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Bonfire vs Campfire: A Detailed Comparison That You Can’t Miss in 2021

Let’s try to revisit the “Bonfire vs Campfire” debate once again, and try to decode the differences.

bonfire vs campfire
Bonfire vs Campfire: A Detailed Overview

A campfire is a small fire that is made to get rid of small insects or to make food or reheat them. Mostly made near a campsite, whereas a bonfire is started in a bigger size but is a controllable one. 

Bonfires are mostly built to get rid of an old scrap of furniture or heap of old wooden appliances that are not needed in a home anymore. 

In this article we are addressing the “Bonfire vs Campfire” debate. First we will try to understand both, and then talk about their advantages, disadvantages and more. 

At the end we will also provide some safety tips so that you can handle them well while enjoying with your friends or family members.

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    What is a Bonfire?

    Mainly started for a ritual, Bonfire is a massive pit of fire made with long and thick logs stacked against one another to form a giant fire, obviously in a controlled way. The reason for starting a bonfire is mainly tradition or rituals. 

    As we all know in ancient days, humans used to worship the main disastrous aspects of nature like rain, water, earth and fire, assuming that worshiping them will prevent them from harming mankind. 

    All the rituals surrounding the fire are mostly originated by that. As a matter of fact, fire is believed to be a purifier. We can see many rituals, especially in the Asian countries like India. 


    There are many festivals across the world which people build a bonfire and celebrate and enjoy the festivities. It provides a nice and warm feeling, and thus it is quite popular. 

    Advantages of Bonfire

    Disadvantages of Bonfire

    What is a Campfire?

    Campfire is a smaller mass of fire that is built mainly for campsites to prevent insect infestation, to provide light for visibility, to cook small meals or to keep oneself warm.

    Unlike bonfires, campfires are mostly built for necessity and sometimes, pleasure. One can sit comfortably near a campfire which is pleasurable and sufficient to be nicely heated. 

    Campfires can be arranged in a small or medium pit. Unlike bonfires, campfires do not need a large ground or fairly a permission to build; it can be built anywhere. 


    Bonfire vs Campfire can be differentiated in many ways, categorized by the way the logs and tinders are arranged. Which are as follows,

    • In a Teepee fire, logs are arranged as circles inside which, tinders are stacked as a heap. This way of igniting a fire wears out fast and needs longer wood sticks.
    • In a Log Cabin Fire, thick logs are piles in the shape of a square log cabin, forming a free space in the middle, where the fire can be ignited. It is ideal for cooking as it can hold cooking utensils and lasts for a long time.
    • In a Lean to fire, tinders are arranged upon a thick log in an angle. But it ignites fast and ends faster.
    • Hybrid of a teepee and log cabin fire is a long-lasting fire pit with the juxtaposition of a log cabin fire with a teepee inside it.
    • In a Keyhole fire, a pit is formed in the shape of a keyhole. In the round circular area logs and sticks are ignited to form coals, and after the coals are formed, they are shifted in the rectangular area to cook food, reheat food etc.
    • Dakota Hole fire is a hole, one foot deep inside the ground, with a smoke vent created a little far away. This fire is invisible and creates excessive temperature, which is perfect for cooking.
    • In a Star fire, which is also known as the Indian fire, logs and sticks of wood are arranged in the shape of a star. Fire is ignited in the middle of the star, and as it burns, the logs are pushed inside the fire more and more.

    Advantages of Campfire

    Disadvantages of Campfire

    Bonfire vs Campfire: Safety Measures & More

    • In both cases, weather conditions should be checked before building a fire.
    • Over dry weather with low humidity is not suitable for building a fire, dry weather helps to catch fire easily, making it harder to control.
    • Fire should never be unattended.
    • Specifically, a bonfire is a massive pit of fire which should be covered when not in use.
    • Building a campfire or a bonfire near a tree is dangerous as it can catch fire.
    • Clothes that are tightly wrapped around the body and controllable should be worn near the fire. Fabrics that easily catch fire should be avoided.

    Parting Words

    In the end, it can be said that both ways of fire have their own advantages, but without proper safety measures, even an innocent tint of fire can become a massive aggressive all-devouring giant. We have now you have better clarity over this “bonfire vs campfire” debate. Let us know your take on it in the comments below.

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