How Much Firewood Do I Need? [Calculator]

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Written By Michael Culligan

With over 12 years of experience in Oregon's forestry industry, I have established myself as a skilled and knowledgeable lumber professional. As a passionate competitor in local timbersports events, I have consistently ranked among the top lumberjacks in my area. I take great pride in meticulously maintaining an extensive collection of restored vintage axes. I personally test every axe I review by using it to fell and chop up oak firewood on my land.

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The amount of firewood needed depends on usage frequency and heating requirements. For a typical winter season, 3-6 cords of wood are sufficient for a primary heat source. One cord equals 128 cubic feet. Adjust quantities based on regional climate, home insulation, and supplemental heating sources.

This is a question that many people ask themselves when they want to buy firewood. Firewood is usually sold by volume, so the amount of firewood you need will depend on how often you plan on using it and what type of wood you want to use.

Quick Summary

ScenariosHow Much Firewood
For Winter in a 2000-square-foot House3-5 cords (8000 to 15000 lb)
For Winter in the Midwest2-3 cords (4000 to 9000 lb)
For Winter in the Southeast1-2 cords (2000 to 6000 lb)
For a Night Camping2-5 cubic feet (30 to 75 lb)
For a Firepit1 cubic foot per hour (15 lb)
For a Fireplace1/20 cord per day (100 lb)
Table Showing How Much Firewood for Different Scenarios

Firewood Quantity Calculator

how much firewood do i need

How Much is a Cord of Firewood?

A cord is a unit of measurement for stacked firewood that equals 4 feet high x 4 feet wide x 8 feet long. This represents 128 cubic feet of firewood and is a popular measurement of quantity. I will be using a cord as a measurement of firewood throughout this article, so it is good to understand exactly how much this is.

A stack of firewood can vary in length, but it should always be 4 feet wide and 4 feet high. However, the weight can vary depending on the type and size of wood used. On average, a cord of firewood weighs between 2000 and 3000 pounds.

You will also hear people refer to a ‘face cord.’ This is just the front 1/3 of a full cord.

a cord of firewood

A Cord of Firewood is 8 Feet x 4 Feet x 4 Feet, Source: Wikipedia

How Much Firewood for Winter?

The amount of firewood needed for a winter is dependent on the size of the house, the type of heating system and the type of wood. For example, oak firewood has a BTU of 28 compared to pine with 17 BTU. This means that the same size oak log will produce 64% more heat than a pine log.

It is worth mentioning that the amount of firewood needed for winter depends on the geographical region. The colder the region, the more firewood is needed.

  • 1000 square foot house in Midwest – 2-3 cords
  • 1000 square foot house in Southeast – 1-2 cords
  • 2000 square foot house in Midwest – 4-5 cords
  • 2000 square foot house in Southeast – 2-3 cords

This map shows the coldest temperatures throughout the USA which can help you evaluate how much firewood you need.

usa map of cold temperatures
Map of USA Cold Temperatures, Source: Reddit

How Much Firewood for Camping?

This is a question that many campers have to ask themselves. To know how much firewood you need for your camping trip, you must first know what type of camping stove you are using and how often you plan on cooking. If you plan on cooking every meal, then it will require more firewood than someone who only uses their fire for warmth.

Campers should also consider how long they plan on staying at the campsite. The longer they stay, the more wood they will need.

Campfire DurationFirewood Required (Lb)
1 hour15 lb
2 hours30 lb
4 hours60 lb
8 hours90 lb
12 hours180 lb
Table showing how much firewood is needed for camping depending on the campfire duration

How Much Firewood for a Firepit?

A fire pit is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get a little warmth on a chilly night. That being said, it can be tricky to figure out how much firewood you need for your fire pit.

The first thing you will want to do is figure out what size of fire pit you are using. This will make it easier for you to calculate how many logs or pieces of wood you will need. If your fire pit is small, then you may only need one bundle of wood to get the job done. However, if your firepit is large, then it may take up to three stacks of wood in order for the logs to burn down enough so that they can light the remaining logs on top.

I suggest you will use around 1 cubic foot of firewood per hour, which is around 15 lb. This is 1 bundle of firewood per hour.

How much firewood is in a bundle?

You will often see stores referring to bundles of firewood. A bundle is around 0.75-1.0 cubic feet, which is around 7-12 individual logs. For a campfire, you will consume around 2 to 5 bundles per day.

How Much Firewood for a Fireplace?

This is a question that many homeowners ask themselves. In order to answer this question, you will need to know a few things about your fireplace and the size of the firewood logs.

The first thing you should know is how much space your fireplace takes up. If it is on the smaller side, then you will need less wood than if it takes up a large amount of space. You also need to know how big the logs are that you are using. If they are small, then you will need less wood than if they are larger in size. Finally, determine how often you will be using your fireplace and for how long each time. The more often and for longer periods of time that it is used, the more firewood will be needed as well.

I recommend planning for up to 100 lb of firewood per day for winter, which is around 1/20 of a cord.


The conclusion of this article is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much firewood you need. The best way to find out how much firewood you will need for your specific scenario is through trial and error. See how much firewood it takes to warm your home for a day and you can extrapolate out to estimate the entire winter season. I always suggest being on the conservative side and stacking more firewood than you need. If you are seasoning your firewood and preparing it 6 to 12 months ahead of time then make sure you stack more than you will need.