Finding Wood



– man-made lakes where old growth stumps were not removed
– lakes fed by swift-flowing mountain streams
– hunt in and under bushes, watch for partially buried pieces
– look for wood at the mouths of rivers or streams where they enter a lake

-Rivers and streams

– in heavily wooded areas
– near logged-off old growth areas
– near the confluence of a stream and river

Woods and forests

– near old growth trees
– old growth clear cuts
– in burned-over area (search 1-2 feet down in earth around promising stumps.
Hunt inside decaying stumps and logs)

Saltwater beaches – hunting is best during or after a storm

– at and above high tide lines
– at mouth of rivers and creeks
– at curves or bays into which prevailing winds blow


– near old fruit trees
– where a former driftwood collector lived
– where land is being cleared for construction
– go to the NWDA auction (usually in Oct.)
– garage sales


Interesting shapes: curves, unusual lines, interesting grain patterns, is it something that would look good as a sculpture
Evidence of hard wood: does it have weight; can you feel hard wood under a soft exterior; poke with sharp point to see if there is something hard underneath
Size: remember to consider small pieces as miniatures or pendants. Consider sizes you like to work on and if you can carry it out


Useful tools: folding saw, crowbar, shovel, garden three fingered claw tool
Knife or scraper to see if the piece is solid
Tote bags or big backpack which will get dirty
Wear sturdy shoes or boots, bring work gloves
Some people like to bring a child’s plastic sled to haul found pieces
Bring appropriate clothing for changing weather conditions
Bring water and food
Bring something to mark your wood such as marking tape, yarn, strips of fabric

Lexie Bakewell