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6 Things You Didn’t Know About Campfires

ash-1866620_960_720A campfire provides campers with warmth, light, relaxation, and a place to safely cook food. Mankind has been building them for thousands of years, and even today there’s no substitution for a genuine fire. However, you might be surprised to learn some of the following facts about campfires.

Campfires Can Reach 930 Degrees Fahrenheit

While temperatures vary depending on many factors (e.g. type of wood, airflow, quantity of wood, how long it’s been burning, etc.), it’s not uncommon for a campfire to reach 930 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to its high heat, safety precautions should be taken around campfires to avoid injury.

There are Many Ways to Build Campfires

A campfire can be constructed in one of several ways, some of which include the tipi, lean-to, log cabin, hybrid, keyhole and many others. The tipi is a popular choice, as it’s easy to build and provides ample, consistent warmth. It’s created by piling the tinder in the middle with smaller kindling around it, similar to the poles of a tipi.

Coals Continue to Burn

Even if the wood from your campfire is no longer burning, the ash and coals may continue to burn — even if they are buried under dirt. The hot coals continue to smolder long after the fire goes out. And if they are near a tree root, they can ignite and spark a new fire.

The First Campfires Were Built 1.6 Million Years Ago

It’s unknown who was responsible for building the world’s first campfire. Historians, however, have found evidence indicating that early man built them around 1.6 million years. This evidence was found in the form of burned antelope bones in remote caves of South Africa.

You May or May Not be Allowed to Collect Firewood at Parks

Many national parks have rules regarding campfires. Most State Parks and National Parks allow campers to collect and use any firewood that’s lying on the ground. If the park has an erosion problem, however, it may prohibit the collection of firewood.

‘Fatwood’ Makes Excellent Kindling and Tinder

If you’re having trouble igniting a campfire with traditional firewood, perhaps you should look for fatwood. Also known as fat lighter, lighter wood and rich lighter, fatwood is derived from pine heartwood. Over time, the resin within pine becomes hard, making the wood resistant to rot and decay. It lights quickly and easily, even in wet and/or windy conditions. Fatwood also burns hot enough to ignite other, non-fatwood firewood that’s nearly.

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