Gone Outdoors

How to Preserve Logs for Campfire Seats

by Keith Dooley

The focal point of a camp is often the campfire. Images of conversation, cooking and poking at glowing coals with long sticks often come to mind. A traditional means of sitting around a campfire is on large, round logs. Although the larger round logs are often split into smaller pieces of firewood and kindling, a few of the logs survive to be used as seating. The sides of the logs are naturally protected by bark. However, the top and bottom of the log should be treated for long-term use.

1. Place the log to be used as a seat on a flat and level surface. Position the log on its side so that the top and bottom are accessible.

2. Sand the top and bottom of the log with coarse sandpaper. Use the sandpaper to remove any debris that has accumulated since the log was cut and to rough the end cuts so the grain will accept the polyurethane.

3. Choose a clear polyurethane or one that is tinted in various wood colors, such as oak or walnut. Base your choice on your personal preferences.

4. Open the container of your polyurethane seal. Dip a brush into the polyurethane. Apply the polyurethane seal to the top and bottom of the stump with even brush strokes. Work the seal into the wood grain and along the edge where the bark is attached to the wood stump.

5. Allow the polyurethane to dry completely and then apply another coat. Repeat the process with three or more coats that will resist weathering and make a long-lasting log seat around the campfire.

Items you will need
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Brush
  • Polyurethane

Tips

  • You can apply up to six coats of seal to your stump to ensure longevity.
  • If inclement weather pops up immediately after you've brushed on a coat of seal, tent some plastic over your log until the rain clears up.

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

Photo Credits

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