Where To Buy Firewood For Camping? 8 Places You Can Try Easily

Wondering where to find a bundle of dry firewood in the middle of nowhere? Well, unless you are hiking in the wilderness surrounded by dead trees and fallen branches, it’s going to be difficult.

But there is always a solution.

Before hitting your dream camping place, research A to Z about that place. Know the rules you need to follow, things you can carry with you, and places you can buy your essentials.

In the long run, it will benefit you in many ways- like making a roaring campfire or cooking with good quality firewood. But how to buy firewood for camping? Let’s take a look.

Where to buy firewood for camping?

This is where you need to pay more attention. You cannot collect firewood from anywhere you want. Most of the local campgrounds won’t let foreign firewood in.

They have strict rules about bringing firewood from home and sometimes you can get fined. This is because they are scared of accidental bug transmission and invasive pest infestations while moving firewood over long distances. [1]

United States Department of Agriculture advises to “bring firewood purchased in a local area” while camping. This will reduce the chances of widespread pest invasion.

Here are some ways to buy safe good quality firewood;

1. Local stores

This is the easiest and cheapest way to buy firewood. Locate local firewood stores on your way and collect it from there. Check for dealer board signs on the roadside. You can also check out local businesses that use wood as raw material.

2. Campground stores

Most of the campgrounds will have stores selling firewood. You can procure a bundle of your choice from here. The price varies from site to site. But you cannot assure the wood quality because sometimes they sell a mix of hardwood and softwood or softwood alone.

Also, you are not allowed to carry leftover burnt woods to another campground. The U.S. states follow a strict policy of “Burn it where you buy it”. [2]

3. Supermarkets and grocery stores

In supermarkets and local grocery stores, you can find packed firewood of different types. You can pick a bundle of your choice at reasonable rates.

4. Foraging firewood

This is another common way of finding firewood. If you are camping in a state or national park, you can easily collect fallen branches and rotten logs lying around.

But before going for a wood hunt, make sure that the forest allows collecting dead firewood. You will also find dead trees standing in the forest, you can cut them using a chainsaw or an ax.

This is known as log bucking. These trees will not have bark or leaves on them.

5. Local vendors

If you do proper research you will be able to find a local firewood seller around. The price would be cheaper compared to others.

But you need to make sure that the vendor procured the firewood locally or from a reliable source. If not, it will pose a threat to healthy trees in your campsite, infesting them with pests.

You can also look for forest clearance work happening nearby and collect firewood from them. They will be happy to give it to you at cheap rates. You can check for local vendors here.[3]

6. Gas stations

You can get good quality firewood from a nearby gas station. But different gas stations will charge different prices so check with a few stations and compare the prices first.

7. U.S. Department of Agriculture

If you are not able to find any local stores or firewood sellers, you can bring it from your home. But one condition, it should be heat treated and sealed by the U.S. agriculture department.

So, buy a packet of U.S.D.A. Certified heat-treated, pest-free firewood, or state-certified firewood and carry it with you for long distances. These are specially treated for killing invasive pests and bugs using intense heat.

You can choose from different hardwood variants.

Thus, you can carry this sealed packet from one state to another without violating the law. [4]

8. Furniture stores

In furniture stores, you will find leftover wooden pallets and wood scraps in abundance. You can collect it for a reasonable price.

How much does firewood cost for camping?

The average cost of firewood varies from $10 to $15 for a small bundle. A bundle will have about 5 to 6 sticks in it.

The price varies depending on the type, weight, and size of the firewood. One or two bundles of standard firewood would burn for two hours or even more.

When you pick up a new bundle of firewood, there are several things you need to know:

  1. Always buy dry seasoned firewood. It would be brown, bark removed. Wood with more than 20% of water content in it, won’t burn properly. Thus, fresh greenwood is a big NO for burning.
  2. Always buy hardwood like oak, hickory, ash, cherry, etc. They burn efficiently without pollution and last longer. It is also easy to split and burn them.
  3. Anyway, you can use a small amount of softwood to ignite the fire. It will keep the fire going. But do not use it as a replacement for hardwood because it will burn off quickly.
  4. Softwood like pine will leave sticky resins as residue when they burn. So it is not ideal for burning even if it is cheaper compared to hardwood because of its lightweight.
  5. Check the local rules and laws about the transportation of firewood from one state to another. You can collect firewood within a maximum distance of 50 miles (80.47 km) inside a county.

Final Thoughts

It is said that camping nights are not complete if it doesn’t end with a roaring campfire. But think about the air pollution that is a result of your fun party. So, you can always try using cleaner eco-friendly alternatives like natural gas or propane, presto woods, kiln-dried wood bricks, etc. [5]