Disaster Planning

If You Have a Wood Burning Stove You Need to Know these 5 Burn Alternatives when There’s No Firewood

Wood burning stoves are great for keeping your home warm, cooking on them and can be cost effective if done correctly. Even though the EPA and some environmental agencies in other countries frown on the wood burning stove, they are still very popular.

If you run out of firewood, did you know there are several alternatives you can safely burn in your stove?

Alternative 1 – Yard and garden trees and shrubs

The first alternative that many people turned to were trees and shrubs in their yards and gardens. It wasn’t an easy task for thoe who didn’t have a chainsaw or the gas to power it, but neighbors cooperated by sharing tools, gas and sometimes labor, especially in exchange for some firewood.

Axes and handsaws were often used as well, and harvesting and stacking wood became a daily chore.

A fundamental limitation was that most of the wood was green and unseasoned, and smaller branches from shrubs burned quickly unless tightly bundled.

Alternative 2 – Rolled paper logs

Some people with sufficient stockpiles of paper created paper logs that were tightly bound into rolls about three to four inches thick. The paper used included newsprint, magazines, books, phone books and any paper trash.

There are paper log-rollers available on the Internet, but most people in the storm simply sat down and rolled their paper logs by hand. Bailing wire was sometimes used to bind the paper logs, but string, rubber bands and anything else that would bind the paper tightly was used, too.

For the record, paper logs last about a fourth as long as a wood log and they don’t burn quite as hot (they mostly smolder), but they maintained the heat in desperate times.

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