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How Much Firewood Do I Need for Camping? Easy Guide for 2021

Firewood is indeed an integral part of camping. But back in the days I used to wonder how much firewood do I need for camping. But the answer is not generic to be honest.

Usually, it depends on the requirements of your camp. If you are thinking of camping for a few hours, the firewood amount will be less than the firewood you need for one day of camping. 

For instance, After an exciting yet long trek, you come back to the fire spot and want to enjoy the food and spend some time under the starry nights. But, unfortunately, the firewood is insufficient to cook the food or enjoy the night, sounds disappointing, right!

How Much Firewood Do I Need For Camping
Get to Know About it

That is why it’s essential to know how much firewood you will need for particular camping or trekking. And if you are confused by the same question in your head, let us help you.

You will generally need 2-6 bundles of firewood per day of camping which includes making the food and keeping yourself warm during the winter season. On the contrary, if your camping plans extend more than one day, the requirement will be more.

So, don’t get the need for firewood to stop you from enjoying the experience of a fantastic campfire. This article will talk about the things you need to know about firewood before setting up for a camping day.

How Much Firewood Do I Need For Camping?

As I have already answered the question about how much firewood one needs. Details are still to figure out how much one needs to pack or collect for one day. It includes the amount of wood for cooking or warmth, and sometimes it also requires protection in a camping site.

Honestly, there is no perfect answer for how much firewood you’ll need. Still, we can provide you with a rough description to help you decide on unpredictable situations.

Here is a quick table explaining how much firewood typically a person needs for a particular time.

Duration for CampfireRequirement of firewood (For warming)Requirement of firewood (for protection during the night)Requirement of firewood (for cooking purposes)
1 hour1- 1 ½ bundles2-2 ½ bundles1 bundle
2 hours2 bundles ( 10 logs )4 bundles2-2 ½ bundles
4-6 hours8-12 bundles4-6 bundles (20-30 logs)4-7 bundles
7-10 hours7-10 bundles12-14 bundles8-11 bundles

The need can differ from person to person and sometimes on time and other factors. But, you need to make sure to think wisely before packing those bundles to your truck or plan your day out.

Hopefully, now you will stop searching “how much firewood do I need for camping”, as now you know the exact answer.

What Are Factors that Determine Firewood Amount?

 As I have mentioned above, many factors determine the amount of firewood you require to set up a camping day. The element does not end on the duration of the cooking or the warmth you need.

Here are some essential factors that can help you more to calculate the amount of wood you need.

Trip Duration

Even though the chart provides you with an idea before planning the trip, you need to understand that the firewood you need depends on the hours and the days you prepare for the journey.

The more time you want to spend on the camping site or hiking, the more likely you will need the woods to cook and sustain the number of nights you stay there.

That is why we advise you to estimate the amount of wood you need by multiplying the figures on the chart.

For example, if you want to spend two consecutive days trekking, you will need more than twenty bundles of firewood for cooking, protection, and a night’s stay.

firewood
Firewood for Campfire

Campfire Length

Let’s go back to your last campfire experience. The reason is that depending on how long you use the fire also determines the amount of wood you will need. It is essential to know your habit of campfire length you or your companion has during the trips. The size of the campfire can help you to calculate the quantity.

For example, if one of your friends loves to enjoy the fire for long hours in a single stay, you will need extra wood compared to the ones who like the warmth of the fire sometimes.

Therefore, before seeking help from the chart, estimate the average amount of hours you need to keep the fire. Then tally it with the chart to decide the total quantity of consumption.

Weather Condition

If you are a regular, you must know this is the most crucial factor. Humid or windy weather conditions tend to cause unpleasant experiences.

The more moisture the air contains, the harder it becomes to put up the fire. That is why you need to watch the weather before making plans and thinking about the amount of wood required.

Another solution is to keep an extra bundle of wood safe as we know the rain or the wind reduces the burning efficiency of the fire. Later it can affect the usage of fuel during camping and hence can affect the time and effort.

Moisture Content of Wood

Another major factor affecting the amount of firewood one should carry, is the moisture present inside a wood.

We know that the condition of the atmosphere also affects the camping experience, especially if it is wetter. Just like that, even if the weather is bright and hot outside with less humidity, it will be challenging to build a fire if the wood contains moisture.

Damp firewood can wreck the entire camping experience. It affects the burning power of the fire. The drier the firewood is, the more powerful the fire will be and as a result, you can build the camping area and the campfire much more rapidly.

moisture on wood
Moisture content of wood

To avoid dumping the woods or collecting them,  you need to keep some things in mind.

  • For instance, avoid cutting down trees or fresh or young woods for your campfire. These types of wood do not burn efficiently, and it ends up releasing a lot of smoke. It is not a good idea for a camping trip.
  • You can collect the woods, which are dried and seasoned ones. The woods which have twenty percent or less moisture are ideal for fire.
  •  You can even get a device that can determine the moisture percentage contained in a certain wood.
  • You can also purchase wood from stores where you can trust the quality of the product. Later it will help you to understand how much wood you need precisely.

Local Authority Guidelines

This factor is not that crucial to consider but still affects indirectly. Depending on the rules and regulations, the quantity is also determined based on that factor. Some campsites may allow campfires, while others may ban that specific activity.

It would be best if you remembered that in some places, fire is prohibited, which one can expect during the summer season.

Therefore, before packing and making plans, always talk with the in-charge of the camping area or the managers. It can ensure you can take the woods for camping.

Camping Season

Another point to keep in mind is planning to camp during the winter or summer season. It impacts the consumption of wood.

In the winter season, we need more wood to keep us warm during both day and night. The quantity will be more compared to how much we need during summer season camping. Though very few people plan for campfires during the cold season, you will need a lot of wood camping.

If you plan to camp during the snow season, the wood will likely burn less efficiently during winter. So if you are thinking of camping during a cold month, consider carrying wood 25-30 percent more than what you bring during summertime.

What Affects Firewood Burn Rate?

Now that you know how much you need to carry for your camping plan.
Let us come to the second most important thing to figure out is which are the things that affect the burning rate of the firewood.

 Things like the type and size of the wood, and the weather conditions affect the burning rate.

Types of Firewood

If we talk about campfire woods, there are three types of wood. Let’s read more to know about it:

Hardwood:

Scientifically, hardwood is known as a tree that grows from a dicot sap. Trees like oak, ash, beech, and hickory are known as hardwood. Any woody flowering tree is considered a hardwood tree with a layer of cells that grows between the inner wood and bark.

The reason why hardwood is better for fire purposes is that it burns slowly yet efficiently. Contrarily, building a fire at first is a bit tough compared to the softwoods.

 Softwood

Since hardwoods are dicot trees, you will find that softwoods are known as gymnosperm trees. Trees like pines, spruce, and firs are known as softwood trees. This means these trees produce cones as a way for reproduction.

They are easier to initiate the fire compared to hardwood, but burn much faster. It is perfect to use softwoods in humid or wet conditions like rainy or damp days. So Keep in mind, if you want your particular bundle to last long, then softwood is not ideal for you.

 Greenwood

It is usually known as the young branch among the trees. Since it gets chopped earlier, the moisture has not yet evaporated from the tree naturally. It takes longer to ignite the fire, and the smoke is more than other types of wood.

Size

The size of the wood also affects the rate of fire. Generally, split firewood burns faster than a whole log. Split firewood means cutting the wood by half. The fire is easier to start, while an entire log more giant in size can take some time to initiate the fire.

Wind Conditions

The temperature has a direct influence on the burning rate of the firewood. The more moisture the air contains, the more difficult it would be to initiate the fire. Even in some cases, the speed of burning wood can be faster due to strong wind.

How to Find Firewood for Camping?

After all the information we provided, one thing that remains unclear is how to collect firewood for your camping.

You can purchase the wood or find them at the campsite. Let us know the details:

Purchasing from Online/Offline Market

This option is one of the easiest ways to gather firewood. You can easily get pre-cut and good-quality wood quickly without any hassle.

 Preparing wood for the fire is quite a long process. You need to search for good quality, then cut it, and then dry it. But you can brush away all the tough jobs aside and can easily buy it from the store.

How to Find Firewood for Camping
How to Find Firewood for Camping?

But on the other hand, purchasing wood can be pretty pricey. For instance, you may notice that 5- 6 dollars of wood can cost ten or more dollars when you go to the stores to buy the wood. It can create a problem if you are planning for a long trip, but it also depends on the rules and regulations on the campsite.

So, what are the options if you want to buy the woods-

From the campsite stores (offline)

Most of the campsites have their store where they sell their souvenirs or some essentials for the camping. Here the price can be pretty high compared to other places.

Even though the price is high, the advantage is that you don’t have to do the extra work as it is ready to use. Sometimes carrying wood from your place can be pretty hectic, so buying from the campsite is better.

From your neighborhood (offline)

Another way is to purchase from your nearest store, where they sell wood bundles.

Most of the stores do sell firewood, and it is comparatively cheaper than campgrounds. But we recommend you not transport those woods if the distance between your home and the campsite is more than 32 kilometers.

 It is because it can affect the local ecosystems, and it is not allowed on some grounds.

From online stores

Finding firewood online is very easy. All you need is to find the site. You can quickly look at the woods and their conditions on the site and then order before the trip. The price is low, but it takes a long time to deliver and again can cause damage to the local ecosystem.

Collecting From the Camping Site

Now, sometimes purchasing firewood cannot be possible due to many reasons. It can be the budget or the distance. The ultimate option can be collecting the woods from the campsite. Even though the whole process can be cheaper, the entire method can be time-consuming.

It is reasonable and convenient to initiate fire if your packing does not include woods to carry on your own. Just make sure to consult with the in-charge before collecting the woods.

There is a guideline which one needs to follow if you are gathering wood in the forest. The four simple tips which every campsite encourages is the LNT(Leave no trace) method. And that is:

  • Dead- Always prefer the dead ones rather than chopping the trees(except in life-threatening situations)
  • Dinky- Look for the woods, which are the size of your wrist in measurement. These types of pieces will burn entirely, and therefore it will cause no effect on the environment.
  • Ground sticks- look for the wood sticks on the ground rather than cutting down the standing ones.
  • Space- Try to collect the woods away from your camping space. It helps to provide sufficient nutrition and will have a better environment for trees to grow and, as a result, a better place for the ecosystem.

How to Store Firewood Properly While Camping?

The only thing that comes to mind after collecting the woods for your camping experience is storing them.

As we mentioned before, the most significant concern should be that moisture can damage the woods, and later, you won’t be able to start the fire. Proper storing can make the fire burn more effortlessly.

  • You can store the woods in an air trap, preventing the air from entering into the woods and causing a high moisture percentage.
  • Ensure you check the moisture percentage before storing them in the garage or taking them to the camping site.
  • You can also spray some pesticides. It prevents the insects from damaging the wood, which will be in use later.
  • Keep the woods in rows and keep space between the stacks to allow air to flow correctly to maintain the moisture level.
  • Keep it away from elements that can cause a fire. As you know, wood is sensitive to any potential fire hazard; therefore, keeping it away can avoid unfortunate circumstances.

How To Make Your Firewood Last Longer?

If you don’t know how to keep the firewood burning for a long time, then go through some of the solutions listed below:

Make Your Firewood Last Longer
How To Make Your Firewood Last Longer?

Don’t Start a Big Fire

You should try to make a minor fire. It is a fantastic method to save money on firewood.

Make a fire no more than 90cm broad whenever feasible to minimize the amount of wood you need to keep it going to a minimum. Because many campsite fire pits are more prominent than this, you may need to be more cautious when building your fire.

Pick the Right Spot

Always make sure to pick a dry spot. The ground where the soil is less wet, setting up a fire is more accessible and lasts longer. You can save your time as starting the fire will be quick, and due to low moisture content, you can put off the fire faster.

Control the Airflow

If you notice that the fire is burning out too quickly, you need to control the airflow. You can reduce the quantity of the air pushing the fire. You can do it by rearranging the burning logs with the help of a poker stick.

Try to make a conical shape so that the air does not try to enter and cut off the oxygen, and in some cases, provide more oxygen to speed up the burning rate. 

Pick Larger Logs

As explained before, burning the big and long wood can slow up the burning rate. It can be ideal if you buy it from stores.

Take Care of the Wind

By now, you understand that wind is one of the main factors which can speed up the process or slow it. Blocking the wind can affect the burning rate. Therefore setting up the camping space where you have a natural shelter so that the tree can block the wind and the fire can last long.

Add Other Ingredients

Adding some substances like foil or rocks and ashes under the fire can prevent moisture from entering inside the fire. The stones absorb the water quickly, and as a result, the fire can last longer.

Which Tree Makes the Best Firewood?

Which Tree Makes the Best Firewood?
  • Oak : Oak is known as one of the trees which makes the best firewood for camping purposes. They produce heat energy of 200 gallons of fuel. The white and the red oaks are the best for their power and their thickness.
  • Ash : It is the fastest drying wood you can find. This hardwood is also the tallest deciduous tree.
  • Pine : Pine is a good option for using it as the main element for building up the fire. It is because it consists of a lot of resin.
  • Larch : The best part of Larch is that it’s waterproof and has durable qualities in it. That is why Larch can be ideal for rainy or more humid days so that the fire stays up longer.
  • Cedar : Cedar usually burns at a slow pace but also produces a good amount of heat energy. Cedar tends to pop while burning due to the presence of the sap.
  •  Hickory : Hickory is quite similar to oak. They are dense in nature, and we also know them for the best quality as firewood.
  • Poplar : Poplar is ideal for the winter days because it has a tendency to burn up fast but give a lot of heat. It means you can raise the temperature of your surroundings during cold nights of camping.

Different trees serve different purposes for firewood, but Oak trees are the best ones to serve as firewood for the long-lasting camping experience.

How much firewood do One need for Cold Weather?

Honestly, the amount of wood required during the winter season is more than the summer season. It is because we need to initiate fire for both day and night camping. Due to the cold weather, keeping ourselves warm becomes our priority.

That is why we recommend carrying wood 15 to 20 percent more than what one takes during the summer season.

How much firewood do One need for Warm Weather?

The requirement for wood is relatively more minor compared to how much we need for the winter season. Summertime tends to have hotter days and fewer cold nights. Preparing for food and protection are the main reasons for the fire.

That is why, as mentioned in the above chart, you estimate the amount of wood required. Usually, for a 12-hour trip, you can carry 8 to 10 bundles of wood.

Campfire Safety Precautions

One should keep in mind some safety precautions before planning and enjoying a wonderful camping trip with your loved ones or your camping buddies.

  • Always go through the rules and regulations of the particular campsite. It is essential to know the do’s and the don’ts of one specific area before you enter.
  • Always use the pit. Most of the campgrounds provide you with a fire pit. It helps you to control the fire and can last longer. Sometimes hanging branches may catch fire which can ultimately cause a life-threatening situation.
  • Try to build a safe campfire space. You should build a fire at a safe distance from the tent. It will ensure the potential fire hazards away from the pit.
  • Always keep the source of water handy. In case anything happens, you can always use the water to protect the surroundings.

FAQs

Get your all questioned answered here:

How Much Firewood Is In a Bundle?

Generally, there are 5- 6 logs present in a bundle. It differs from place to place, but usually, they stick to 5 logs per bundle.

How dry should firewood be?

Seasoned firewood has a moisture content of 18 to 20 percent but not more than that. Therefore anything higher than that can take time to build a fire.

Should I cover my firewood?

Usually, one should not cover the firewood during camping. It can cause an increase in moisture content in the woods. But if you want to protect the woods from the humid atmosphere, an air trap can prevent moisture from entering.

How much does firewood cost for camping?

If you want to buy from a campground, firewood can be pretty expensive. On the other hand, if you try to buy from your nearest stores or online, the cost can be cheaper.

How long will 20kg of firewood last?

A bag of 20 kg firewood can last more than 3-4 days, depending on the purpose. If the goal is only for keeping warmth, then it can last more than that. But if you cook and observe your surroundings warm, it will last roughly 2-3 days.

What firewood dries the fastest?

Ash is one of the fastest drying firewood. Ash is known as hardwood and can dry faster than oak or poplar.

Final Thoughts

All this information can help you to encounter a life-changing experience of camping. I hope this article helps you in every way possible.

From finding the suitable firewood to how much firewood you should carry, here is everything you need to know. What are you waiting for?

Grab your backpacks, collect your preferred firewood and enjoy the fantastic camping experience.

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