How Much Firewood Do I Need For Camping? Essential Guide

How much firewood do you need for camping? It is believed that you’ll need between two and five bundles of wood per day to build your campfire. You may require additional wood when you want to run a campfire for more than an hour or two each night.

A fire roaring to end an extended hike is among the most relaxing aspects of any camping excursion. However, making the perfect campfire depends on having enough wood to keep it fuelled for long hours.

If you’re thinking, “How much firewood do I need for my upcoming camping trip?” You don’t need to worry as I will give you a comprehensive guide from my own experience from camping for over 20 years.

Most campers find that they require between two and five bundles of wood for their fire each day, or around 1 bundle per hour for their campfire in the campground. If you plan to use your campfire to cook on instead of an energy-efficient wood stove in your camping it is possible to carry a bit more wood every day of your camping adventure.

To ensure that you have enough wood for your future adventures. This is a thorough guide to doing exactly that. We’ll go deep into campfires and answer your burning questions about the topic to ensure that you are prepared for whatever happens.

If you’re planning a trip to the camping area one of your main worries is figuring out the amount of firewood you will need to carry every day. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the amount of firewood you’ll require, however, we can provide some guidelines to aid you in making a choice depending on your specific circumstances.

To get a quick estimation of the amount of firewood you’ll require to cook your campfire, look at the table below:

Total Campfire
Duration Per Night
Amount of Firewood
Required (Warmth)
Amount of Firewood
Required (Cooking)
1 hour1 Bundle (4-5 logs)One bundle (4-5 logs)2 hours1 – 2 Bundles (4-10 logs)Two to three bundles (10-15 logs)4 hoursTwo to four bundles (10-20 logs)Three to five bundles (15-25 logs)6 hoursFour to six bundles (20-30 logs)Five to seven bundles (25-35 logs)8 hours6-8 bundles (30-40 logs)Seven-to-9 bundles (35-45 logs)
1 hour1 Bundle (4-5 logs)One bundle (4-5 logs)
2 hours1 – 2 Bundles (4-10 logs)

How To Determine How Much Firewood You Need For Camping

As you can see, the quantity of wood you’ll need will depend significantly on the length of your fire and whether you intend to cook on the campfire. This is, however, only an approximate estimate. There are many other variables that determine the amount of firewood you’ll need.

Here are a few that are the top things to be aware of as you make your plans for your journey:

Trip Length

Although the chart above will help you understand the amount of firewood to bring to light a campfire, it’s important to note that this is just an estimate for one evening of camp. As you can see, the longer your camping experience, the more firewood, and wood you’ll probably need to light your fire.

In this way, it is recommended to multiply the figures we’ve given above by the number of nights you’re hoping to spend outdoors. This should give you an approximate idea of the wood you’ll require for your excursion.

Campfire Habits

Following on from our last idea about the length of your camping adventure. Some of the other significant factors that impact the amount of wood you will need are your own personal camping habits. In reality, the intensity of your campfires and the length of time each campfire will last will have a significant impact on the amount of wood you require.

For instance, a person who loves having a campfire every evening for 5 or 6 hours will require more wood than a camper who enjoys a brief campfire before bed.

When making use of our table to estimate how much wood you’ll require, you should try to figure out the amount of time you sit around the campfire every evening to determine your typical wood usage.

Campfire Purposes

The most significant and yet often ignored element that influences the consumption of firewood is the reason you’re using your fire, regardless of whether it’s to cook or heat.

The simple fact is that campfires intended to cook will need more wood than ones designed for aesthetics or warmth. Since cooking with a campfire is a high-energy activity. You’ll need to bring more wood to ensure you’re able to cook a delicious dinner.

Local Weather Conditions

Conditions that are windy and rainy are known to cause chaos on campfires. If stormy conditions are anticipated it is likely that you will have to plan additional wood for your camping trip.

When camping in the rain or an extremely windy area we suggest packing a bag of additional firewood and tinder every day. Because wet and windy conditions decrease the effectiveness of your fireplace, leading to a higher consumption of wood in the course of the course of.

Wood Moisture Content

As we’ve already mentioned that wet weather is not ideal for camping fires. Even in sunny, bright conditions out, wet wood isn’t the only reason to not have a fire to your fire.

In fact, damp wood is the single major factors that affects the speed at which a fire can burn. The more dry the wood, the more it’ll burn, and the easier it will be able start your campfire.

So, you should not cut down trees, or bringing in fresh wood to light your campfire. This kind of wood isn’t dry enough to be efficient in burning, which is why it’s hard to ignite and it’s likely to create plenty of smoke. which is not fun!

The most suitable wood for your fire pit is dry, well-seasoned, as you would get in the event you purchase a bunch of firewood from a campground retailer. It typically has a moisture level of not more than 20 percent and is ideal for campfires.

This being said If you’re planning to gather wood to make your bonfire locally (more on this in a minute) You might want to pack the moisture gauge, such as that of the Dr.Meter Wood Moisture Meter. These devices will provide you with an estimation of the moisture content of the wood you gather and will allow you to restrict the quantity of dry firewood you are using for your bonfire.

[lasso ref=”wood-moisture-meter” id=”38128” link_id=”26239”]

Camping Season

In addition, the season (i.e. whether you’re camping in winter or summer) can have an effect on the amount of firewood you consume.

If, for instance, you’re planning on going to to a winter camp and you’re camping in winter, you might find that you have to bring more wood than when camping during summertime. While not all campers will have fires when they go camping in winter If you’re thinking of setting up a campfire to provide warmth in the colder months during the colder months, you may be using up a lots of wood in a single day.

Additionally, if there’s a snowfall in the air or is forecast that your firewood is burning less efficiently during winter months than during the summer. So, for cold weather camping spots, we’d suggest planning for approximately 25percent more firewood every day than you’d require to enjoy summer-time activities.

Local Regulations

While this may not directly affect the quantity of firewood you’ll need when camping, it could determine the likelihood of having an actual campfire at all. While many campgrounds with developed facilities do permit fires in fire pits, it’s important to remember that fire bans may occur especially during the summertime.

Therefore, it’s important to inquire with the land management authorities in your area to make sure you’re permitted to build a fire on your camping trip prior to you invest time and money making wood for your campfire.

What Kind Of Firewood Should I Use For A Campfire?

Once you’ve determined the amount of wood you’ll need to your camping excursion The next step is to determine the kind of wood you’ll need. For campfires, there’s two principal types of wood you can pick from:

Hardwoods

In technical terms, hardwood is any kind of wood that is derived from a dicot. When we be slightly nitpicky we could describe a dicot as is basically any flowering woody plant with an outer layer of cells that grow between the wood’s inner layer (cambium) along with the bark.

While it may seem like a lot of nonsense to the majority of us, dicots (a.k.a. hardwoods) are species of oak, hickory and ash and beech, which have obvious growth rings on their trunks.

Hardwoods are usually preferred for fires due to the fact that they burn slower. However, they are harder to start than their softwood counterparts and are generally more costly.

Softwoods

Although hardwoods are dicot trees however softwoods are known as gymnosperms. They comprise pines, spruces as well as yews, are the majority of other conifers. This means that they produce cones, which contain their seeds to reproduce.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that softwoods aren’t necessarily “softer” than hardwoods. In fact, certain softwoods, like Douglas Longleaf Pines, firs or spruce are more durable than hardwoods like balsa the latter being used in woodworking, when wood has to be bent into unusual forms.

In general, softwoods are much easier to ignite than hardwoods and are also burning much more quickly. This is why they are ideal to use in humid conditions, when the process of starting a fire is difficult, but they are not ideal in the event that you want to make one piece of wood last an extended period of time.

The main benefit of using softwoods to build the campfire is their cost. Since many hardwoods are sought-after for their high-end quality in construction and woodworking and construction, they are very expensive.

In contrast, softwoods are cheaper. Thus, you’ll typically see that the bundles of firewood that you buy are typically comprised of low-cost softwoods instead of expensive hardwoods.

Where To Get Firewood For A Camping Trip

You now know the amount of firewood you’ll need for your camping adventure and the differentiators between various kinds of wood. However, where can you buy firewood for your excursion to the wilderness, you may think?

Here’s what you need to be aware of to start your journey.

Option 1: Purchase Firewood

The most efficient way to obtain firewood for your camping trip is to buy the wood in a bundle. This will give you quick and easy access to cut and dried wood that’s waiting to be put on the fire.

Naturally, the most important benefit of buying firewood is the ease of use. If you buy wood, it isn’t necessary to cut it up, clean it or look around in woods. Similar to all modern things, however, buying wood can be expensive.

In reality, you could be able to pay anywhere from $ the $10 mark for just one bag of wood, even though the price range is from five to seven dollars. It’s no surprise that buying wood can cost a lot quickly, particularly if you’re planning a lengthy camping trip. If you’re in a position to comply with the local laws, it could be the only choice.

If you’re thinking what you can purchase for firewood, you have two choices:

  • Purchase at The Campground. Most campgrounds have a shop that stocks essentials, for example, bundles of firewood. These bundles are typically more expensive than those you buy elsewhere, but they offer the benefit of being available at the campsite, waiting to be used. If you’re planning to purchase firewood, you should purchase it at the campground, or at an establishment within a 20-mile (32km) distance of your camping spot. That’s because transporting firewood over long distances can lead to the “>
  • Buy Wood at home. If you’re not looking to purchase firewood at your campground , or think wood won’t be in stock an alternative is to buy wood from a local store close to your home. A majority of hardware stores as well as some gas stations are able to sell firewood, typically at less than the price you’ll find at the campsite. But, as we’ve already mentioned, that we don’trecommend that people not transporting firewood for a distance which is greater that twenty miles (32km). It can be a disaster on local ecosystems , and is even prohibited by some land managers.

Option 2: Collect Firewood

If you can’t afford to purchase firewood for your camping trip, the alternative is to pick it up the wood at your camp site. Although this offers the advantage of being quite cost-effective (your expenses are less than or less insignificant) however, it’s more time-consuming.

Gathering firewood is an economical and practical method of lighting the fire going, especially in the case of backpacking, and you do not want to transport wood to your camp site. But, be certain to verify the local rules within your area of camping to confirm that you are allowed to take firewood for collection before you begin your hunt.

Furthermore, gathering firewood close to your camp isn’t as easy it may sound like. While you may simply pick up any piece of wood you see, this could have negative environmental effects.

So, the wonderful people from LNT (Leave No Trace (LNT) recommend that we follow four easy guidelines, referred to as the four Ds of collecting firewood. These guidelines say that any wood you pick up should:

  • Dead. Opt for wood that is dead instead of cutting live trees down, only in case of life-threatening emergencies.
  • Dead. Choose firewood that’s in the ground instead of cutting down a dead standing tree.
  • Dinky. Firewood that’s smaller in diameter than that of your wrist will be more likely be completely burned on an open campfire.
  • Distance. Try not to limit your search for firewood only within the vicinity around your camping site. Move farther away from your campsite in search of wood so that campers don’t remove an area of wood and branches, which are essential nutrients for ecosystems that are natural.

If you’re preparing to collect wood for your backcountry camping trip, Leave No Trace also suggests building a mound fire instead of an outdoor fire ring in order to reduce the impact you have on the natural environment. Watch this video to find out how mound fires function prior to your next backpacking adventure:

How To Store Firewood While Camping

When you’re on your camping site with your firewood ready the most important thing to do be properly storing your firewood to ensure that it burns as efficiently and efficiently as it can.

While storing wood in your home might be relatively simple, figuring out the best way ensure that your wood is dry at camp can be difficult. With the weather and the wind at your back it’s essential to have a plan to ensure that your firewood is stored properly.

The best method of storing wood in a camping area is to make use of a tarp, such as one like the B-Air Grizzly Tarp, to create a water-proof shelter. Depending on the amount of wood you’ll need to keep it, we suggest wrapping your firewood in the tarp, or making a shelter from tarps such as the one you will see the video below:

In the event that you do not have a tarp on your camping list of gear then your best option is to keep the firewood underneath an outdoor table or in the tent’s vestibule or even a big tree. It’s important to cover the wood as far as you can to keep it from being soaked by the rain.

How To Make Your Firewood Last Longer

For most of us, packing and buying dozens of bundles of wood for the duration of a week-long camping trip isn’t practical. It’s therefore essential to be aware of how to ensure that your firewood lasts longer during your outdoor adventures.

If you notice that your fires are burning too fast while camping, you might want to consider these things on your next camping trip:

1. Make A Smaller Fire

Making a smaller fire an excellent way to cut down on the amount of wood you use. When you can, build an unintentionally small fire, no larger three feet (90cm) wide, to limit how much wood required to maintain it. A lot of fire pits in campgrounds are larger than that and you might have to be cautious in the setting of your fire.

2. Block The Wind

Wind is the main enemy to any lasting fire. It’s because the added oxygen that winds bring to the fire makes the fire be more intensely the logs will burn faster than you’d prefer. Therefore, you should set up your campfire in a spot that is protected from winds to reduce the speed of combustion that your flame is burning.

3. Reduce Airflow Into The Fire

Following on from our last discussion concerning the consumption of oxygen by wind If you are noticing that your fire is burning excessively quickly, you may have to work to cut down on the amount of air that enters the fire. It is possible to do this using a poker stick to arrange the fire’s logs and bringing them closer in order to decrease your chances of having air going into the burning embers.

4. Opt For Larger Logs

In addition, larger woods tend to burn slower than smaller logs, making them perfect for campfires. But, as LNT guidelines suggest only collecting wood that is larger than your wrist size, we’d suggest that you only make use of larger logs when buying the bundles from a retailer.

How Much Firewood Should I Bring Camping?

In the end, the amount of firewood that you require to enjoy your camping trip is contingent on many aspects, including the duration of your trip, the purpose you intend to make use of the fire for, as well as the weather conditions that you’ll be facing. For the majority of campers, 2 – five bundles of firewood each for a day (10 -25 logs) will suffice However, your needs will differ based on the habits you have at your campfire.

Other Questions Asked

What Is The Best Firewood For Campfire Cooking?

The most suitable wood for cooking on campfires is any hardwood that is dry and well-seasoned that includes hickory oak, birch and the elm. However, any kind of wood can be used to cook your campfire so that you don’t use fresh, green wood as the added moisture content could cause your fire to smoke instead of hot.

How Much Firewood Is In A Bundle?

The majority of firewood bundles include four to five small pieces from dry wood. They are typically 4 – 5 inches (10 to 13cm) in diameter and 12-16 inches (31 to 40cm) long.

How To Gather Firewood Around Your Campsite?

If you’re looking to gather firewood near your campsite it is important to first verify that you are allowed to collect firewood at your campsite as some land managers do not permit this type of activity.

After you’ve determined whether or not you’re permitted to take firewood for collection It is best to search for logs and sticks which are dead fallen, and not larger than the width of the wrist. This will help limit your environmental impact by ensuring you’re only taking small pieces of wood that aren’t tied with live tree.

Is It OK To Leave Firewood Uncovered?

It’s okay to keep firewood exposed while at your camp, but it’s not recommended, especially when rain is predicted. future. Because wet wood is difficult to light and more likely to ignite smoke so keeping your firewood covered during your stay at camp can make for a better camping experience.

What Kind Of Wood Should I Use?

The majority of dry wood can be used for an emergency campfire although hardwoods are known to be more effective than softwoods. However, the most important thing to remember for any fire is to choose materials that are as untreated as you can to ensure a clean and less smoky fire.

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Den Kyle

Den Kyle

I'm the founder of Dens Camp Guide. After many years of hiking and trekking worldwide, I decided to share my experiences by making my guide website! Former science teacher, Ohio State graduate, and now full-time adventurer!

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