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Tarp for Wood Pile

Started by Caddis96, December 11, 2023, 03:42:06 PM

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I'm looking to cover up the wood stacks I have surrounding my bonfire area at my home. What TYPE of cover  would be reccomended to protect the firewood from snow/rain/etc?


How much snow? While a tarp would work, old tin would hold up better if the wood is stacked level enough to support it well (if you have lots of snow). Do you have bonfires through the winter?
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Ford 545D FEL, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/36" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.


Depends some on your climate which I don't see in your profile. In my humid and otherwise pretty extreme climate here in NC AR a tarp needs to be left off in dry weather or you'll have a composting effect. That's for a pile. If it's a stack you can just cover the top and a little of the sides and do fine. My main choice is a stack with tin on top. The tin is forever reusable and easy to fling off and reinstall. Some consider it ugly but I say well then, don't look. I also have a dedicated wood shed but prefer stacks as they can be closer to the house and are also handier to stock.


Ideally the covering should not touch the stack.  A tarp can be a great cover.  Run a rope over the center of the pile.  Drape the tarp over it an pull the corners out so it resembles a pop tent hanging in mid air.   This will allow air to circulate around and through the pile but keep rain and snow off, even most wind blown rain.

By the way wood should be piled such that a mouse could run through it but the cat chasing it cannot.  Further, be sure not to pile directly on the ground. 

doc henderson

you do not specify what volume of wood you intend to cover.  the poly tarps that are cheap and stranded, may last one winter.  here is KS, they get whipped in the wind.  If this will be a yearly thing, then investment in tin roofing or siding, may be cheapest in the long run.  they also sell the frame and tarp pop up garages, but that may depend on how much wood you plan to store.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor


I made a simpl frame covered with a tarp with leg on it so I couldscrew it to my 4x8 stack and leave 4 inches of airspace between the lumber and the cover. Worked well and as I used the lumber off the top I just lowered the cover down and maintained that 4 in air gap. Dan
Phil:4, 13


Forgot to mention the frame was peaked in the middle to allow water to run off
Phil:4, 13


Here, I would have to lay a ground cloth/moisture barrier down.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman


I saw the peak done on narrow wood pile. They piled the wood in a peak and covered it with a tarp.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79


I like tin myself, AKA metal roofing. Weight them down good. Tarps are ok for temporary
but mice will chew holes and wreck them eventually. Thats my experience anyway.
Skidding firewood with a kubota L3300.


I bought a few huge rolls of 25' wide ag plastic. It's pretty heavy and white on one side and black on the other.

I cut the ag plastic into pieces about 40 or 50' long or so and I can cover my dry summer logs, and firewood, and rounds stacked by the splitter, etc. It's the cheapest durable alternative that I've found so far.

Even the "heavy duty" tarps seem to wear out a lot faster than I think they should. And that's even with me taking care of them and folding them up and keeping them out of the sun during the summer.

If I could find enough beat up old roofing tin for cheap, I would love that, but I'm trying to keep dozens of cords covered in a land with 120" of rain a year, so...

Ideally, I would have a massive pole shed, but I can't afford that, either...  :D
1996 Woodmizer LT40HD
Yanmar 3220D and MF 253
Wallenstein FX 65 logging winch
Husky 61, 272XP, 372XP, 346XP, 353
Stihl 036, 046 with Lewis Winch
78 Chevy C30 dump truck, 80 Ford F350 4x4
35 ton firewood splitter
Eastonmade 22-28 splitter and conveyor
and ...lots of other junk...


Used rubber EPDM roofing works great for me. Stands up to cold, heat, UV, mice, whatever. Cover just the top and a few pieces of firewood above it will keep it from blowing away. Been using these for 20-30 years. Don't recall throwing any away due to break down. Can't say the same for the blue/green/orange tarps.


south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others


I forgot to mention that if I'm drying in a stack I put a couple cedar or other poles on the ground to get the wood off the wet earth. Only downside there is it's good rodent thus copperhead habitat.

If it's a pile I try to do a haystack design at least for the bottom part, so only the end grain touches ground. Piles cover well with a tarp, even a worn out one. But they should be uncovered often in fair weather.

Either type if it's there for about a year usually has some amazing soil under it from all the bug and other critter action going on. 


Good to mention the ground clout c farm probably as important as cover .dan
Phil:4, 13

NE Woodburner

I recently built a woodshed with big roof overhang for my house firewood. I finally learned after 35 or so years of struggling with trying to cover woodpiles. I should have done that a long time ago.

OP was asking about covering wood for a bonfire pit, so probably not as critical. I keep about 1/2 cord of my not-so-good firewood and odd shaped pieces at my fire pit. I built a simple 2x4 wood rack and covered the top with a tarp which is held in place with wood cleats nailed to the frame. This keeps the tarp from blowing off and keeps a space between the firewood and tarp. Good enough for a fire pit. The wood frame keeps the wood off the ground too.


Sorry for not including some details. I'm located in Southwest Michigan. I have about 7 rows of firewood stacks I need to cover. Thanks for all the replies!
I was thinking since I have so much to cover, I could possible do one large tarp like this [ tarps#/filter:category_hierarchy:Large$2520Tarps] or maybe a couple of them, since all the firewood is connected in rows


I got tired of fetching the scattered tin after every big wind and made a big covered wood basket.

The forktruck will definitely carry it fully loaded but i bet the pile will fall over or nails pull out. I like it tho. Keeps rain off, no looking for perfect corner pieces, never loses tin, no tarps to blow off, puddle, rip, leak or degrade into pom poms.  This is just my seasoned stuff for startup.  Most of what i burn is green just flung off the splitter onto ground and uncovered.  I cant keep a fire going without the place hitting 90 if its just seasoned wood. If fire goes out temp plummets.  Green wood has the perfect delay to just be slow burning low temp constant heat if we maintain a good coal bed. 

Praise The Lord

doc henderson

I use the metal crates.  they actually make a tarp that is heavy duty, round and can be fastened with a ratchet strap made into it.  the problem the past few days, is snow that melted and is now refroze.  I also took the plastic liners and made cover and bungeed them to the crates.  The barely fit and you have to cut it from the bigger side.  I cut the plastic with a saws all and make tabs on each side to bungie too.  I am not sure if I have pics of that.  it is 7° now so i can try later to get a pic.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

doc henderson

Here is a pic of a tote with tarp designed for this.  BIL had a trucker give them to him as they had no further use for them.  nice, rubberized material with a ratchet strap.

Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

doc henderson

the quick solution is a fiber reinforced tarp, but they will not last much beyond a season.  hard to find canvas at a good price.  keep your eyes open for useful but about to be discarded stuff.  Roof tin has become an etsy/arts and craft material so harder to get and worth money.  Might be able to get some old barn wood and tin, if you tear down a barn.  My buddy and I have done that.  If you know a leather guy, he can cutdown a big tarp and hem the edges for a custom fit.  do you have pics of your wood?  might spawn more detailed tailored answers.  I realized you prob. do not want to transfer your wood to crates after I posted the last time.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor


Old ripped heavy vinyle flatbed tarps are worth nothing once theyve been folded so long that you cant hardly unfold them, and every flatbed motor carrier shop has a pile of them on a pallet somewhere.  I would buy one of those if i needed wood tarps.  I have a few but i use them for goat shelters, too valuable for my woodpile. 

Theres always someone on marketplace with vinyl sign rolls cheap, i see a lot of that over round bales. Also shipping crates from atv/side by side dealers, sometimes free if you go ask. Staple some 4 mil plastic over the outside for waterproofing and throw it out when it rots out. Makes a good pig crate. Friend farrowed in one.
Praise The Lord


Once it's split and stacked to air dry corrugated steel roofing panels work for me. No trapping of evaporating soil moisture trapped under a tarp


I'm just a blue tarp guy .Build the stacks on top of old pallets or discarded yard fence panals  .The tarps may last several years  from being wind torn then they plus the rotted out pallets get burned .On sale at places like Lowes those tarps sell fairly inexpensive ,the pallets are free .The pallets have some life in them because they burn very well in a fire ring with a group of people enjoying an evening of telling tall tales and enjoying a cold one or six .Perhaps prefering ice tea as well .

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