies for Firepits

Wood fires offer the best way to stay warm during a campout in the woods or the backyard.  However, setting and maintaining the firewood ablaze throughout the night can be challenging, especially if you don't know how to pile and feed the wood in a firepit.

If camping for the first time, you don't have to leave the campground with eyes swollen due to smoke.  This guide will take you through various strategies for piling wood for starting the fire.

Outdoor Firepit - Walden Backyards - Wood Pile Strategies

Firewood Strategies for Firepits 

You can use various strategies to pile wood in the firepit for effective ignition and heating. These strategies include:

The 'Teepee'

The 'Teepee' wood lay strategy takes after the structure of teepees used by Native American Indians of the Great Lakes and surrounding plain regions. Here's how to properly execute this wood pile layout:  

  • Place four to five pieces of kindling/ tinder at the center of the firepit.
  • Lean small pieces of wood on the kindling/tinder to form a teepee shape.
  • Repeat the process with progressively larger pieces of wood until you attain a larger teepee that covers almost 75% of your firepit. 
  • While laying the wood, ensure you leave a door facing against the wind direction and air spaces between the wood.
  • Use a match to light up kindling.

The Teepee layout will light up well with sufficient ventilation between the woods. Examples of kindling you can use to light up your wood include: dry grass, dry leaves, birch bark, cattail fluff, dry pine needles, and dandelion head. These types of kindling should be fairly easy to locate in a wooded area.

Please Note: Suggested kindling can only help you during summer when most of them are dry. You should try to carry tinder during winter, early spring, or rainy seasons to help set the wood ablaze.

The 'Log Cabin'

The 'Log Cabin' firewood layout is your perfect option if you are looking for a perfect bed of red coals for roasting hotdogs,  barbecue, tin-foil dinners, and reheating other foods. It features logs arranged in alternating patterns to resemble a "Lincoln Log" resemblance. Here's how to achieve this type of pile:

  • Start with a small teepee or kindling/ tinder
  • Lay two large pieces of wood parallel to each other, with the kindling teepee at the center
  • Place another two (smaller) pieces of wood at the opposite ends of the previous logs so that the kindling teepee is in a rectangle/square
  • Repeat the process with smaller pieces of wood until you get a cabin/pyramid shape (as mentioned earlier, it's a lot like playing with "Lincoln Logs")
  • Light the resulting pile from the bottom  

Note: The small piece of wood will light up the huge logs and create an excellent bed of red coals for cooking.

The 'Lean-To'

The 'Lean-To' firewood piling strategy works best in areas with extreme wind, making it hard to light up the wood using conventional methods. It involves blocking the wind to create an ample environment for kindling fire. To achieve it:

  • Arrange large pieces of wood on top of each other to create a wind break
  • Place a  tinder bundle on the leeward side of the windbreak
  • Lean the long pieces of wood above the tinder bundle so that the windbreaker pieces support them
  • Light up the tinder bundle

Note: The tinder will light up the woods above it to generate enough heat to keep you warm. All you need is to feed the firepit with enough juice to remain ablaze throughout the night.

The 'Star'

The 'Star' wood piling strategy is ideal if you want to save your firewood fuel. To set it up:

  • Start a tinder bundle at the center of the firepit.
  • Lay five pieces of wood around the lit tinder to mimic the shape of a five-point star.
  • The tinder bundle will light up the wood, then burn outwards. Be sure to continue feeding the wood into the flames.

Legacy Series - Complete Firepit Insert Set

Does The Firepit Make A Difference?

Yes, the type of firepit does matter when determining how efficiently your fire burns. For instance, modern-day firepits are constructed with quality and design in mind. 

Using them with well-dried wood will give you comfortable heat without smoke and fire flares. It will also cut down the rate of wood consumption.

There are numerous strategies you can use to pile wood in an outdoor firepit Whether you use the ones mentioned in our guide or your own crafted methods, ensure to use modest firepits and uphold other safety measures to enhance your outdoor experience and minimize potential accidents.

Learn more about how to build the perfect fire in your firepit.

Consider a Walden Backyards' Legacy Series - Complete Firepit Insert Set for an always perfect, cozy fire outdoors!

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Walden Backyards Makes the Highest Quality Fire Pits and Accessories

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