It’s frustrating when you finally get that damp wood lit, only for your campfire to go out in the middle of the night. While you can always stay up to stoke it and add more wood, most people prefer sleeping at night, especially after a long day of hiking. So, how can you keep your campfire burning through the night?
The 1/2-Inch Rule
What is the 1/2-inch rule? Basically, for every 1/2 inch of firewood, your campfire will burn for about an hour. If you have a 6-inch piece of firewood, you can expect it to burn for six hours. Or if you have an even larger 8-inch piece of firewood, it will burn for about eight hours. Of course, this is just a general rule, as some wood burns faster and others burn slower. With that said, you can still follow this rule to choose the right-sized firewood to keep your campfire burning through the night and well into the morning.
For the purpose of heat retention, it’s recommended that you build a tipi-style campfire. As the name suggests, this type of campfire is characterized by its shape resembling that of a Native American tipi. Firewood is arranged in a standing cone-like design around a bundle of kindling and tinder. Once the inside kindling and tinder is lit, the heat rises to the exterior firewood. The tipi-style campfire is one of the easiest to build, and it’s also one of the most efficient.
Place Ash Over the Campfire
Another trick that can keep your campfire burning longer is to place ash over the top of it. Ash makes the wood burn more slowly, which should keep the campfire going for a little longer. The only downside to this method is that you’ll need ash — and that requires a campfire.
Place Rocks Inside
Some outdoor enthusiasts recommend placing rocks inside the campfire. The general idea is to allow the rocks to absorb the heat, at which point it should keep your fire going a little longer. Rocks hold heat incredibly well, which is why people have used hot rocks them for therapeutic purposes for centuries.
These are just a few tips to keep your campfire burning through the night.
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