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Monday, January 12, 2009

Heating with Wood

There you go scratching your head, trying to figure out how you are going to stay warm during the cold winter months after the Saudi's import sanctions against the U.S., preferring to sell their oil to China. After all the Chinese produce over ten percent of the world’s consumer goods and they are ready, willing and able to sell or trade military secrets and technology to countries hostel toward the America.

There is no easy answer, at least long term. I think the problem will be more a lack of funds rather then of supply. Those holding the wealth will control whatever resources left. As usual the poor will be hit hardest, while the rich will continue on as usual, at least until actual Peak Oil happens and the oil flow decreases to a dribble.

The availability of wood for heating will depend on your location more then anything else. Someone hidden away in the deserts of Nevada would have a harder time heating with wood then the hermit secluded in the hills of Tennessee.

Only a few years ago just about everyone in my area heated with wood, now only a small number own a wood stove. It seems the ease of natural gas drove the final nail in the coffin of the wood burner.

I can heat my trailer all winter with three pickup loads of wood or less depending on how cold it gets and how long the cold snaps last. In the south our winters are fairly mild, rarely falling below twenty degrees, up north it may get minus twenty or lower requiring much more wood to stay warm.

Post Peak Oil, cutting the wood and getting it from woodlot to woodpile may present the most difficult challenge for the survivor, rather then a lack of supply. A crosscut saw and an ax would be worth there weight in gold after the chainsaw sucks the last drop of fuel from the tank.

Sleeping bags rated at -10 or better, thermal socks and underwear are a must for colder parts of the country. I can remember as a child of maybe eight or ten, my mother lost her job and we were forced to stay in an old abandoned barn. I recall waking to a bed full of snow that had blown in through the cracks in the walls. We survived only because we had those sleeping bags and thermal socks and underwear.

Do everything you can to make your dwelling more energy efficient. Plastic over the windows, blankets hung over the doors, skirting around trailers etc,. Little things can make a big difference, saving a lot of resources making your supplies last much longer then normal.

Wood heat may not be the perfect solution against the cold but it maybe the best option available for most of us at the moment. It sure beats propane post peak-oil or dying of CO poisoning while trying to feed a Sierra Stove with bags of wood pellets.

There is always questions the trick is finding the answers. Keep Surviving.


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