Can Firewood Be Too Old? (And What to Use!)

Can firewood be too old?

Undamaged firewood is never too old and can be used for creating a campfire. Firewood only shows signs of aging when it’s full of moisture and/or insects. In this case, it may not burn and becomes useless.

Firewood remains an essential component of new-age camping. You will want to know there’s a viable, natural source of heat available anywhere you go.

Now, a personal heater for camping is wonderful, but what if it doesn’t work? This is when firewood is useful and it creates a natural atmosphere that’s in line with your requirements.

If you are looking at assessing the quality of your firewood, it’s time to look at a few variables.

These include:

  • Cracks/Holes
  • Insect Infestation
  • Moisture Build-Up
  • General Damage

If one or more of these issues creep up, it’s time to look at other solutions.

You don’t want a situation where the firewood lets you down and doesn’t burn outdoors! This can happen when the wrong type of solution is put to the test and/or you take aging firewood for camping purposes.

So, what do you do then?

In this guide, you are going to learn more about the question, “Can firewood be too old?” and how to make sure you are using the right type of firewood for camping needs.

Best Firewood for Camping (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

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Tips on Checking a Firewood’s Age

Tip #1: Start with a Visible Check

If you’re asking “Can firewood be too old?”, it’s time to assess the wood in your possession.

In general, it’s best to start with a simple visual check.

This means you are going to take the firewood, assess the outer layer, and check for damage. There are several issues that can creep up as soon as you begin to look at what’s going on. Unfortunately, visible damage is a clear-cut sign the firewood has lost its potency especially in aggressive cases.

To make sure, you should look for specific signs.

These signs can include:

  • Cracks
  • Lines
  • Weakness in the Wood

Let’s assume you have a firewood stack for camping and realize cracks are forming on some logs. In this case, you will have to check the rest too.

The cracks can show weakness in the logs.

This means the firewood isn’t going to work the way you want it to. These are issues that will only get worse as you start to move the firewood around.

The same applies for any other visual damage such as holes, lines, and/or major spots of weakness along the top surface.

can firewood be too old

Tip #2: Tap the Wood for Hollowness

Is the firewood hollow?

Camping means you are going to want to create a resounding campfire that is toasty and easy on the eyes, However, to do this, you are going to need reliable firewood that will work the way it is supposed to.

So, what do you look for in this case?

You have to make sure to grab the firewood and tap its surface. This will allow you to learn more about whether or not it’s going to keep the fire going once put to use.

A hollow piece of wood is bad news in terms of its aging.

Hallowness is a common sign when the firewood has started to age and/or rot aggressively.

If you are asking “Can firewood be too old?” and have hollow firewood, it’s time to buy new firewood for a campfire.

It’s just not going to work!

The old firewood will be too hollow for it to yield results.

Tip #3: Check for Moisture Build-Up

Have you taken the time to check for moisture build-up?

Moisture build-up can be a sign of weakness with firewood.

As the water starts to spread through the inner layer of the firewood, it’s going to become impossible to light. Even if it does light up, the fire won’t last for as long as you want!

Poor storage solutions can lead to moisture seeping into the firewood whether it’s before and/or during the process.

This is a common concern and sometimes the top surface is dry while the rest of the firewood remains wet.

This is why when asking “Can firewood be too old?” you have to keep an eye out on moisture in the firewood.

can firewood be too old

Tip #4: Look for Insects

Insect infestation is a serious concern, especially if you have been storing the firewood outdoors.

Insects start eating into the wood and make large holes that render the firewood useless. As these holes grow, the worse it’s going to get.

You won’t be able to use firewood that’s in this type of condition.

At that point, you are better off going with something that is easier to manage and is going to stay lit once the campfire is started.

Final Thoughts

“Can firewood be too old?”

In most cases, firewood isn’t going to age and it will be good to go for your next camping trip. However, there are times when the firewood does start to slow down and becomes unusable regardless of what you try.

This can include holes in the top surface, insect infestations, moisture build-up, and/or hollowness.

Regardless of what’s going on, it’s always recommended to buy new firewood for your camping needs. This is simpler, easier, and safer.

You will know what you are getting and the firewood is going to work out.

Here is more on preparing for your next camping trip – best way to store food when camping, advice for staying warm during cold camping days, tips for waterproofing a camping tent, and good tarp for placing under your camping tent.