How much firewood do I need for camping?

The amount of wood you need to camp depends on how long you plan to stay at the campsite. If you’re planning on staying less than two weeks, then you should have enough wood to last you through the night. However, if you’re going to be gone longer than that, you’ll want to bring extra wood. You don’t necessarily need to bring a lot of wood though; just make sure you bring enough to last you until you leave.

To ensure that you have no problem when cooking meals and staying warm in the middle of the night, you need to keep some bundle of firewood in reach. And you might need to pack them as essential camping gear.

Why do you need firewood for camping?

Why do you need firewood for camping

When you are on your camping trip, you would need to cook your meals and as there will be no electricity, and you can not depend on the electric stove. And in the nighttime, you would need light to see while you are awake. Or if the night gets too chilly, you would need warmth. And for all these purposes you would need firewood for camping.

Based on your camping style, a campfire may be an all-night celebration, a cooking requirement, a survival weapon, or a source of warmth on a chilly night. Camping can be the medium of bringing family and friends closer by cooking meals, sharing stories, eating marshmallows around the fire, singing and dancing with your family and friends, etc. are always the bright side of needing the firewood.

During a camping trip, a campfire is used to heat water and food so that they can be purified. By hydrating yourself with boiled water and refueling yourself with cooked food, you can refuel your body whenever a fire, pot, or skillet is available. You can not deny that you need firewood for survival too, especially if the weather gets too cold at the night. Also, if you are in the middle of the woods fire can keep animals away.

Related: What season is the best time to camp?

Average Campfire Wood Consumption Chart

Convenience store bundle
(1 cubic foot)
Approx. Hours
Per Bundle
Bundles for an
average social campfire
Bundles to cook a
camping meal
Slat Wood (thin flat pieces)0.542-3
Split Wood (rough irregular triangles)131-2
Square Wood1.52-31-2

How much firewood do I need for Camping?

How much firewood do I need for Camping

The amount of firewood you might need for camping depends on how much you are willing to use and how many days you are staying. If you need firewood for an hour or 2 you might not need more than 2-3 bundles including campfire cooking according to experienced campers. And if you are not cooking meals in between that, 1 bundle of firewood would do. You can abide by this ratio as this is given by experienced campers and they give suggestions from their own campfire experience. 

If you want to keep the fire on all night till you sleep, then you will need 2-3 bundles, and if you are cooking in between then you should make it 3-5 bundles. And if you want to sleep with the fire burning outside of your tent, then you might need 4-6 bundles that will keep you backed up for 8 hours. 

Cooking always requires more wood than usual. Most conditions will allow a bundle of wood to burn for about two hours. If the weather is windy, rainy, cold, or if you are cooking, you will need more wood. So, you should come camping with the firewood you might need.

Campfire duration (hours)Required Firewood for Warmth (bundles)Required Firewood for Cooking (bundles)
111
21-22-3
42-43-5
64-65-7
86-87-9

*1 bundle= 4-5 logs

Related: Are Ozark Trail Tents Better Than Coleman Tents?

How much firewood is in a bundle?

How much firewood is in a bundle?

If you plan to buy your firewood, then, you will find that a typical firewood bundle has 8 to 12 pieces of wood and the diameter of each piece of wood is 3 to 4 inches. For simple transporting, these sticks of wood are enclosed in a net bag or plastic case. A bundle’s volume ranges between 0.65 and 0.75 cubic feet. Depending on where you live, pre-packaged bundles might cost anywhere from $4 to $10.

A bundle might weigh anywhere from 40 to 50 pounds, depending on the type of wood and degree of dryness. Furthermore, each bundle of firewood is nearly the same size as a 50-pound potato sack. So, before you pack firewood, you should keep your weight-carrying capacity in mind.

Sometimes, you might find thinner pieces of wood (kindlings) in the firewood bundle. Do not throw them away! They are very helpful for starting a fire. The diameter of the kindling bits ranges from 1 to 2 inches. however, you should be careful about not collecting the kindling of eucalyptus, poplar, and elm because they produce lots of smoke when burned.

Total Campfire
Duration Per Night
Amount of Firewood
Required (Warmth)
Amount of Firewood
Required (Cooking)
1 hour1 bundle (4-5 logs)1 bundle (4-5 logs)
2 hours1 to 2 bundles (4-10 logs)2 to 3 bundles (10-15 logs)
4 hours2 to 4 bundles (10-20 logs)3 to 5 bundles (15-25 logs)
6 hours4 to 6 bundles (20-30 logs)5 to 7 bundles (25-35 logs)
8 hours6 to 8 bundles (30-40 logs)7 to 9 bundles (35-45 logs)

Things to consider before packing firewood for camping

firewood for camping
firewood for camping

Before you pack up bundles of firewood with you for your trip, there are some factors that you should keep in mind which will determine the quantity of firewood you should bring with you. If you bring more than you need, those will become useless and if you bring less, then you might not be able to do your camping chores properly.

Weather Condition

Checking the weather before going on a camping trip is always necessary. It also determines the amount of firewood you will need. If the weather is windy and rainy then, you can not create a fire. Then the woods might not come in much handy. However, in windy weather, you will need a lot of woods if you want to arrange a campfire. 

On the other hand, in the winter, the importance of firewood is irreplaceable otherwise, you might freeze at night hours when the temperature falls. So, building a fire for warmth during the colder months will help to keep you toasty. In the warm weather of 50 degrees, you might not need to keep the fire on the whole nighttime. In that case, you do not need to carry tons but at a medium level to fulfill your cooking and campfire needs. 

Camping destination

If you prefer to go camping beside the woods, you can collect firewoods from the forest by yourselves. It can be a fun camping activity too. All you need to keep in mind is the type and sizes of wood sticks you would need.

You can determine that by checking the moisture level of the wood or by simply breaking it. If you hear a crack noise, then you have the right one. But if you hear a thud sound after breaking it, then that wood has too much moisture content and it is not suitable for your purpose at all.

Camping ground rules and regulations

Camping ground

There is always a specific set of rules on different camping grounds. You might think that you will collect the wood after you have reached the campsite, but there might be restrictions on that. In that case, you have to go prepared. Additionally, some campsites give you the wood for a campfire so you do not need to take the hassle of carrying extra firewood all the way.

Whereas most established campsites allow burning in campfires, keep in mind that fire bans might occur, especially during the summer due to wildfire especially if it is near the forest. So, it is better to know the rules and regulations about the camping ground location before you go there.

Length of your camp trip

The duration of your trip also matters in terms of how much firewood you should take. As you will need between 2 and 5 bundles of wood per day, you can take up to that ratio as you increase the days of your stay.

Campfire purposes

There are some campers who do not like the idea of campfires to avoid risks as they might take their children and pets with them. They usually bring torches and other battery-powered light sources with them for lighting up at night. They only need fire to cook and boil water. So, they do not need not to take much firewood with them.

On the other hand, as an average camper, you might be a big fan of campfires and you want to enjoy the bonfire with roasted marshmallows with stories, and laughter with your friends and family. Then you might need to keep up the fire for 4-5 hours straight from the afternoon time. In that case, more firewoods are required than usual.

Related: What Clothes to Sleep in When Camping?

Which type of wood is suitable for firewood for camping?

Which type of wood is suitable for firewood for camping?

The best type of wood for burning fire is wood with less moisture which means dry woods. So, make sure that the wood does not have more than 20% moisture in it when you are choosing them for campfires. You can find the perfect wood for campfires in the campground stores. If you buy a bundle of firewood from them, the wood will usually have a moisture level of less than 20%, which is ideal for burning.

But not every campground has the stores. In that case, you might need to collect the woods by yourself. If you want to pick wood for your fire locally, you should bring a moisture meter with you. The gadget will quickly calculate the moisture percentage of any wood you collect, allowing you to reduce the quantity of dry firewood you consume.

You might be amazed to learn that various types of wood burn in different ways. It is better if you choose hardwood for fires instead of softwood because hardwood can burn for longer times whereas softwood has more moisture. Ashwood is regarded as some of the best firewood available. It burns quickly, holds little moisture, and produces little smoke. It is perfect for use in a campfire because of these qualities.

firewood for Camping

You should build a beautiful flame out of cedarwood for a warm campfire. The heat produced by cedar makes it an ideal choice for firewood on a cold night. Also, it produces a sweet aroma that can cheer up your mood. Oak is another firewood that is suitable for camping fires as this is very dry. Also, it is very easy to find. It delivers a significant amount of heat while burning slowly and steadily.

Remember to avoid any kind of wet wood and woods that produce a lot of smoke because that will make the situation smoky and you might feel teary. you will not be able to see well and thus, any unwanted situation can occur. Eucalyptus, elm, and poplar tree woods can make a lot of smoke, so it is best to avoid them.

Final Words

So, as you can see that firewoods are essential camping gear for camping trips. However, you should know the right way of lighting up a fire in the camp otherwise, any accidents can occur. The concept is that you make a fire with little, easy-to-light things like dried, leaves, and other natural materials. When these materials catch fire, then you add firewoods and kindling. Also, remember to keep at least 2 feet away from the campfire for safety. 

Nathan
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