We are primarily RV campers that usually travel 2-3 hours away for our stays. Almost always, we end up leaving Maryland and going to Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Virginia for camping as that’s where the Thousand Trails parks are that are closest to us. The problem lies in the restrictions on transporting firewood due to concerns over the emerald ash borer and others. All of Maryland has shown signs of the EAB and we’re within the federal quarantine areas (see map) as well, my specific county is within quarantine by Maryland (see map).
My fire + firewood options all kind of stink:
- Ignore the rules and get a cord of wood delivered to the house – taking a bit in the bed of the truck each trip
- If I focus on hardwood that does not include ash – I save the threat of the EAB, but there are other pests that I can be transporting (see dontmovefirewood.org).
- Buy the wood bundles from the camp store
- This is really prohibitively expensive. For $6 you get a small handful wood that usually burns quick. And, you generally don’t get any kindling (I couldn’t get a fire started last year when I was camping with daughter and her friend).
- Search out Craigslist before hand and find a seller
- I have had hit or miss luck with this. Many people said they were out and didn’t plan on making more until the fall, for winter. Obviously, campers aren’t their prime market.
- Drive the area looking for wood for sale
- Again, I have had hit or miss luck with this. The most recent one bothered me – it was unattended and was $15 for a “box”. I had a $20 on me. Since it was pre-measured boxes, I didn’t feel right just taking an extra $5-worth of wood and no one answered the door at the house.
- Find a non-firewood product for burning
- I found this Wood Brick Fuel product that seem interesting – it seems to be about a half to a third more expensive than firewood if bought by the cord in my area, but it has no restrictions on transporting
- Go without a fire (or with without a wood-burnt fire – e.g. Little Red Campfire)
- I don’t always have a fire, but when I do – I want a real fire. The pictures of people needing jackets around the “fire” and not being able to cook over the “fire” just don’t do it for me.
My conscience stops me for #1. My pocket book stops me for #2. For 3 and 4, Murphy usually has his way with me and I wouldn’t be able to find someone to sell, it would be inconvenient or expensive. Number 5 have promise and I’ve already nitpicked about #6.
So now – to buy and test out the Wood Brick Fuel….
What do you do? What recommendations do you have? If anyone is out there, please comment!