Core workout before big blizzard pays off !

2,000 pounds dry hardwood = 90 gallons fuel oil, or 130 g propane

1,600 pounds dry hardwood = 80 gallons propane

Single digit temperatures, a bare porch, and a blizzard on the way? Better get active.
I moved a half cord of firewood yesterday afternoon before the next “possible snow storm of the century” hit coastal Maine. Big hype?
My tractor’s trailer failed me after the trailer’s tire slipped off the rim as I was driving a full load of wood up the hill to my enclosed porch. I had a couple of hours before dark, so I went to plan B, which was push, lift, turn, and restack with the help of the trusty wheelbarrow. I managed to move 18 barrow loads of dry hardwood until there was no more wood to reclaim before it would have been buried under lots of white crystalline water.

Was it worth it? YUP!

#1- We may lose power here, with the possibility of very strong winds during the storm. The heat from our wood stoves are not dependent on electricity. There is also NO COMPARISON to the comfort of a stoked and glowing a wood stove to the meager blasts from the duct work of a hot air furnace.
#2- I did a quick bit of research this morning. Our furnace is fueled by propane. One half cord of dry hardwood is the equivalent of 80 gallons of propane. Since my last charge for a gallon was $3.00, that half cord on my porch is worth $240. Much of that load was free, as I harvested the trees here on on our property. But even if I paid the current cost of $200 a cord for split and delivered hardwood, which I do some years, I still would have saved $140.
#3- Core workout accomplished.

About Tom Jamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, the Continental Divide Trail in 2013, the Camino Portugese (2016), and Newfoundland's East Coast Trail (2017) . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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6 Responses to Core workout before big blizzard pays off !

  1. Cordwood warms you three times

    Once when you cut it

    Next when you bring it in


    When you burn it


  2. tjamrog says:

    Yes, another time when I split it, and (this year) another time when your wood shed collapses. It’s all good!


  3. Tom –

    Had forgoteen about the woodshed collapse.

    I sort of miss the excitement of the storm. Oh, I’ve had enough and I won’t be buying a ticket there for the experience. But like everyone else I used to fire up the woodstove and drink cocoa while waiting it out. The sheer power of it, best enjoyed from an old farmhouse down a gravel road, with a Golden Retriever at your feet? Awe-inspiring.

    I think you are the best outdoorsman I know, partly because you know when to push and when not to. Today is a day to contemplate the fire and the chimney, give Auntie Mame an afghan, and reflect on life.

    Best wishes,



  4. Alex says:

    If you split by hand, check out one of these nordic creations: Got one for my Dad for christmas (Parents live in CT, and also burning wood for heat). Much faster than a maul or a wedge ‘n sledge. Easier on the ol’ back too (though it won’t help you with stacking!)


  5. tjamrog says:

    Thanks, Alex. I have the use of the best splitter out there- Super Split. My next door neighbor has a new one that I am now using. It has a dual flywheel and cycles in less than a handful of seconds. I will check out your reference.


  6. Alex says:

    Oh, nothing is better than a Super Split. Forget my reference, its only useful if your hand-splitting.


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