Thursday, September 28, 2023


Would you pay $17 for a bundle of campfire wood?

By Chuck Woodbury
This is a firewood vending machine at McKinney Falls State Park in Texas. We found the photo at the Facebook group Texas RV Camping. A bundle (one compartment in the photo) sells for $16.99 plus tax. Apparently the company that provides the service — Outdoor Vending Solutions — has contracts with other Texas parks.

I bet the parks love the self-service concept. But asking campers to pay $17 for a bundle of wood?

Many of the 200-plus people who commented on the post believed that was too much. One woman wrote: “This vending machine just happened to be across the street from our site and the price just overwhelmed me. So much that I had to drink a margarita to settle down!”

What do you think? Please leave a comment. But, first, take a moment to tell us if you would pay $17 for a bundle of firewood.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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3 years ago

I sell logs in banna boxes
buy one get one free
im in the lebanon,pa area

John Agor
3 years ago

Well, the story is a bit misleading as it is not a “bundle” of firewood which is normally between .65 and .75 cu ft. Our provider in Austin completely fills each compartment with 18″ to 20″ oak splits that are below 20% moisture and sourced from less than 25 miles from the park (to stem the spread of invasive species and tree disease). If you do the math, we are providing more than 3 traditional “bundles” for $16.99 which at gas station/store prices would be between $15 and $18 of random hardwood sources from who knows where and you don’t have to leave the park and search for a “deal” to get it. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the friends group so they can donate and assist the park.

Carson Axtell
3 years ago

With the cost of campground fees going up everywhere, and $17 bundles of firewood (burning cash for fun…), whodda thunk camping would become an activity only the well-off could afford to indulge?

Ray Leissner
3 years ago

Being from Texas I’m a bit surprised. I haven’t seen this yet but when I do I’ll avoid it. That’s just nuts unless you don’t need to or want to shop around and you’re going to be there long enough to burn it all. They don’t want people bringing in wood from outside the area that might be carrying insects. I don’t see how this price scheme is going to help that effort.

3 years ago

I would like to know the person or persons who set this price point and how they justify it. I’ll bring my own wood.

3 years ago

How big is the bundle. In Quartzite we paid 15.00 for a banana box full

3 years ago

I get a lot of scrap 2×4 and 1×4 boards so I bring that and burn it. I had a campground tell me I can’t bring fire wood in, I said, it’s not, it is building material from the lumber yard which has all been kiln dried.

No, I do not burn treated lumber.

Jim Langley
3 years ago

We don’t use wood for campfires anymore – haven’t for a long time. Because we use portable propane fireplaces. No smoke, instant on/off, always allowed and toasty warm.

Kenneth R Fuller
3 years ago

Robbery at its best. I don’t have that type of cash to burn and if I did, I still wouldn’t buy it. You wonder why people move wood around? This is one reason why. If the states don’t want you to move wood around, either make it very affordable or provide a quota of wood for free for each night purchased.

3 years ago

I full time. But never in Texas State parks. They charge day use fees to campers. My disability is not recognized because I am not a Texas resident. Now they want $17. For four sticks of wood. There are way to many other places to camp other than the state parks.

3 years ago

No way in hell! Plus, I’ve got so much firewood on my land, if I need more I just go cut down a tree.

Beth Wray
3 years ago

Nope, no fire is worth that much. Charcoal works if need a real fire in the evening, as nice as it is to sit around a campfire. 17$ takes all the fun out of an evening of fellowship.

Ed Stephens
3 years ago

I didn`t see a survey item for Definitely NO.

3 years ago

I would double maybe triple pay anyone banning unnecessary fires especially in tight campgrounds.

With all the knowledge we have today about the harm releasing carbon into the atmosphere does I wonder why anyone, despite knowing this, still wants to burn a fire and foul up not only the air they breathe, but themselves.
Those days are behind the CEO and I and as we do everything possible to avoid the fun folks besides us are having smoking us out of our unit.
Time for a reset on unnecessary burning of wood, and if you must, and pay more than $5.00 for a bundle you’re crazier that a loon.

Joel Hagler
3 years ago

Charge $25 and then I would not have to worry about the smoke in my face or RV.

Joel Hagler
3 years ago

Charge $25 and then I would not have to worry about all the smoke in my face or RV.

3 years ago

I would do without a campfire before paying 17 bucks for a bundle of firewood

Jan Newman
3 years ago

I would use a propane fire pit before ever paying 17$ for a bundle of wood

John Koenig
3 years ago

$17+ for a small bundle of firewood?????

Heck, it’s a self renewing resource and, the stuff grows on trees!

3 years ago

Out west with the number of burn bans a propane fire pit just makes sense. Need to roast hot dogs or marshmallows? We make a charcoal fire when allowed.

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