Lodgepole is considered to be one of the best firewoods out there. It is a kind of wood with a thin bark and is lightweight, all the while burning at a steady pace so that it can last. A lot of this and many more features collectively make it one of the most sought after wood to be used as firewood on camping trips or early morning fires on a chilly autumn day.
There is often a general assumption that any kind of wood, as long as it burns, is good for firewood. Well, that’s not the case in reality. Many people ignore the composition of the wood and how effectively it burns, and how long it burns for.
None of these matters should be thought of as trivial because all of this matters. This is why some specific kinds of woods are good for firewood and some that are not.
About Lodgepole Wood
Lodgepole is not a super rare species of pine firewood if you live anywhere in the northwestern American continent. It is a coniferous tree, which means it thrives in cooler climates, but can also grow in slightly warm but hilly areas. This is why you can find a lot of lodgepoles in the mountain ranges that run along this geographical line.
Lodgepoles usually grow on a very vast scale, so you can witness literal forests that only comprise this plant. For example, Yukon in Canada and the Rockies in the US is full of lodgepoles, dominating the landscape. From Canada to California, South Dakota to the edge of northern Mexico, you can find this tree all around.
Since it is a softwood, and since it grows in many mountainous regions, it is also a very dense and slow-growing tree. Similar to the redwood, the lodgepole also has a long history with the region where it has been growing for millions of years.
Some of the lodgepole trees that they have found are hundreds of years old. Yosemite national park hosts one of the oldest, believed to have been germinated in the 1300s.
How Does Lodgepole Wood Burn?
Since the lodgepole pine has a thin layer of bark, it can catch fire super quickly and not burn up entirely. However, the fact that it is so dense allows it to keep burning for a rather long time. This wood is absolutely amazing for campfires or if you want to carry some on a hike on top of a chilly mountain one night.
In fact, because this wood burns slowly, you may not even have to carry too many logs with you as only a small bag can last you the entire night without adding more. Lodgepoles are also amazing for long bonfires and to make s’mores in your backyard. So, the next time you invite people over for a little soiree, your bonfire will be taken care of.
The efficiency with which lodgepoles burn is commendable, and they can be super reliable when you have nothing else. In fact, for more people, lodgepoles are the preferred firewood because of the way they burn and due to their lightweight. It is especially great for wood stoves and for outdoor shenanigans.
One interesting fact to mention is that it is mostly the lodgepole trees that burn in the California fires since they are so quick to light up. And the fires also last longer, albeit causing much destruction, because the wood is so dense.
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What Does Lodgepole Wood Smell Like?
A lodgepole tree will smell like heaven. The reason why so many people love visiting Yosemite national park is that there are so many lodgepole trees there and because they smell so good and refreshing. Since it is a pine, it also smells a little sharp and very sweet, as if giving you warmth and comfort in the cold.
The specific odor of the lodgepole pine is a faint but resinous smell that does not come off too strong. Even when you burn the wood, the smell is not too overpowering but is rather sweet and earthy that is comforting in a very distinct way.
They can also smell slightly citrusy due to pinene and monoterpene in their chemical composition.
What Makes for Good Firewood?
For most kinds of wood, there is an outer layer of bark and an inner layer of wood that makes up the structure of the firewood. When firewood has a thicker layer of bark and a thinner layer of wood, it tends to burn up very quickly. This is because the bark’s chemical composition is very hollow and is not tightly packed enough to burn slowly throughout.
Moreover, the wood’s inner layer can also have different chemical compositions depending on the kind of firewood you buy. On the other hand, Lodgepole, has a super thin layer of bark and a thick and tight layer of inner wood, which makes it last much longer. And since it is also a softwood, it is super light to carry.
So, the next time you are going camping, you will not have to worry too much about the weight of the wood because lodgepole allows you that comfort.
It is also interesting that lodgepole is a lightweight pine wood that mostly grows in the western end of North America. This is so because of the climate of the region and the way it affects plant growth.
All things considered, lodgepole is one of the best choices you can make for a campfire. It practically checks all the boxes because it is not only a quickly lighting wood, it is also a wood that will burn slowly and will last you the entirety of your camping trip.
Additionally, this wood is also very light to carry and will not take up too much space in the trunk of your car.
So, you should definitely go for lodgepole pine as your campfire wood of choice to have an amazing experience.