How to properly stack your firewood

Updated March 23, 2017

Keep stacks of firewood on hand to use when you start a fire in an outdoor fire pit or indoor fireplace. When you stack firewood properly, the wood should last up to four years, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Properly stacked firewood will stay dry even if it's stored outside and is exposed to rain and snow. Keep your firewood stack in a sunny location of your yard next to a fence or shed. Position the stack away from the house, as mice and other pests tend to live amid the firewood.

Lay out two rows of wood planks along the length of the area you've chosen for your stack. Choose thick planks that will keep the firewood at least 6 inches from the ground and allow air to flow beneath the stack. One course of firewood logs will sit on top of the two rows of planks. The length of each wood plank depends on the size of your stack. Depending on the length of each firewood log, the rows of planks should be around 15 inches apart. If you're creating a large stack of firewood several rows deep, you can use a wood pallet instead of wood planks.

Place a single course of firewood logs along the length of the planks. Cut ends should point outward to the front and back of the stack. Place each log so that it's touching the logs next to it.

Lay out more courses of logs, one row at a time. Arrange each log atop the gap between the two logs underneath. This arrangement will create a steady stack of logs that has little chance of falling.

Cover the top of the firewood stack with a waterproof tarp. The tarp will keep rain and snow from seeping into the top layers of firewood and rotting the wood. Choose a tarp that can completely cover the top of the firewood stack. The size of the tarp depends on the size of your stack, but a 5-foot by 7-foot tarp should work for most piles. Don't cover the sides of the stack with the tarp, as you'll need adequate air circulation to keep the wood dry. You may need to fold the tarp in half in order to cover only the top.

Place a heavy rock at each corner to weigh down the tarp. Don't tie down the tarp edges because a heavy wind can then tear the tarp, according to the End Times Report. Rocks allow the tarp to move without tearing.


If you're storing the firewood stack underneath an awning that protects it from rain and snow, you can forgo covering the top with a tarp.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 6-inch-thick wood planks
  • 5-foot by 7-foot waterproof tarp
  • Heavy rocks
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About the Author

Trisha Bartle began her writing career in 2007, with work appearing in publications such as "Adventures for the Average Woman" and DexKnows Weddings. She has also been a professional wedding photographer since 2001. Bartle holds an Associate of Applied Science in programming and game development.