Best Firewood for the Tent Stove: Oak, Ash, Hard Maple, or Birch?

When camping, it can become a bit of a hassle to frequently restock the wood in your camp stove. This is due to the limitations that go into carrying a large supply of wood when in the wilderness. If you are taking a long camping trip, this problem can become even bigger. Constantly having to restock wood in a stove will see your wood pile diminished very quickly. With this in mind, choosing the right kind of wood for your camping trip can save a lot of time and ensure that your stock will last your entire trip. Oak, ash, hard maple, and birch are the best varieties to consider for your camp stove.


Oak is one of the most durable wood sources to use for fires due to the slow aging process involved in the wood. Although this type of wood may come with a higher price than other sources, the benefit of having a fire burn through the night can be well worth the investment. Oak can also accelerate the burning capacity of a fire when used in conjunction with other fast-burning wood types. A possible drawback of oak is that it may take burning the wood with other types to achieve the maximum capacity needed for cooking.


Ash is perhaps the most popular wood source for burning in a fire. This type of wood has a very long and high burn rate, which will make outdoor cooking very efficient, in addition to keeping your tent warm throughout the night. Unlike other wood sources, ash has the ability to burn well no matter the age of the ash wood. Unfortunately, this type of wood is not as durable as other types and must be handled with care. Make sure this type of wood is never exposed to water or dampness for long periods of time.

Hard Maple

Hard maple is a popular choice for burning due to its very low density, which ensures a fair amount of heat for camp stoves with the addition of a long burn rate. This wood choice is also popular due to its fragrance, which will ensure your tent has a nice aroma all through the night. Due to the low density of hard maple, cooking may be a bit of a chore as this will require more hard maple wood than other sources.


Birch wood is probably the best wood source to use for cooking in a camp stove. This wood type produces a large amount of heat, which is just what is needed for cooking. Although this wood burns at a high heat, this also means that frequent restocking of a stove will likely be necessary throughout the night. Also, this source contains a great bit of sap, which can make stove cleaning a bit cumbersome.

All of these wood types are good choices. Prioritize your trip between cooking or warmth when making a final selection.