Why do you need woods for camping? Well, for the campfire. Duh! You will have to agree with me when I say that campfires are the most fun and exciting part of a camping trip. And we cannot have a campfire unless we have woods, right? But the question is- how much?
One of the pinnacles of a camping trip is the campfire. But what amount of wood will keep your fire on all night, or what kind will get the charcoal ready for cooking and stuff.
Well, we have answers to How Much Wood Do I Need For Camping or what kind of wood is required, and other camping necessities.
Letâ€™s get started, shall we?
How Much Wood Would We Require?
To answer your question quickly, we would require 4 to five average-size logs per hour and for cooking on a campfire you will need 6-10 logs per hour.
In most places, you would find the woods being sold in bundles. A bundle generally contains 4-5 logs, each stick is about 4-5 inches in circumference and about 12-14 inches long. You might also consider buying a face cord. A face cord is a wood that has been cut, split, and stacked. The stack is about 4 feet high and 8 feet long.
Besides various factors that affect the burn time of the woods, one bundle can give you an hour to an hour and a half of burn time. This is for a typical campground fire ring.
The data below will show you how many bundles of firewood you need to keep your fire burning for how long. You can use this data to estimate how long will your wood stock will last based on a normal campfire ring, i.e. 3-4 feet in diameter.
Campfire duration-Firewood required
- 2 hours: 1-2 bundles (4-10 sticks)
- 4 hours: 3-5 bundles (12-25 sticks)
- 6 hours: 5-7 bundles (25-35 sticks)
These are general calculation which will give you a rough picture of how many woods do you need? You can always add or decrease the calculation as per your requirements.
Donâ€™t forget to calculate woods for cooking, you might want to add a bundle to the number above like if you want to keep your fire up to 2 hours but you also need to cook in those 2 hours, you can add 1-2 extra bundle for cooking.
Sometimes, maybe, you do need active fire for cooking, it does not make it up to the temperature we need for cooking. That is when you burn down the wood and cook over the coals. Coals are more efficient in cooking your food.
You will have to plan your time for starting a fire so that you have the coal ready by the time you cook. Do not especially burn the wood for coals, it is a waste of resources.
Since wood and fire are affected by so many different factors in nature, this is not an exact calculation. You still have to carry a little extra wood for the buffer.
It is better to have extra than less, you can either leave it for the next camper or maybe use it on the next upcoming camping trip. You do not want to keep the fire burning all the time, it would require an immense amount of wood.
You require wood for making a fire and you would want a fire when it is chilly outside or you want to cook.
To sum it up all, on average along with wood for cooking and relaxation and general use, you would require five bundles a day.
This is also an approximate calculation, you will also have to keep in kind the number of people you are cooking for, which would increase the amount of coal you require and hence increasing your wood necessity.
What Kind Of Wood Is Best For The Campfire?
1. Seasoned Woods
Seasoned wood means the woods that are cut, stacked, and left to dry. These woods are easier to burn than any greenwood. Greenwoods as in not completely green, but they are not dried and prepared, is very difficult to burn and produce a lot of smoke than fire. Unseasoned woods are called greenwood.
Seasoning woods took 6 months, so whatever wood you would pick yourself or find lying around in the forest might not be seasoned. Sticks that fell off the tree have a chance of being ready to burn, based on climate, they might be warm, dry, and lightweight.
Hardwood Is The Best
Hardwood is better wood than any kind of softwood. It keeps the fire for a long time, they are cleaner and sometimes hotter. Everything you need in firewood is what you will find in hardwood.
These are some of the good hardwood for camping:
- These are found very easily all over North America.
- Oak burns slowly and heavily, and have high heat capacity.
- Its coal can remain hot for hours.
- The embers of it are perfect for cooking any foil dishes.
- It has a long burning period and produces a bright flame with few sparks.
- It also produces high heat, makes it perfect for chilly nights.
- It a dense hardwood.
- It does not take long to the season and gets ready to be burned in a few months only after cutting.
- It produces a steady flame.
- Brings adequate heat to keep campers warm.
- It is easy to split, in case you want to shorten to shape the campfire pit.
- It has been devasted by ash dieback diseases.
- If you are in an area of ash trees, then you would have plenty of firewood to burn.
- It burns slowly producing plenty of heat and light.
- Ti ignites with a bright flame and minimal smoke.
- It is also famous to produce an enchanting scent that seems to add a flavor to the food you cook.
- It rarely produces a spark, which means if you roast your food, it will not get burnt.
- This is the only softwood that is appropriate for a campfire.
- It burns low and slow, can even last up to a day long.
- It flames are not that vigorous, but it produces a lot of heat.
- It also a pleasing smell, when burnt.
What Factors Affect The Woods For Firewood?
Climate And Weather
- It is difficult to find firewood if you are out camping in cold weather.
- Some campsite, do not allow a campfire as it might produce forest fires.
- The climate and the area of the campsite affect the woods needs to a great extend.
- Invest in more woods, if it going to be cold.
- Even if the weather forecast informs for warm weather, it wonâ€™t hurt for a couple of more woods.
- We saw hardwood is preferred more over softwood. You saw what are the specific wood names, good for firewood.
- Softwood other than cedar is not preferred for the fire.
- It burns out very quickly, and you might end up spending more money on more woods.
- The best way is to start the fire with softwoods and then continue with hardwood, to keep it burning for a long time.
- You cannot get the woods ready just in a week before the trip, as it will not be dry enough to be burnt.
- If the wood looks dry, it does not mean it is ready to be burned, it still has some moisture content in it.
- Fresh wood is more difficult to burn, as it has a high amount of moisture content.
- Fresh wood also produces a lot of smoke on burning.
- Water in the fire will make it potential to crackle and pop a bit.
- The maximum water content should be 20%, less than that would be great.
How To Build A Campfire?
This can be a bit tricky. It was a task for primitive men, as they practiced ancient methods, but with technology and new methods, it has been a bit easier than before.
These are the steps to follow to start a campfire successfully.
- Find and build a fire ring– some campfires, provide you with pits, but if not you will just have to dig a pit in the ground and then start the fire.
- Gather firewood– We just briefed you about what kind of wood you would require and how much wood you would require.
- Build the campfire– you need to set the woods in a specific arrangement to speed up the firing process. There are 3 types of arrangements to follow- cone, log cabin, pyramid.
- Light the campfire– you can do so by adding the instant fire starter packets inside the woods. You can also burn up some crumpled newspaper between the woods. Here is an amazon link for an instant fire starter.
- Extinguish the campfire– always put out the fire if not in use. Do not leave any fire unattended. It is important to follow fire instructions.
Here is the guideline to start the fire in detail.
I hope this article helped you out with all the wood-related questions and doubts. You should never leave a fire unattended. It is mandatory to have a campfire experience.
If you have any new suggestion for woods requirements on camp, feel free to share with us in the comment section, or share your campfire stories. We would love to hear those.
Check out our article on other camping guides on our website.
Until then happy camping!