How Much Firewood Do I Need For Camping

How much firewood do I need for camping? It is the most apparent query novice campers have with them when it comes to firewood.

In general, firewood is any seasoned or unseasoned unprocessed natural log or branch of wood used for campfires. And, this is the most memorable part of camping, i.e., rising smoke from the campfire.

Surrounding a campfire, you can heat your coffee pot, toast sweet marshmallows, roast chicken, or enjoy the warmth during biting cold.

However, for all this to happen, your basic necessity is firewood. But how much? As firewood is essential for cooking and other activities while camping, any shortage in its quantity may hamper your experience.

Hence, continue reading to know how much firewood you need for camping based on different situations and every other thing you’d know in this regard.

How much firewood do I need for camping?

For camping purposes, you will find firewood sold in bundles. Each bundle of firewood comes with around 4-5 logs with almost decent length and width.

Considering each log and bundle size’s standard dimensions, you will need four to five logs of firewood per hour.

If cooking is your other priority, the firewood you will require rises to 6-10 logs per hour. Remember that each wood log’s standard size is around 4-5″ in diameter and 1-1.5ft in length.

If camping involves lots of other stuff apart from firewood and stretched over a reasonable period, you can opt for a face cord.

A face cord is a type of woodcut, split, and stacked to save space. The face cord stack’s average height is 4-5ft, and each cord is around 8ft long.

Buying a face cord is an economical option than firewood. 

How Much Firewood Do you Need For A Night/Day Camping?

If it’s a day camping or you’re just camping at night, short campings don’t require tolling a generous amount of firewood.

Depending upon the size of the campfire ring and how long you’ll keep it burning, ideally, a bunch or two of good-quality firewood is enough for a day/night camping.

However, experienced campers suggest loading more than the required amount of firewood to avoid any last-minute shortage. 

It also aids in moments when you decide to extend your stay on the umpteenth hour.

In case if some firewood goes unused, either bring it along for the next trip, donate it to the neighbors, or leave it on the campsite for the next visitors to use on your behalf. Sharing is caring, you know. 

How Much Firewood Do you Need during the Cold Weather?

In the next to next subsection of the article, where I’ll discuss the factors that impact the firewood amount, you’ll read about weather.

Yes, the weather is the main decisive factor that affects the amount of firewood you’ll need on your camping trip.

Hence, in cold weather, you’ll keep the fire running for most parts of the day, and it will consume around 3-5 bundles of your firewood with ease.

In extreme cases, 7-8 bundles get used up in the entire day. But the final temperatures of the place will determine the final amount of firewood you will need. 

Plus, the quality of the firewood you’re using will also govern the amount of firewood here.

How Much Firewood Do you Need during the Warm Weather?

As said above, you will require around 3-5 bundles of firewood per day during cold weather; let’s discuss the same for warm weather.

During warm conditions, you won’t sit around the campfire for warmth but only cooking and some leisure time with the accompaniments during the evening or late at night.

Hence, a bundle of firewood should suffice in such cases. Also, summers mean extended daytime, so depending upon how delayed you generally stay up, around 2-3 hours of campfire would suffice. 

Also, in summers, as more wild animals roam around at night, leaving a running campfire may seem a better option.

So, keep additional 3-5 bundles of firewood on a safer side. Other factors that will govern how much firewood you’ll need in warm weather include the time for cooking, type of wood, etc.

Factors that can impact the need for firewood amount

There is an ample number of factors over which the amount of firewood required for camping depends. 

1. Length of your trip

Longer trips ask for more firewood than shorter trips. It’s also important to note that more firewood will mean you’ll have to think about purchasing firewood from things like bringing it from far away or collecting it after reaching the destination.

As a thumb rule, never bring firewood from a distant location and prefer stocking it up from the place nearby your camping site. In some places, it’s even illegal due to various reasons.

2. How often do you set up a campfire, and for how long?

Depending upon how often you would set up a campfire during the day and for how long, it is also worth giving a thought.

Are you someone who prefers campfire crackling all day long? Or just during the night hours for cooking and keeping the wild animals at bay?

Or during the morning hours? Discuss all these. Without a doubt, more and longer campfires will eat up more firewood and vice-versa.

Also, the firewood you’ll choose will have a special burning rate and burning period. On average, a bundle can run for around 1.5-2 hours.

3. Climate

You won’t set up a campfire that often warmer conditions than you’ll feel like having in the biting cold. Right?

In some areas, campfires are not allowed stating the fear of wildfires. Hence, the place you’re camping will hugely determine the amount of firewood you’ll need.

4. Type of firewood

All woods don’t burn at the same pace and for the same duration. You must have heard about softwoods and hardwoods.

But do you know that softwoods like pine, cedar, and spruce don’t burn for longer in comparison to hardwoods like oak, maple, etc.?

Hence, the more the use of softwood, the more firewood you’ll need and vice-versa. As a starter pack, use softwood for igniting the campfire and use hardwood to keep it running. 

5. The moisture content in the wood

Fresh firewood has more moisture content, takes time for ignition, smokes a lot, and is not usable. For camping, dry firewood with at most 20% moisture content is good enough for easy ignition and less smoke.

Please note that both too much and too low moisture content is not suitable for firewoods. If the moisture content is less than 20%, it will burn quickly, and more firewood will get consumed.

6. Firewood To Avoid at any cost.

There are different types of firewood you’ll find in the market. While some are the best for campfires, avoid these firewoods. 

  • Freshly cut tree needs 6-9 months to dry up and become suitable for burning. If burned before this, it will burn with harmful smoke and burn quickly. It’s called greenwood.
  • Don’t burn big wood 5-6″ in diameter. Either cut it or split it into two parts for easy handling and burning.
  • It would help if you also avoided softwoods for camping as they will burn up quickly, leaving coals and smoke.
  • Salt-saturated driftwood is a bad idea either for camping as it is prone to releasing harmful chemicals into the air.
  • Oleander is a commonly sighted wood that thrives in frost-free climates and not at all suitable for campfires.
  • Also, avoid the endangered species of trees for campfires as it releases lots of smoke and chemicals.

Conclusion

Camping is the best activity you can enjoy with family and friends. Campfires are a must-thing, be it late night or early morning.

For a hassle-free campfire, firewood selection is of utmost importance, and this article will have solved all your doubts regarding it.