Monday, March 10, 2014

Wood in the Winter

As many of you know, we heat our house with an outdoor wood boiler

Over the summer, we brought in and stacked around 15 cords of wood - hardly enough
for the heating season, especially with all the low temps this winter.
We will probably go through 30 full cords this heating season when it's all said and done. 

At the beginning of January, when we got down to 3 cords remaining, Dad instituted a new standard.
Two cords of wood a week had to be brought in and split,
or else non-essential activities would be canceled.
Needless to say, this provided good motivation :)

One of our first problems was how to bring in the wood - snow was on the ground, and a lot of it!

During the summer, we use a quad and a small trailer, but the quad was out of commission,
and a trailer wouldn't have worked in the snow.

Every inch of our yard is covered in tracks of some kind - love it!

Enter the Otter sled!

These heavy-duty sleds are primarily used for towing ice fishing gear out on frozen lakes and such,
and they fit the bill perfectly for wood hauling!

Between the Polaris Indy 500 the boys acquired over the summer and a Polaris XLT 600 triple 
Jon bought at the beginning of February, we had a way to transport the wood up to the boiler. 
(Sleds can be useful after all, Dad!!!)

January sunbathing in MI :)

After an ice storm, Caleb found a new place to "chill"

Joseph worked up a sweat apparently!

At the end of one wood day, both our big sleds had issues pop up, so we turned to
Ol' Yellow to get the remaining saws and gear out of the forest!

Such a classic sled - loves the cold, and never fails to start right up!

Caleb supervising the work :)

In Michigan winters, 35 degrees and sunny feels like summer!!!

Our wood helpers hitch a ride

Thanks to our stacking helpers!

At the end of the work day, time for some saucers behind the sled!

Someone is Otter-boarding!!!

Follow the trail of splits!

Since Joseph was in the process of rebuilding both of our four-wheelers from December-February
(stay tuned for upcoming post on that) we are very happy we are now able to use the quad 
instead of the sleds for towing wood up to the boiler!

Having a packed trail from hundreds of trips with the sleds makes it possible to use 
the quad on top of the almost 2 feet of snow in the woods. 

Caleb has a little bit of stacking to do!

Here's a quick vid of some clips taken throughout the winter of various wood-hauling activities:

We are grateful to the Lord for all of His provision throughout this cold winter!


  1. Whoa! We've been running really low on wood too, but we haven't had to cut any in the snow!!! Just the rain... But we're used to that! ;)

  2. Wow that's an awful lot of wood. I'm impressed that you were cutting it in the snow. I guess it's do that or get cold:)

  3. Great job chopping the wood and problem solving how to haul it!! Caleb up in the tree brought back memories, but that time Jonathan was above him!!! Stay warm!!!

    1. Haha, I'm sure it did! I stay far away when Caleb is above me now :)