What's Your Favorite Type of Kindling Wood?


Well-Known Member
  • #1
I had a friend over yesterday to cut down some dead cedar trees I have on my property. He was looking for kindling and as far as that goes, cedar is very good. He's the kind of guy who doesn't keep the fire in his wood stove going all the time, so he finds himself starting plenty of fires. I totally understand what he's going through. It seems that during the winter months, I can never find enough paper to start a fire, but during the summer, it's all over the place. The same is true for kindling. It's never there when you need it.

We cut down the cedar and split some of it up. It was beautiful. Nice and dry, since it was standing firewood. It'll be perfect for him. We filled the back of his hatchback car with logs and I'm sure he'll be back for more. I actually tried some of the very same wood to make a fire in my stove last night and it was incredible. Cedar is such good kindling wood. Maybe the perfect wood.

So I ask you, what's your favorite kindling wood? In the past, I've used tree bark, chunks of random hardwoods that were a result of splitting, and branches I've found in the woods. But more recently, since I've got tons of dead pine, fir, and spruce trees here on my property, I've been cutting up logs of that and splitting it. I bring it inside the house to let it dry out in my wood box. It's mostly black and white spruce and balsam fir. I've also got some white pine thrown in for good measure.

My friend mentioned that a saw mill in a neighboring town is offering bags of wood scraps that he may want to purchase. I asked the mill what type of wood they were selling and they told me that it's primarily birch and ash. That's really good stuff, but I'm not sure it's the best for kindling. If the chunks of wood were big enough, I'd use it for actual firewood. They're charging around $5 per 80 pound bag. That's not a bad deal.

The best kindling to me is some sort of pine that's really dry. If it's got some pitch in it that can ignite very hot, that's all the better. Fatwood is great too, but that's somewhat of a challenge to find. The drier and lighter the wood, the better.

One more thing - I've been cutting down some dead white birch trees and the bark has been falling off the wood. I'm saving that to use as kindling as well. We all know that white birch bark is used to get fires going while camping, so why not in the wood stove?


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Well-Known Member
  • #2
The guy who splits my firewood lets my husband and I fill our truck with wood scraps every so often. He delivers the firewood after we buy it, but we need to go and pick up the scraps. It mostly consists of oak, maple, hornbeam, ash, and a few other species of wood. Once it's dried out, it makes decent kindling. It doesn't go up quickly or burn hot, but once it gets going, it makes the fire easier to start than if using nothing at all. Pine and cedar are the best though. I also use white birch bark though. I've got tons of the stuff. I've been collecting it all autumn. It's like newspaper, but that lasts for a while longer. Great for kindling. Here are a few pictures of mine.


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Well-Known Member
  • #3
I've lived all over the U.S. and I've burned plenty of firewood. While there have been instances where I was able to gather my own kindling, there have been plenty of times where I haven't. Sometimes I lived in neighborhoods or apartments where I wasn't able to just go walk out in the woods to gather what I needed. In those cases, I had to buy kindling. Luckily, it wasn't too expensive and for the amount of fires I burned, buying was worth it to me. I bought boxes of fatwood from Walmart, Orvis, Plow & Hearth, and Wish. All of it was great. I remember a box I bought from Wish that was 20 pounds for around $55. That lit up wonderfully with just a match. I've checked out Amazon, but I never actually got a chance to order from them. They've got all the big names though: Duraflame, Eco-Stix, FireFlame, GoFire, and Better Wood Products. I don't always get a chance to build fires these days, but when I'm on vacation in the mountains skiing or something, I'm sure to bring some good ol' fatwood kindling along.


Well-Known Member
  • #4
I just built a fire with dried white pine and I used curly white birch bark as an igniter. This is the first time I used the white birch as kindling and wow, that stuff is great. It didn't have to dry out for long either. I just found it in the woods the other day. I burn white pine all the time just that can be great at getting a fire going, but adding the birch bark took things to another level. I wasn't expecting that type of performance. I'm sitting with my back to my wood stove as I type this and I believe the bark is still going. It's been about 10 minutes since I started it, so yeah, that's definitely a good one to use. If you can find it, grab it and hold onto it.