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How Much Firewood Do I Need? The Cold will not Bother You Now

How much firewood do I need? The answer to such question will depend on the dimension of your house, the frequency of your utilizing the fireplace, and other significant factors. In an area with mild winters, you may need to use your heating tool once in a while. On the other hand, in cold places, you need to have enough heat for everyday use.
If you are like me, you may want to store more firewood before the winter season comes. Other people even harvest their wood, while some start purchasing them from local stores. Either way, you have to compute the right amount of wood you'll need to fight the cold winter nights. This article will bring everything you should know about stocking up firewood. 

Wood Levels and Measurements

If you want to know the dimensions of the wood you need, you need to know all about cords. Just like many other things, firewood has its unique system to follow when it comes to measurement. In areas outside North America, people use the metric unit known as stere, which is equal to one cubic meter.

In the U.S., the measurement varies significantly. Just like other imperial measurements, it is not as easy as the metric system. The wood can be available in face cords and full cords. You cannot pinpoint the real logic behind the sizes of the wood. In most states in the U.S., the cord can have a definition of a state statute. But still, this varies from one place to another.

A full cord or bush cord may have a volume of exactly 128 cubic feet. The amount can also include the air, bark when you pile the firewood neatly, and even the wood itself. With that, the volume of the real wood in a bush cord may differ. But it can usually start from 80 cubic feet to 100 cubic feet. In some cases, each piece of wood maybe around 16 inches.

But, take note that a face cord is just equivalent to one-third of the full measurement. The stack is four by eight feet and comes with a volume of about 42.5 cubic feet. 

That’s why it’s hard to tell how much wood you’ll need to stock up to combat the winter season. It is true when you have to use the measurements that are arbitrary. Also, there’s the presence of bark and air that makes it challenging to predict how much firewood you are using. In spite of that, you can still utilize the cords to make estimations.

Basic Explanation of a Cord of Firewood

Someone has asked me: what is the equivalent of a cord of wood? Well, I am glad you have raised such question! A cord of firewood is about 128 cubic feet, which measures nearly measure to stacked wood. It also includes the air space between the fire log. So, a pile of timber may have a dimension of 4-feet tall, 4-feet wide, and 8-feet long of a cord. Then, the stack is 4-feet tall, 2-feet wide, and 16-feet long.
When you decide that you have purchase firewood, you have to negotiate with your supplier using the real cords. You may also use the percentage of true cords. But, of course, you can make the estimations using the examples indicated above and observe if it is worth the price. 

How Much Firewood Should You Burn During the Winter Season?

How Much Firewood Should You Burn During the Winter Season

The amount of wood you need for winter and the computation will naturally be dependent on the how often you use your heat source. For other homeowners on rural places, they need it almost every single day. That’s why it is crucial that they gather an adequate amount of firewood than people with indoor fireplaces that they use for heating and decorative purposes. But, remember that it is better to stock up too much firewood than having too little supply later on.

How Much Firewood do I Need?

While there's no assurance on methods to find out how much wood you should use to keep yourself warm during cold winters, you will use more than the usual. So, here are some guidelines you will need to have almost the right estimations:

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    Those who use wood primarily as a heat source can burn approximately 5 cords of firewood.
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    For homeowners who burned fuel as supplementation to other heating methods, they may use only over 2 cords of wood.
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    Lastly, for those who used wood only as they desire, they can gather up to less than a half of a cord

When to Gather or Purchase Firewood?

The wood may require about six months to season. So, during early spring, this is an excellent time to pile up and buy your wood. The insects you may notice beneath the bark are dormant, and they will most likely die before the fall season. The cost may go down, and the supplies are also high. That’s why you have to try purchasing the portion you can use for the rest of the year.

In fact, you may still have them for the next year. But, these wood may give off more smoke that the newly purchased wood. Also, it can most likely gather up insects.

Other landowners who log their properties may even welcome you if you ask them if you can keep the firewood. These loggers can leave up to 50 percent of wood for every tree. It may clutter your landscape, but it can provide you with enough wood. Moreover, with just using a firewood splitter, protective goggles, and chainsaw, you can cut your wood to any dimension you like to save more cash.

Final Thought

It doesn’t matter if you are using your fireplace for relaxation, romance, or warmth, you have to buy the right amount of firewood every spring while it is still season. If you have to supplement your heating system, you still need to gather enough wood to provide adequate heat in your house. If you want to keep your home cozy and warm during the winter, the amount of firewood may depend on the severity of the winter coldness.
So, don’t wait up until the cold season comes, stock up enough wood! Stay warm!

How to Quiet a Generator: 3 Simple Tips to Follow

For some people, it is entirely unreasonable to quiet a generator. After all, it is made to operate that way. But there are some instances that you have to do this. One of this is when you are living in a residential area, and you are afraid to disturb other people's sleep. Of course, some individuals are living off the grid that doesn't want to get noticed.

Learning how to quiet a generator is a useful skill in any aspect. If you have no good tolerance against high sound volumes, then you need to tone down your generator for a bit. A generator, especially those that have powerful motors and high RPMs can produce voluminous noises. If your generator doesn't have an idle control, then you have to endure the sound of the generator until the power from the grid comes back.

Of course, there are still some ways that you can upend this problem. The first solution is by investing on high-end generators. Though they are expensive, they will certainly guarantee that they can operate with minimal or controlled volumes. On the other hand, you can expect that inexpensive or entry-grade generators will never give you such kind of comfort.

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How to Charge 18650 Battery: All Important Details You Must Know

The process of charging batteries is a matter of chemical reaction. But that is not the case for lithium ion batteries like the 18650. Specifically, learning how to charge 18650 battery is quite important, as some hazards may come in your way when you do it inappropriately.

Typically, the lithium ion charger is a form of a voltage-inhibiting device. It is quite similar to those lead-acid systems. The difference that a Li-ion charger lies on its voltage tolerance and significant energy amount per battery.

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18650 Battery Vs. AA: Are There Any Difference?

There are different batteries that you can see on the market today. Obviously, each of them has their intended applications and usages. But currently, you can notice that there is a withstanding notion between 18650 batteries and AA batteries.

The bout of 18650 battery vs. AA battery has been going for quite some time already. People are seemingly undecided which one of them works best. But on this article, we will be clarifying this matter. We will give important points to each of these battery types. In this way, you can decide which one of them will suit your needs and intended applications. Let's get started.

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What Size of Generator for RV? Tips for Getting the Right Generator

It is common to find most people feeling comfortable when they get to camp in their RVs. The reason is that you get to feel the comfort as if you are still home enjoying some of the important amenities that the vehicle can provide. It is crucial that you get to understand about the different sizes of generators when it comes to RV camping. Not all the sizes would be great based on the equipment and appliances that you will be using. So, what size of generator for RV?

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5 of the Best Free Camping near Zion National Park

Zion National Park is one of Utah’s most famous landmark and is one of the favorite national parks in the US. Camping is very popular here, so usually, the low-cost campgrounds are full. Fortunately, there are still some places near Zion, which the Bureau of Land Management manages. Utah’s BLM is very diverse, offering incredible views, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. Most, if not all, of the best free camping near Zion, is under BLM.

Many are less than an hour drive from Zion, so if you want to head there for a day trip, it's no problem. But even if you don't, these places are still beautiful on their own and are worth exploring. Just keep in mind that BLM’s typically don’t have the facilities like running water, toilets, and others. Anyways, here’s 5 of the best free camping near Zion National Park:

#1 Virgin Dam Area

5 of the Best Free Camping near Zion National Park

Virgin Dam is just around 30 minutes west of Zion. It is a BLM area that is surrounded by desert and has a view of the Virgin river and dam. Though it is not easily accessible, I would say that it's still worth the trip. In addition to being free, the location is peaceful, clean, beautiful, and overall a great camping destination.

Camping in the Virgin Dam area requires more sense of adventure than many campgrounds. First of all, the road is rocky and bumpy, so it is not very easy to get in and out of the area. Secondly, it's even worse when it rains because it gets very muddy and difficult to drive on. RVs and 2-wheel drives will have a hard time or will get stuck. Finally, the only thing the site provides are fire rings, but even some areas won’t have them.

Since there are no facilities like bathrooms or drinking water, you have to plan for that. Make use of the nearest public restroom or buy some poo bags - just don’t leave your poop behind! The nearest grocery store and other conveniences are probably around 20 minutes away which is a city called Hurricane.

Location

#2 Sheep Bridge Road

Sheep Bridge Road in La Verkin, Utah is very near to both Zion and the Virgin Dam. Getting to the Springfield entrance to Zion is only about a 25-minute drive. It's quite a popular site especially to boon dockers visiting Zion. That said, you might want to start your day early if you want to secure a good spot. Though there's plenty of room to spread out, you still want to be early, so you won't end up settling for a dusty place.

One great thing about this area is that there are plenty of hiking and biking trails. You also have breathtaking views of the Virgin River and Zion. Getting to the area is a little bumpy, but if you take it slow, you should be alright.

Like most BLM sites, there aren't much amenities. You may find some fire rings, but no water or hookups. However, you can drive to Hurricane or Springfield which has plenty of conveniences.

Location

#3 Flying Monkey Mesa

5 of the Best Free Camping near Zion National Park

Another one that is in Virgin, Utah, is Flying Monkey Mesa. It's also known as Hurricane Mesa. But Flying Monkey sounds more interesting, I think. Anyways, this area is just around Virgin and La Verkin Utah. It's a little over half an hour from the closest Zion entrance, which is in Springdale.

This campsite is quite difficult to get to and locate. Many campers have said their vehicles have gotten stuck. I recommend you check out the road by foot first, if possible. Also, try to avoid driving after rain because the road will be tougher to drive on. I think that is what hinders most people from camping on this site. Flying Monkey Mesa has two locations: one is right after the turn from Mesa Road, and the other one is further down a dirt track.

If you do want to feel isolated and away from people, then this campsite is perfect. You have higher chances of being the only one/group. Even if there are other campers in the area, the vastness of the area will still give you some peace and isolation.

Flying Monkey Mesa has mountain bike trails for daredevils. The trail is very narrow, with steep falls on both sides. It's also rocky with some unpredictable jumps. Aside from mountain biking, you can also go hiking.

Location

#4 Smithsonian Butte

5 of the Best Free Camping near Zion National Park

The Smithsonian Butte is probably one of the closest free camping sites to Zion National Park. It is a BLM type, about 7 miles to the Springdale entrance to Zion, which is less than 20 minutes. It's a little over 20 miles to Hurricane, Utah.

This camping area is pleasant and away from the crowds of Zion. The sunrise and sunset views are pretty spectacular from the area. It’s also one of the greener sites, compared to the others which are mostly desert. However, it’s hard to get to from Rockville. You’ll need a high ground clearance and four-wheel drive to get through the rocky road.

If you go camping here, make sure it is not on federally managed lands. You need to be at least half a mile distance from the either side of the main byway. Also, the dirt road gets muddier after a heavy rain. You should call the local BLM office before you go, to ask about any road updates.

Location

#5 Canaan Mountain Wilderness

5 of the Best Free Camping near Zion National Park

Canaan Mountain Wilderness is right next to the southeast border of Zion. Though they are right next to each other, the drive from one place to the other is almost an hour. There is also a trail that connects both areas, from the mountain to Springdale and Zion Canyon Visitor Center. It's about 20 miles and will take at least 7 hours on foot. The highway is around 44 miles and passes through Hurricane, La Verkin, and Virgin.

The Canaan Mountain Wilderness is managed by BLM and is over 44,000 acres. It offers views of Zion, the Virgin River Valley, and Eagle Crags. There aren't as many hikers here than there are in Zion, but it is no less beautiful. There are many trails ready for exploration, for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding.

For camping, make sure you are over at least 200 feet from roads, water sources, and any trail. The sites are very primitive and have no amenities. You may find some fire rings in some locations. If you need anything, keep in mind that the closest city to Canaan is Hilldale. It's on the southern part of the mountain, but there are not many amenities in the area. You'll find more amenities in Hurricane City or the others in the north.

Location

Tips for camping/boondocking in these places

5 of the Best Free Camping near Zion National Park

As you may have noticed, these campsites are very primitive. That said, you need to prepare a lot of things for camping in these dry camping sites.

  • Plan your stops - bathroom, grocery, laundry, refill/restock of supplies, gassing up, etc.
  • For emergencies, I highly recommend you have a stock of Augoson Farms products. Considering how rough the roads are, you could get stuck (though I hope not!). But at least, you’ll have food and tools to help you survive until help comes along. Here’s an Auguson Farms Review for your reference.
  • Check with the BLM offices about the road conditions. You don’t want to be driving right after rain but even a day or two after rain, the road conditions could still be dangerous. Save yourself from disaster and call before you go. Also, check with them what kind of vehicles are suitable for the road.
  • Bring poop bags and trash bags. Let’s follow the leave no trace policy.Bring water purification tablets or a water filter.
  • Get your vehicle checked before you hit the road. Bring spare tires and tools in case of emergencies.
  • Let someone know when and where you are going, especially if the place is known to have no cell service.

Conclusion

Camping near Zion doesn’t have to cost a thing - except of course the things you will need to provide yourself. But at least you don’t need to pay for the campsite itself. Thanks to the Bureau of Land Management, you can camp at multiple places for free. These sites may not offer a lot of amenities, but I that’s also the real beauty of camping and boondocking.

Have you camped in any of these places before? Or do you know where else we can camp for free near Zion? Tell us about it using the comment section below!

The Ultimate Guide for Finding the Best Trailer to Live In

The idea of people in a trailer is not something that has started recently. This is something that people have enjoyed for years now. The different manufacturers of the trailers would take their time to make great trailers that people can live in for days just as if it was home. This meant that camping was no longer boring when you could have some of your favorite equipment accompanying you to the campsite.

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RTIC 20 Cooler Review: A Closer Look at One of the Best Coolers on the Market

I’ve always loved being outdoors ever since I was young and I don’t plan on stopping. In fact, I’m always looking out for a new adventure. Along with that, I’m also always looking out for the best stuff for my adventures. One of the things I think is essential is a cooler. This article is an RTIC 20 cooler review. It’s one of the best kind that I found at a very reasonable price.

What to consider when choosing a cooler

Via Amazon.com

The demands of your intended use

There are many different types of coolers nowadays, but the most common ones are the traditional coolers and high-end ones. The traditional ones are the ones you often find in grocery stores, and they can keep items cold for at most a day. High-end coolers, on the other hand, can keep things cold for a much longer time than a traditional cooler. They usually have a rotomolded construction with insulating foam for the best kind of insulation performance. They are also more durable than a regular cooler.

Insulation performance

Best Coolers on the Market2

As mentioned above, the insulation performance of a high-end cooler is much better than a traditional cooler. So, if you plan on storing fresh food for multiple days, this would be the better option. They can keep a more reliable and safe temperature for fresh items, so they stay fresh longer.

If, however, you’re only using the cooler for less demanding situations like picnics and beach trips, then a traditional cooler will suffice. The price difference between high-end and traditional coolers is very great, so there would be no point in spending so much when you won’t need to.

Durability

Another significant difference between conventional and high-end coolers is durability. High-end coolers are so much more durable than a regular cooler. They are designed to withstand tougher conditions and even bears. So, if you’re camping in bear country, then make sure it’s bear-resistant. Most high-end coolers usually are.

Cooler size and capacity

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The next thing you want to decide is the size of the cooler. This mainly refers to storage capacity, but it also affects portability. The larger it is, the more you can store, but also the more difficult it is to carry or transport. You’ll also want to take note of the external size or external dimensions. Make sure the size will fit your vehicle or wherever you plan on storing it, as well as bear boxes in the campsites.

The size of the cooler is also a factor affecting insulation performance. Larger coolers hold ice longer than a smaller cooler if they are packed the same way. However, a small cooler that is fully loaded will hold ice better than a large cooler that is half empty. With that in mind, you should choose a size that you will fully load at the beginning of your trip so you can maximize the insulation capacity.

There are many cooler sizes in the market. For high-end coolers or rotomolded coolers like RTIC, the smallest size is usually 20 quarts. It can carry enough drinks for a small group of people, or enough food for 1-2 people for an overnight trip. When choosing a size, it helps to keep in mind how many people you are packing food and drinks for, and how many days you are packing for.

Ease of Use

Best Coolers on the Market4

The next thing you want to consider is how easy the typical tasks are to do. This includes opening and closing the lid, draining the cooler, and carrying it around.

Ease of Access

There's not much to say about the ease of access. However, with many coolers being so similar (Yeti, RTIC, Orca, K2, etc.), this tiny detail can be the thing that makes one cooler stand out from the other. How easy is it to open the lid? What is the latch design? Getting items from your cooler shouldn't be such a difficult task.

Draining

Draining your cooler could either be natural or messy. This depends on the drainage design of the cooler. Coolers with a recessed channel help the drain process easier and eliminate or lessen the manual effort. Take note of the drainage hole opens or closes, as well as the size of the drainage hole.

Carrying

Lastly, how easy is the cooler to carry/hold? Although we don’t intend to bring a cooler for long periods, it’s still nice to have decorative handles that aren’t painful to the hands. Otherwise, even a short time of carrying will feel like a long one.

Other Features

Bear-resistance

Another thing that differentiates high-end coolers from traditional ones is that they are durable. In fact, most roto-molded coolers are designed to be bear resistant. Check if the cooler is a certified bear-resistant cooler to be sure.

RTIC 20 Cooler

There are a bunch of high-end coolers on the market, but what drew me to RTIC is that it fits my bill perfectly. It is very much like the high-end like Yeti and Orca regarding construction, insulation performance, and durability, but at a lower price. All RTIC coolers are the same except for the sizes and minor differences. I have the RTIC 20, which is the smallest model of rotomolded coolers.

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Fastly.net

Above you can see the dimensions of the cooler. That size can fit around 24 cans or 25 pounds of ice. It’s a great size for the job site, weekend or overnight trips, a ball game, and a picnic. They’re also great for keeping drinks at the back of your golf cart or in the car during a road trip.

Features and Benefits​

The features and benefits below are the same for all the sizes of RTIC coolers. For a more thorough description, visit the RTIC cooler page.

  • It has a very durable rotomolded construction with up to 3 inches of insulating foam. Along with the freezer grade gasket, it can hold ice for up to ten days. 
  • It's also certified bear-resistant thanks to the rotomolded construction and integrated locking and hinge system.
  • It has molded-in side handles that are quite easy on the hands. For the RTIC 20, it has a steel handle that stays for one man carry. The other sizes have rope handles for two-man carry.
  • Silicone T-latches keep the lid secure and prevent the cold air from escaping.
  • Non-slip feet, so the cooler stays in place. It also lifts the cooler up from hot surfaces.
  • It’s easy to drain, thanks to the V-drain system and easy-flow drain spout.
  • There are tie down slots so you can hold the cooler down while you’re driving.

Watch this video for the ice test.

Keep in mind however that there are other factors to consider, such as how full/empty the cooler is, how often it is opened, and external factors.​

How can it be cheaper than the other similar models from different brands? Does that mean it’s lesser quality?​

Not. The company can sell it at a much lower price because they sell directly to consumers. They've eliminated the big box retailers and are relying on free means to promote their coolers, such as social media and word of mouth.

Disadvantages​
  • It’s not as available as the more familiar brands like YETI cooler. In fact, you have to might have to pre-order it first. One reason they are much cheaper is that they are a direct-to-consumer retailer. They don't have commercials or ambassadors to promote their product; they only rely on social media and word of mouth.
  • It’s slightly heavier than the other brands.

Customer Reviews

The RTIC 20 cooler has some pretty positive reviews on Amazon. Most buyers are happy with how much cheaper it is than other brands while still having excellent quality performance.I also love it for the same reason - high quality without breaking the bank.

Bottom line​

For me, the RTIC 20 (and RTIC brand in general) is one of the best deals there is. It’s at the same level as the top brands like Yeti and Orca regarding quality, minus the high price. Like these brands, the RTIC cooler has a rotomolded construction which makes it very durable and unbeatable. It holds ice very well, it’s easy to use, and it’s ideal for hunting, fishing, and camping.

If your intended use is just for daily activities, then I think there’s no need to go for the RTIC cooler. It’d be more practical to go for a traditional type of cooler. Always go over the different considerations above to help you choose the right cooler for your needs.

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