Warmed by Wood
Fall in New England is the perfect time to get outside to enjoy the cooler weather and colorful views. It is also the time when we start thinking about how to keep cozy warm when the snow starts to fly.
One way we start winter preparations here at Maine Huts & Trails is getting wood ready to feed our gasification boiler heating systems. These boilers supply hot water for both domestic use and the radiant floor heating, all while keeping emissions low and efficiency around 85%. This sophisticated system uses about 12 cords of wood per year that we source from responsibly managed local woodlots.
Some of our superhero Hut/Trail Crew
Although preparing and stacking the wood can seem like a daunting chore, the process can be rewarding and a great way to spend an afternoon soaking up the late autumn sunshine. Stacking wood earlier in the season also leaves more time for it to dry, making it efficient to burn. There are numerous methods to stacking wood and people can get very fancy, but we have a few tips to help to make it easier.
#1 – Foundation
Make a base of plywood, cinder blocks or pallets. You are essentially making a stage for your wood pile so it has plenty of air circulation to stay dry.
A perfect pallet set up at the Poplar Hut
#2 – Ventilation
In order to provide space between your wood pieces for air to flow easily, stack loosely and include slightly irregular pieces while creating the pile. Keeping the air moving through the stacked wood is key.
Plenty of air-flow happening here
#3 – Protect
Choose a place that you can keep the wood stack protected. At the Huts, we use structures or tarps to create a perfect tent to help keep moisture to a minimum.
Piled high in one of the ‘wood houses’
Getting the hard work done at MH&T is something we enjoy and even encourage guests—if they feel like it, to lend a hand by chopping and stacking. And, yes, we always reward with cookies!