For those of you interested in working your firewood supply in a more survivable manner I thought you’d like this from The Sunday Globe. Your Survival Guy is a huge fan of the holz hausen and has experience in building several of them over the years. Jon Gorey writes:
After watching many a woodpile topple over during winter storms, contractor Rob Cagnetta, founder of Heritage Restoration in Rhode Island, decided there had to be a better technique and started looking for global inspiration. “Over these thousands of years of burning wood, somebody has had to come up with a better option than our linear stack,’’ he figured — and that’s when he learned of the German holz hausen method. He was quickly intrigued by the “beautiful little beehive-shaped structure’’ that marries both form and function, and has used the technique for the past seven years.
To make a holz hausen, Cagnetta starts by laying down a ring of logs, end to end, into a 6-foot-wide circle. (Ideally, this would be on gravel, stone, or pallets, to keep the bottom layer off the soggy ground.) Then he stacks a layer of logs perpendicularly, with one end resting on top of the ring and the other end tilting down into the center of the circle. “It doesn’t have to be tight, because you want air to flow through it,’’ he said. Then, just keep going around in that circle, stacking the wood like spokes on a wheel — and making sure they tilt inward.
“The idea is that every piece of wood you put on is pitching inward, so it’s almost like falling in,’’ he said. As the stack gets higher, it will start to level out, and you may need to place another ring of horizontal logs on the outside edge to maintain the desired inward slope. “Some people can do it without putting that horizontal piece in — I can’t,’’ he said. “But it allows everything to kind of fall into the center.’’
And as for the hollow center created inside the stack, Cagnetta gradually fills it with two layers of logs standing vertically, straight up on end, before topping it off with odd-shaped pieces that won’t stack well. That inner chimney design can actually create a sort of convection current to dry out and season the firewood faster.
Perhaps best of all, from an aesthetic standpoint anyway? A holz hausen doesn’t need a tarp, instead exploiting tree bark’s natural water resistance to keep the inside of the pile dry. “At the end, I put all of my bark facing up for like another two layers on top, so then it sheds the water,’’ Cagnetta said.
“If you’re wondering how wood can dry without a cover, there’s a difference between the moisture trapped deep inside wood and surface wetness,’’ Horie said. “I love round stacks myself, because of the way they collect a cap of snow on top like a knitted hat or a dollop of frosting. They take a bit more time, but are worth the beauty that they bring.’’
This year, Cagnetta strung holiday lights on the five holz hausen in his yard. (Each holds about a cord of wood, which he burns in a wood stove to warm up his drafty old Victorian.) But beyond their attractiveness, he’s found them to be incredibly practical. It took him a few tries to get the technique down, but now Cagnetta says that if he accidentally backed his truck into one of the stacks, it probably still wouldn’t fall over.
After all, when it comes to something as useful as firewood, practicality is beautiful in its own right. “The temporal nature of wood stacks, and experiencing them through the seasons, has always made me think of art installations — but without any of the pretense,’’ Horie said. “The beauty of function is enough.’’
And even a simple, unembellished stack of wood can tap into our emotions the way art can. Servoz said he can read his woodpile almost like a photo album as the winter goes on. “You can recognize the layers, and you can recognize the things that happened during those layers,’’ he said. “Like, my brother came over and helped me drop a birch, and I’ll arrive at that birch when we go through the pile, and I’ll be reminded of all our adventures together.’’
Action Line: Every step you take to improve your family’s preparedness is one step closer you are to freedom. Something as simple as dry firewood can make all the difference to your family if the lights go out. The hardest part of any strategy is getting started. If you need a regular push in the right direction to make your family’s personal and financial security something they can depend on, I can help. Click here to sign up for my free Survive & Thrive letter, and every month I’ll push you to achieve the goals you have been trying to reach for years.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
Latest posts by E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy (see all)
- 4 Life Changing Words for Your Survival Guy: “You Should Try This” - January 26, 2023
- Anti-Carbon Crusaders in Davos Talk ESG and OPM - January 25, 2023
- Welcome to Hotel California, Where You Can Never Leave - January 25, 2023
- What You’re Telling Me Matters - January 24, 2023
- The Rich Seek More from Bank Accounts - January 24, 2023