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Wood heat for SHTF

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by soberups, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I know several people who own woodstoves, yet they choose to heat their homes with natural gas because its "cheaper" or "less of a hassle".

    Its unfortunate, because the fact is that in this area you can heat your home for virtually nothing if you own a truck or utility trailer. I have saved myself almost $1000 a year on heating bills over the last 5 years by logging onto Craigslist regularly and looking for "free" firewood.

    Now most of the "free" firewood that is advertised is pure crap, such as rotten lumber with nails in it that someone is trying to avoid paying to dispose of. But several times a week there will be ads from people who have had a tree felled and just want the green rounds hauled away. If you are willing to do a little work and can make room in your back yard, its pretty easy to score all the free firewood you could possibly use.

    I currently have over 5 cords of good-quality firewood (oak, Douglas fir, maple, cedar) that I found on Craigslist for free. Most of it was green when I got it, meaning that I had to sit on it for a year or two to let it season, but once I got far enough ahead of the game it became possible for me to always have at least 2 cords of seasoned wood on hand at all times.

    Just 2 days ago I scored a cord of Cherry wood rounds that a homeowner had paid a tree service to drop in his back yard. Cherry wood is as good as oak in terms of BTU's, and I got the cord for the $15 worth of gas I used to drive there. A cord of good seasoned hardwood will cost you close to $300 delivered in the middle of winter.

    If the SHTF, I can heat my home ( and cook and heat water on my woodstove) for at least the next 3 years with what I have on hand, and the thousands of dollars I have saved in the interim have been spent on other preps.

    No stove or fireplace? You can buy a portable woodstove (the kind that are used in canvas wall tents) for under $200 if you look around, and install it in your garage by cutting a hole in the garage door for the chimney pipe to go thru. In a pinch, you could cook on it and keep part of your house warm using whatever scrap wood that was available.

    Just something to consider....unlike oil, electricity or natural gas, firewood quite literally grows on trees and anybody with a saw can obtain it for themselves!
     
  2. SOTC

    SOTC Rogue Valley New Member

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    I get paid to bring my firewood home as I have a tree service:)
     
  3. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    +1 i have never had to pay for wood,always get it for free,,, in the winter time,, when we have the occasional power outage,, my family stays nice and toasty....also when the power is out,, i just go grab a couple of our solar powered driveway lights out of the yard, and set em in the house for the night.:)
     
  4. gearhead

    gearhead NC Active Member

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    I haven't had wood heat since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I just moved to Oregon from miami, and I'm fortunate enough to have a chimeney in the house, which appears to be clean (to my untrained eye). I found wood stoves on craigslist that I can cook on for about 200 bucks. I want to get one in case of a power outage, and for WSHTF. What do I need to know before jumping into this? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  5. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is than any new woodstoves that are installed must be EPA- certified "clean burning" units. I may be wrong, but I dont think it is legal to install a woodstove yourself without having it signed off on by a building inspector. A woodstove store or contractor will be able to give you more accurate information than I can.

    At the very least, I would definately have the chimney professionally inspected and swept before installing anything. If the previous owner burned a lot of green or pitch-filled wood, there may be a buildup of creosote that can cause a chimney fire.
     
  6. gearhead

    gearhead NC Active Member

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    Thanks, I had no idea about the EPA regulations. As for the inspection, I'm guessing a contractor could steer me in the right direction for that as well?
     
  7. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I heated with wood for many years, even after I was forced to move to Portland to find work. In urban warehouse areas there are often piles of scrap or broken pallets to be found, often right at the curb, usually with "free wood" signs posted. Just ask if you are unsure.

    Pallets are usually bone-dry from many years of indoor use. The 3X6 runners of the pallets are usually bone-dry, rock-hard oak wood, and sometimes even exotic tropical hardwoods. This stuff burns HOT and CLEAN.

    You need a pickup truck or trailer to haul, and you need to cut the pallets up. There are LOTS of nails and embedded rocks to avoid, and you will go through a lot of saw blades. You really should have a powerful, worm-drive electric contractor's saw, to avoid kickbacks when cutting.

    It's a lot of work, but actually less than cutting firewood in the forest and splitting it at home, and much less mud! The heat is great, and the price is right!...........................elsullo :thumbup:
     
  8. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I have to mention that installing a wood stove without a permit and building code inspection will void your home fire insurance. If you ever have a fire from any source the insurance will not pay. I don't know what is legal in a separate garage......................elsullo :(
     
  9. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned the jury-rigged-garage-woodstove only as a cheap SHTF option for people who dont have a fireplace or woodstove in their home. In a true long-term SHTF scenario where one must "bug in" with no electricity or gas, issues such as building code compliance and homeowners insurance rules pretty much become irrelevant.
     
  10. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Ahh! ya bastard! I tried to pick that up but was late to the punch. This is exactly what we do as well. Last year our stove got so hot we had to open the windows...during the snow.
     
  11. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    Heated my home for 30 years never had to buy firewood. This my change this year because of problems with back and knee but still cheaper then any other way.