Camping season is here, but before you pack up your firewood to take to an Indiana state park or campground, you may want to think twice.

Bugs Are Part of the Camping Experience in Indiana

When it comes to camping, the bugs are just part of the experience, but not all bugs are created equal. Many of the insects that you will encounter while camping in Indiana are native species that serve useful purposes. However, not every bug in the great outdoors is actually a friend to our local ecosystem.

Taking Your Own Firewood to Camp is a Bad Idea

It's the less-than-eco-friendly bugs (as well as some other icky things too) that make taking your own firewood to camp such a bad idea. By packing in your own firewood, you run the risk of spreading those icky things to our Indiana State Parks and other recreational areas.

140 Icky Things

140. That is the number of icky things known to be transported within your firewood when you move it from home to a state park. Those invasive species of "pests and pathogens" can cause a great deal of damage to the natural forestry across the state of Indiana. Some of those pests include:

  • Asian Longhorned Beetle
  • Thousand Cankers Disease
  • Sirex Woodwasp
  • Gypsy Moth (aka Spongy Moth)
  • As well as fungal infections transmitted via insects
attachment-Campfire Wood

It Is Best to Buy Your Firewood

The safest options for wood to build your campfire include:

Other firewood options include bark-free, kiln-dried scrap lumber or wood from other areas of Indiana, including your own home, if the bark has been removed.

READ MORE: Indiana State Park Reopens Trails After 2023 Tornado Damage

More Information About Safe Firewood

If you need more information about firewood for camping in Indiana, there is a wonderful resource called They offer a number of helpful suggestions like,

  • Buy firewood near where you will burn it- a good rule of thumb is only using wood that was cut within 50 miles of where you’ll have your fire.
  • Wood that looks clean and healthy can still have tiny insect eggs, or microscopic fungi spores, that will start a new and deadly infestation.
  • Aged or seasoned wood is still not safe. Just because it is dry doesn’t mean that bugs can’t crawl onto it- and some insects can take several years to mature inside the wood.

They also offer you a plethora of other really useful information including how to source your firewood from a reputable dealer. There is even a 'Firewood Finder' on the website to help you locate firewood near you for sale.

READ MORE: This Tent Staking Hack Could Save the Day

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is, you can help prevent the spread of pests that could damage our Indiana forestry and it is really very easy to do. So, before you build your next campfire in an Indiana state park, make sure you're using approved firewood.


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Gallery Credit: Stacker