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Kindling – the Unsung Hero



No matter if you’re a lover of firelighters or paper, one thing is for sure…the right kindling can make all the difference when creating the perfect fire. The Firewood Company takes a look at the importance of good kindling and what woods are best for the job at hand.


Starting a fire can be an easy or very difficult process. We’ve all seen it (perhaps even done it) someone desperately trying to light a massive piece of hardwood, while throwing ample newspaper, cardboard, or a whole box of firelighters in the hope the fire will magically bounce to life.


Sometimes this method works, however at the cost of the dwindling newspaper supply and the endless black puffing smoke – cue the angry neighbours.


The fact is lighting a good fire doesn’t need to be that hard. With some basic preparation and a good collection of kindling, you can easily start your fire and get it producing roaring heat in no time at all.


Best Wood for Kindling


The trick with kindling is a good quality softwood. Hardwoods are best for producing a long even hot burn, however, they can be difficult to light and not advisable for your kindling collection.


Getting prepared is also a good tip. Early in the season chopping a good supply of kindling can ensure it’s perfectly dry, and stacked ready for the winter. Long thin strips are perfect for creating a good crackle to get your fire lit. Nobody enjoys chopping wood in the winter, particularly if you have wood delivered, chances are it’s the perfect size to stack, collect and burn. Taking some time during the warmer months to chop a good amount of kindling will prevent you from the temptation of just throwing it in with a heap of paper and hoping for the best.


It’s no surprise to avid wood-burning fire fans – kindling runs out very quickly. So, preparing a large amount is advisable instead of needing to chop wood daily to suffice your needs. Some also opt for the weekly chop, consider chopping one large bucket/bin load each week if this is your preferred method to ensure you have enough for the week ahead.

Always store your kindling off the ground in a well-covered area. Softwoods, unlike hardwoods, love to absorb water like a sponge. If you stack your kindling on the floor, you may find that your wood will soak or worst still mold, rendering it useless come time to light your fire. Like with all your firewood – kindling should be stored well, covered, with some breathing space to ensure they have enough airflow to dry and remain dry during the season.


If you are chopping kindling during the winter months always go for the hollow-sounding softwood logs or those that pass the liquid dish soap test. This will ensure they are dry enough for the task at hand.


Pinecones also make wonderful fire-starters, but as with traditional kindling, they must be dry. Collecting a heap during the warmer months and setting these aside to dry out will provide you with some wonderful additions to get your fire started. Plus they smell great and contain lots of sap, meaning lots of embers, and will produce good heat and help ensure a roaring fire.


Bark is also wonderful at helping get the fire started. They light quickly and produce good quality embers that will help get your softwood off to a blazing start. You must avoid using any treated woods (think painted timber or pallets), these can contain highly toxic fumes and are not recommended for any burning purposes.


Happy chopping fire-lovers.






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