Several years ago I was traveling through the mountains of central Mexico and was impressed with a simple rope firewood carrier that virtually every rural household used. Children had a scaled-down version that worked well for kindling, while adults used longer ropes for bigger loads, and commonly carried one in each hand.
Step One: Begin with two sticks (your future handles) that are just slightly longer than the wood you intend to haul. The sticks should be small enough that you can comfortably grip the stick, but sturdy enough that they can withstand the stress of use. Drill a 3/8-inch hole on each side, about three inches in from the ends.
Step Two: Thread a five-foot rope the same diameter as your hole through each stick and tie a knot in the end. In this case we were using nylon rope, so we burned each end to prevent fraying. Next, thread and tie the opposite end.
Step Three: To use your rope firewood carrier, lay the logs on top of the rope and thread one handle through the other.
Step Four: As you lift the firewood carrier the ropes will cinch up on the firewood, holding it firmly in place.
One common variation on this simple rope firewood carrier involves adding two additional ropes between the outside ropes. This prevents smaller, kindling-sized pieces from falling through.
Brett R. McLeod is an associate professor of forestry and natural resources at Paul Smith’s College and the author of The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods (Storey Publishing, 2015).