Montanans: Preparing for Winter Since 1889
Damn, I hate stacking firewood.
Really, do any of us think to ourselves in the heat of the Montana summer, "Man, I'm so glad I get to spend the entire afternoon and evening stacking 2 cords of wood that is currently dumped in my driveway"? Probably not. But we all know how important chores like this can be in preparing for winter.
According to ChainsawJournal, the 2022 average price for a cord of wood is $296. It all depends on where it's being delivered, special size you may need, and how seasoned the wood is. I get charged less than that, but I fork over $300 a cord because I like to stay on my firewood guy's good side. Necessary? Not sure. But I do get a phone call from him every year instead of me chasing him down :-)
Winter 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Wednesday, December 21st and ends on Monday, March 20, 2023. But Montanans know way better. We all have stories of enjoying snow on the 4th of July, or wearing shorts in the sun on Christmas Eve. Montana weather does whatever the hell it wants, whenever it wants. All we can do is be prepared. (We keep the stove ready to go all year long, honestly.)
If you've got a wood burning stove in your home, I'd argue that having wood and maintaining the stove are the most important 'home chores' you can do when living in Montana. Basic things you need to survive the craziest of cold temps would be food, water and heat...all three of which that wood stove can provide you. It's not dramatic, it's simply true.
Thankfully, Montana does not lose power all that often. When we do, it's not for long in comparison to other states. I grew up in northern California and we were always losing power with the most minor of storms. We always had a Colman stove and lanterns ready and it didn't matter what time of year it was.
There was only one storm last year that had me worried. It was cold as hell, crazy windy and the MHP had already advised emergency travel only. A good old fashioned blizzard. The wind-chill was negative 30-something and the power went out. When it didn't come back on in a couple of hours, I called work to warn about the following day. Heck, if the power didn't come back on quickly, I'd be spending my entire night keeping the pipes from freezing.
If you haven't ordered your firewood yet, get on that asap. When I spoke to my firewood guy yesterday, he said he's already working 17 hour days and is booked with deliveries for the next 60 days, if not longer. That puts his deliveries booked out long after our typical first snow of the year.