A lasting campfire will provide warmth, light and fun throughout the night. However, they do not always last all night.
Half an inch of wood burns for about an hour, but several factors affect this. The type and quality of wood you use is the most important factor affecting the burning time. Dry, hard wood burns the longest. Moist, soft wood burns faster.
There is a lot to discuss about this topic, but I have done some research and collected information from experienced outdoor explorers. I hope this will let you know how long the bonfire can last.
How long does a campfire burn on average?
Basically, for every 1/2 inch of firewood, your campfire will burn for about an hour. If you have a six inch piece of wood, you can expect it to burn for six hours. Or, if you have a larger 8-inch piece of wood, it will burn for about 8 hours. Of course, this is just a general rule, because some wood burns faster, while others burn slower. Having said that, you can still follow this rule to choose the appropriate size of firewood to make your campfire burn all night and continue to burn until the morning.
What type of wood is best for a lasting campfire?
Hardwood with low moisture content is the best type of wood for long-lasting campfires. It burns very slowly. Most experienced campfire lovers recommend oak, pine and pecan.
An open school project shows a child conducting a scientific experiment on different forest burning times. They use different wood of the same size, and oak burns the longest.
Oak can not only provide a lasting campfire, but also make a very hot campfire with very few sparks.
How to make campfires last longer
Use a soft surface
Although hard, dry wood is the best, a soft surface can help keep your fire going for a long time.
If the surface under your fire is made of peat, or if the forest floor is covered with leaves, branches and needles, it will last a long time.
If you use coal, it can also last longer, but this is not always an option.
Peat fires are so effective that they often survive the severe winter in Alaska. They are called zombie fires. The fire will go deep into the peat, then the snow will fall and melt, and the peat deep in the earth’s surface is still burning.
If you make a fire on a peat surface, make sure that the ground is saturated with water when extinguishing the fire. You need to make sure the peat doesn’t re ignite!
Put the ash on it
Putting some ashes on your fire will help it last longer. It somehow smothers the flames, making them need to burn in the ashes to reach the firewood.
If you put too much ash on it, your fire may go out because it will prevent it from using oxygen to keep it burning. However, if you collected ashes from the fire of the previous day, please always put some ashes on the new fire one at a time.
Put the stone in
When you start a fire, it’s a good idea to add some stones to the fire. Rocks will retain heat and help your fire last longer than without them.
There are many tips and tricks you can use to keep your fire burning longer. Using the right wood, using a self-sufficiency system, and making sure you have enough firewood is the key. Remember the half inch rule!
And remember to be safe by the campfire! Here are some camping safety tips related to campfire. You might as well check them.