Buy Campfire Wood Where You Burn It

By Sarah Volkman, The Nature Conservancy

Taking a bundle of firewood from your backyard with you when youíre going camping might seem like a good idea. Who wants to worry about buying or finding firewood when you arrive at your campsite?

But think again. The real cost of moving firewood is a lot higher than you might suspect. Invasive tree killing pests ó like the†emerald ash borer,†Asian longhorned beetle, and goldspotted oak borer ó are known to travel undetected in firewood. And when you move that firewood over long distances, you can accidentally give these pests a free ride to the very trees that you enjoy sitting beneath at your favorite camping spot.

On their own in your neighborhood or a forest, invasive insects donít travel much farther than from one tree to the next. But in the back of your car or truck, they can make it hundreds of miles ó and they wonít be shy about making themselves a meal out of the trees at your destination.

No one wants to be the one who started a new outbreak that destroyed a park or campground. And no one wants to see a city street or forest robbed of its beautiful green tree canopy. If thatís not enough to convince you, in some states and counties, moving firewood is illegal and subject to serious fines.

Protecting the places you love is simple. Instead of taking firewood from home, buy your firewood at or near your campsite. Buy it where youíll burn it. And donít take any extra firewood home with you.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when youíre gearing up for your†camping trip:

  • Never assume that firewood is safe because it looks healthy. Some invasive insects are tiny and the eggs they lay are often microscopic.
  • When you buy firewood near your campsite, ask the seller where they got the wood. If it isn’t nearby, or if they don’t know where the wood is from, you should consider another firewood dealer.
  • Find out if your state has a safe firewood certification process. If it does, ask to see the seller’s certificate.
  • If you absolutely must take firewood with you, and you wonít be violating any regulations or laws, it is a good alternative to select packaged firewood with a kiln-dried stamp or heat certification.
  • For more information, funny videos, and interactive games about this issue, visit†

Sarah Volkman is a communications coordinator with The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Health Program.

(Image: campfire. Source: Flickr user Doug Beckers via a Creative Commons license.)



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.about a year ago

This article is actually remarkable one it helps many new users that desire to read always the best stuff.

Bonnie M.
Bonnie M4 years ago

I don't go camping but it's always a pleasure to watch the neighbors sitting around their fire.
Thanks for this info.

Kate S.
Kate S4 years ago

Does make plenty of sense!

Kate S.
Kate S4 years ago

Does make plenty of sense!

Dale O.

Interesting. It would never have occurred to me to bring my own firewood as there are many other things to be put in the space inside the car. Certainly in Ontario we are cautioned about wood being infested by insects and how dangerous it can be to take it elsewhere in the province.

Les M.
Les M5 years ago

i haven't gone camping since i was a kid but it never occurred to me that someone would take their firewood with them. who has the room in the car with the camping gear and presumably other campers?

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Dave C.
David C5 years ago

mega-important!!!! spread the word.....

Paulina S.
Past Member 5 years ago


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.