Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Float Cabin Living: How do you stay warm?

Our Kozi brand woodstove.
If you are following this series, you've already read about our weather and storms.

Wayne and I couldn't live up the lake in all seasons without a way to keep our home warm.

Nights are longer and temperatures cool by late September.  What most people call winter weather begins in earnest by late October. From then until May (sometimes early June) we need heat.


A rare snowy day.
Our solution is old fashioned wood combustion in our Kozi wood-burning stove. It came with our cabin and has served us well.

To burn wood, you have to gather and process wood.



Gathering floating wood.
Floating wood comes right to our doorstep when the lake level rises. We also use our barge to gather wood to cut and stack.

Our friend John built a floating woodshed for us. Wood is very heavy and you don't want it to weight down the cabin's main deck.

Processing wood for the woodshed.
Wayne learned to use a chainsaw to cut log chunks into stove lengths, then we used an ax and sledge hammer to split the larger pieces.

That is until I got an electric log splitter for my birthday.





Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but off the grid labour saving devices are more appreciated. Below are some links for more information about heating our cabin home.

Woodstove cooking.
Stocking the woodpile.
Chainsaw maintenance.
Rotating chimney cap.
Chimney maintenance. 
Indoor storage shelf.
Woodstove refinishing.
Woodstove cooking.
Woodstove baking.

Come on in, sit by the fire and get Kozi warm.



How do you keep yourself warm and toasty on long winter nights? -- Margy

24 comments:

  1. Oh wow, old school heating. Wood heat is “cheap” but lots of work. When my family lived in the White Mountains of Arizona back in the late 60’s we spent a considerable amount of time gathering wood. Then my brother and I cut it to length with a now saw and split the logs with a steel wedge and a sledge hammer. Lots and lots of work that never ended.

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    1. It sounds like it was much harder work for you. In the beginning we split the wood manually. Even with ear defenders mine would ring for days. Getting the wood splitter made the process a whole lot easier. - Margy

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  2. Wow, I'm blown away by all the work and knowledge involved. I wouldn't survive a day. I've had a cat to warm my feet and snuggle up next to during this second winter, but I'm sure it's nothing like you experience.
    It's a floating cabin?
    I bet anything that cuts down on labor is more valuable than diamonds.

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    1. Yes, it's a floating cabin. Living on a fresh water lake makes it a lot easier since we can draw water to drink (after boiling to be safe) from right under our floor. - Margy

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  3. ...they say that wood heat twice, once when you cut it and again when you burn it.

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    1. Good saying, so true. - Margy

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  4. There’s some serious log splitting going on here! I see your point … diamonds are cold and jewels can’t keep your hands warm or coffee hot the way a well-constructed fire can in a wood burning stove.

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    1. You understand completely. - Margy

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  5. It looks very snug in your cabin with the the log burner. Thank heavens for modern inventions like a log splitter.

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    1. If I ever upgrade my woodstove I would like to look at a small combo heater cooker model. - Margy

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  6. It looks very cosy in your cabin. It's hard to beat an old fashioned living fire and watch the flames. Now I know what to buy my wife for her birthday!

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    1. Glad I could be of help. - Margy

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  7. When my husband and I were first married, we had a wood-burning heater. We used a chain saw and an axe, and hauled it out of the woods in our old pickup truck. (He cut and split, and I loaded the truck).
    But now that we are too old for that hard work, we have propane gas heaters.
    Have a great week!

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    1. We are still getting the job done. Our plan when it gets too hard to do is to take our barge to town and buy a cord of wood already cut and split. But for now that is in the future. Hauling wood would be a lot easier than manhandling 40 lb propane tanks up and down the lake. - Margy

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  8. Replies
    1. I agree, there's nothing like sitting in front of a wood fire and a woodstove is much safer and more efficient that a fireplace (especially in a float cabin). - Margy

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  9. Wow, Margy, an electric log splitter. You do receive the best gifts. I haven't had to split logs a lot lately, but 50-some years ago my brother Clint and I were taught to split logs with a large axe. Large axe, not-very-large logs. We were young teenagers, and wanted to learn everything.
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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    1. When we used to use the ax with was a two "man" job. I held the ax in place and Wayne whacked it with a sledge hammer. Not very professional but it got the job done. - Margy

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  10. Having lived all of my life in the city - last one, Costa Mesa, the house we live in now, was the first experience with cutting and splitting wood (for hubby). After one cold winter, we finally realized why all the houses around here have a wood stove added to the central heat!!
    My son asked to send a photo of his dad with his new chain saw (that's how city-like our family is, lol)
    Thank you for your comment - you had quite some changes in your life!

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    1. I lived in Southern California until I ewas 55 and we retired to live in BC. It sure was a big change. I can understand about wanting chainsaw pictures. It's way different from the way most people live. - Margy

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  11. Wow - a log splitter - that would have come in handy when we lived in N. California and burned wood. I love a wood fire - so cozy and so much warmer than "city" heat. Now that we are city folks we stay warm with our furnace - no space for a wood stove in this house - but wonderful memories. Hope your weekend is grand - I hear we have sunshine coming next week - and even a temperature of 71 - but do we really believe that?

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    1. Wood splitters sure make a difference in the quality of life if you ask me. - Margy

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  12. I think I shall have to use my splitter in prep for next year!

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    1. I highly recommend it. - Margy

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