After a long day camping, nothing is as comforting as a warm, crackling campfire. It’s the heart of any camping trip. Everybody gets together, shares stories, and maybe have a drink or 2. If you plan on building a campfire you’ll need to bring or buy a bundle of firewood.
How Much is a Bundle of Firewood? A bundle of firewood will usually cost between $4-$8 depending on where you’re camping. Bundles sold in rural areas and private residences will be cheaper than firewood sold at stores. Plan on buying 5-7 bundles of wood for a mid-sized 6 hour campfire.
Bringing your own firewood will always be cheaper than buying it near the campground, but you can’t always bring firewood across state lines. Firewood is readily available in most rural areas. In the rest of this post I’ll show you a few of the best places to buy firewood.
Where Can I Find Cheap Bundles of Firewood?
Buying firewood by the bundle will always be more expensive than purchasing it by the cord, but there are ways to save money. Paying $7 per bundle at your local gas station adds up fast over a weekend camping trip. That would be over $100 in firewood for a weekend camping trip.
Trucking in your own firewood will always be the cheapest option, but that’s frowned upon (possibly illegal) in most states. They’re worried about the spread of invasive species commonly found in firewood.
This means buying firewood locally by the bundle if you’re camping out of town. The following chart should give you a good idea of how much a bundle of firewood should cost.
|Gas Station||$6-$7 Per bundle|
|Farm and Feed Stores||$5-$6 Per Bundle|
|Home Depot, Lowes, Etc.||$6 Per Bundle|
|Private Houses Along The Road||$4-$5 Deals on Multiples|
|Campgrounds||$6-$8 Per bundle|
|Grocery Stores||$7+ Per Bundle|
Check Local Sawmills For Cheap Wood
Since most campgrounds are in rural areas you can almost always find a sawmill nearby. Look for a sawmill along the way or nearby for cheap local wood.
I pick up slab wood from the sawmill down the road to burn throughout the winter. You can fill up a pickup truck for $10, SUV/Car for $5, or any length trailer for $20.
They make you load up yourself to avoid damaging your vehicle, but this could save a lot of money on a long camping trip. It could save you close to $100 on a weekend camping trip. Plus you would probably end up with wood leftover for the next guest.
Other Places to Buy Bundled Firewood
Bundled firewood is readily available in most rural towns and cities. I’ve never had trouble finding wood, but I usually call the campground and ask before I get there. Here are a few of the best places to buy bundled firewood.
1. Nearby Houses ($4-$5 Cheaper in Large Loads)
As you get closer to campgrounds you will start to see more firewood. You will usually see people selling wood on the side of the road as you get close to bigger campgrounds.
Private sellers will always be cheaper than stores that carry bundled wood. Houses right next door will usually be a $1 more than places a little ways out. If you can’t find a nearby house with wood you can always find it at local stores.
2. Grocery Stores, Walmart, Home Depot, Etc ($6-$7)
I always make a trip to the local grocery store after setting everything up at the campground. You have to make that last minute beer and ice run before settling in.
Doing things this way allows me to scout out all the local firewood prices and work back out to get the best deals. Grocery store wood will be the same price as big box stores like Home Depot, but it’s usually cheaper than gas stations.
3. Farm and Feed Stores ($5-$6)
Farm and feed stores usually have the best prices out of all the major stores. The feed store by my house buys local wood wholesale for $3.50 per bundle and sells it at $1 markup. So you end up paying about $5 after tax.
4. Gas Stations (Expensive)
The local gas stations is one of the easiest places to find firewood, but it will be expensive. You will normally see wood laying near the ice box on the outside of the store. You’re paying for the convenience, so plan on paying $1 more per bundle than at the grocery store.
Gas Stations have always been hit or miss for me. I usually stop at the gas station for ice/beer and end up going somewhere else for wood. They sometimes do a deal on multiple bundles, but they rarely have more than a nights worth of wood.
5. Campground Office (Price Varies)
You can almost always buy wood directly from the campground, but the prices vary. Some places will give you a good deal if you’re staying multiple nights.
Buying wood directly from the campground is extremely convenient and you don’t risk bringing in invasive species. A few of the campgrounds near me in Ohio had to ban outside firewood because of the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle. I haven’t heard of firewood bans lately so maybe that problems behind us.
6. Ask a Friendly Seasonal Camper
RV campgrounds usually have a small section of seasonal guests that stay in the park for months at a time. You can usually tell they’re seasonal by the plants and random decorations spread across their site. These people can usually point you in the right direction and give you a few tips about the facilities.
How Many Bundles Do I Need?
You can go through a lot of bundles fast if you’re not careful with the wood. It all depends on how long the fires burning, the type of wood, and how big you want it.
I usually plan on buying 5 bundles per night (more in cold weather) to have a small night time campfire. That should cost you about $25-$40 depending on where you buy the wood.
You should have enough wood for a mid-sized 6+ hour campfire if you’re not throwing a bunch of wood on there. Top off the fire with 1-2 logs per hour to get a nice long campfire.