Your camping will be more enjoyable if you know how to keep a campfire going all night for a comfortable feeling from cold, light, safety, and cooking. Build a self-feeding fire stand or Finnish log stove-type campfire structure and Use accessories like fire pit rocks, covering the wood with ash, a fire pit wind guard, campfire ventilation, slow-burning wood, etc.
What are the elements of the fire triangle to start and keep burning?
Oxygen, heat, and fuel are the elements of the fire triangle to start and keep burning. If any one of these three elements is deficient, the fire will be extinguished.
Why campfire needed to burn all night?
A campfire is very helpful for feeling comfortable with a touch of warmth in extreme winters.
There may be a variety of nocturnal species in the camping area that usually feel comfortable in low light. So, because the light of the campfire causes the vision to hamper those animals, they avoid the campfire area. In addition, different types of insects, species of bugs, are repelled by the campfire smoke from the area. Therefore, a campfire acts as a kind of security to avoid unwanted damage.
On the other hand, if there is a campfire at night in an unfamiliar camping area, it acts as a beacon from afar. It will protect you from the fear of getting lost.
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It is very important to eat safe food and drink purified water to keep yourself healthy during outdoor excursions. If the campfire goes all night, you are ready to go anytime cooking.
Due to the advancement of technology, the camping lighting system has become very diverse. There are various types of integrated solar panels, USB ports, and collapsible design-oriented Ultralight and Compact Rechargeable Lanterns that are now available in the market. All of these feature-rich lighting systems may not always be available to everyone. So, alternatively, campfire lighting helps to illuminate the campsite.
Ways To Keep A Campfire Going All Night
Rocks can retain heat easily & for this reason, it helps the fire pit keep burning. When we put the rocks inside the fire pit, it mixes with the ash to form air pockets. As a result, oxygen consumption is reduced and fire goes on for a long time. On the other hand, you must be careful when using rocks as they can explore a lot of the time. Sandstone, gravel, and river rocks usually have holes in them, so they retain moisture, and when heated, they can expand and explode. On the other hand, lava glass, lava rocks, poured concrete, etc., have a higher density and are less likely to explode. So, it would be best if you use dry smaller rocks in a fire pit.
Covering the wood with Ash:
Ashes can retain heat to reignite but if you put a lot of ash on a dying fire, it will diffuse the heat due to the blockage of oxygen consumption. Hot ash or hot coal bed from the freshly burnt wood can retain the heat & help consistent, slower burning.
Building a self-feeding fire stand:
If you can make a self-feeding fire stand, it will burn by itself for a long time. To make it, you will need 4 Y shape branches which will act as V shape support beams. If these support beams are set up firmly, then in its V shape, like fuelwood, several large logs should be placed leaning one on top of the other, i.e. at a 45 ° angle. Here the size of the logs will be periodic i.e. the big ones will be at the bottom. For uninterrupted fire flow, a gap should be kept between the logs with small sticks so that there is a chance of airflow. If a large log burns out with the help of kindling and tinder in the lower part, then according to the law of gravity, another log from the top will come down by itself.
Make fire pit wind guard:
It is very important to have a wind guard so that your fire pit does not go out in a sudden wind. Therefore, it is best to set up a firepit somewhere near a wall or large tree. It must be set at a safe distance from any combustible windbreak surface.
Ensure campfire Ventilation:
Keeping a campfire going all night needs room to breathe. For this reason, when setting up your campfire, you need to arrange the fuel in such a way that there is some space for ventilation. If there is a gap in the supply of air, fuel, and heat, then there is a possibility of extinguishing the fire. So, don’t stack excess wood on top of the fire which blocks ventilation. You can use fire-blowing tubes for manual ventilation.
Using Slow Burning Wood:
There are different types of firewood in the camping area but not all types of wood are of Slow Burning species. This type of wood is usually hardwoods like oak, beech, birch, etc. On the other hand, the burning performance of softwoods such as pine, fir, cedar, and spruce is relatively fast.
It is also known as a Swedish candle or a Finnish log stove. To prepare it, you need to use a log between 30 and 60 cm wide and 50 to 100 cm tall. To make a wooden log, divide the wood into 4 parts and leave some gaps in the middle, and use wood shavings or other tinder in that gap. Since it is useful not only as a campfire but also for cooking, it has to be cut with a chainsaw in such a way that it has the shape of a flat surface. For its effectiveness, wood with a maximum residual moisture of 20% should be used.
Campfire Safety Tips:
- You should have a shovel, water, sand, and a portable fire-extinguisher to keep the campfire controlled.
- You can use a match or electric firelighter without using any kind of lighter fluid, gas, kerosene, etc.
- Never leave baby and pet animals alone at the campfire.
- Set up a campfire in an open space at least 10 feet away from any combustible material or surface.
- Be sure if there are fire regulations in your camping area and follow the instructions of the appropriate authority.
- Make sure you can extinguish the fire completely whenever you move away from the campfire.
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How long does a campfire last?
It is difficult to say exactly how long the campfire will last because it will depend on the air’s temperature, wood type, fire pit structure, etc. Usually, every 1/2 inch of firewood can burn for about 1 hour.
How do you burn wet wood in a fire pit?
Wet wood takes a lot of time to burn and produces a lot of smoke. Therefore, before burning wet wood, the bark of the wood should be peeled off with a knife and wiped off with a dry cloth or paper.
David is a passionate traveler who completed his MSc in Travel Industry Management from University of Hawai’i.