How To Keep A Campfire Going All Night

How To Keep A Campfire Going All Night? Here’s The Solution!

A campfire is not just a fire that you light outdoors. Campfire is the fire that fuels the spirit of your campsite. Without camping wood fire your camping journey is incomplete.

Though, what inspires most of us for backpacking is the image of one sipping a hot and delicious cup of coffee by the campfire while enjoying the breathtaking campsite view.

Well, campfires do not only contribute to the aesthetics of the campsite, but it is also the primary heat source for cooking or boiling. It keeps you warm if you are camping in wintertime or in the mountains. Fire is also important for survival when outdoors.

Not only that, it’s important to maintain a balance when building campfires. You can either choose to ignite a really big fire that would last for hours but would burn very hot, or you could build a fire that dies out in the middle of the night. (Check out how much firewood is required for camping for more information on this.)

It is easy to light a fire. There are hundreds of ways to do that. But, what is not easy is to keep a campfire going all night. Three things are needed to ignite a fire and keep it going – fuel, oxygen, and heat.

You can supply fuel when awake but how to keep a campfire going all night, because sleep is important since you cannot be available to fuel the fire all the time.

Don’t worry, it is possible.

How To Keep The Campfire Going All Night

There are tips you can follow to keep your campfire burning hot all night. Best Ways to keep a campfire going all night are listed below:

8 Amazing Tips To Keep A Campfire Going All Night

1. Gather Slow Burning Wood

There are two types of wood based on their burning time: fast and low. Cooking and boiling these types of wood that burn fast are perfect as they produce high heat in a short span.

But, when you need a fire that is slow-burning and lasts longer then you have to choose your wood wisely. Here are some examples of woods that do not burn fast.

Slow Burning Wood For Campfire

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Birch
  • Beech
  • Ash

Twigs, leaves, and newspapers burn up really fast so they are generally used for initiating the fire at campsites. Fast burning woods are used when in need of high and steady heat.

When aiming for a fire that lasts all night long first set up a stage with few fast-burning blocks of wood and then add a layer of coal. Your bed for a long-lasting fire is ready. Now, top it off with thicker slow-burning woods once the fire has been set.

2. Use Rocks

You might be wondering how one can use rocks, mere inflammable, in setting up a fire or keep the fire going all night long. The reason is, rocks are good conductors of heat.

It is true that stones do not burn but they can retain heat for a long time and preserve the energy of the fire.

In some countries where the weather is scorching, people don’t need fire to cook. The sun heats up rocks and air retains the heat, one can cook by directly placing the cookware on top of the heated rocks.

Rocks For Campfire

You can use rocks available in your campsite by placing them right above the layer of coal of your fire bed. Putting stones in the fire will not only help in maintaining the heat but also reduce the burning time of woods placed above the rock layer.

3. Locate A Spot

Locating a spot for the fire is crucial for one’s safety. Gusts can ruin all your effort of keeping a fire going all night. Learn about your campsite beforehand and be informed about factors like wind speed, weather conditions, and wind direction.

Now locate a fire spot accordingly.

Go for an open location that is not close to any bush or tree. Always maintain a fifteen feet distance between the fire and tent. Also, make sure all inflammable and fuels are not present near the campfire.

In most cases, you will find existing fire rings, and try to clean and reuse them. It saves you both time and energy.

4. Choose The Right Log

There is a popular rule that half an inch of wood takes about an hour to burn all the way through. But, with thicker wood the rule changes and it takes an hour to burn one inch of a six-inch thick wood.

Different Wood Log Sizes For Campfire

So in conclusion, thicker wood burns slowly. Choosing the right log with proper thickness and using them for the whole night can be a good way to keep your campfire going.

But, do not use big logs.

Big logs are going to take up longer to catch fire and it can turn into a disaster. It is also important to make sure the logs you are using are dry enough.

Moist logs will give you a hard time setting up a fire and also can cause enormous smoke that can ruin your comfort and the beauty of your campsite.

5. Learn About Fire Design

This tactic may take slightly more time to build, but once set up it guarantees that it would last through the night. Then again, you need to ensure that it is set up in a secured manner or the fuel to your fire may just fall off and the design would become useless.

A self-feeding fire design is a highly simplistic machine that uses gravity to feed firewood into the fires as the current fuel runs out.

Instead of firewood, you can also use any natural resources found in the wilderness. This method is very practical to use at cold camping sites. Setting up this fire is quite practical in nature but it requires some diligence and a smidge of patience.

What you need to do is set up two diagonal ramps consisting of four pillars made from green wood inverted into a ‘V’ shape. You fill the center of the V with a starting material, which should be firewood that is dry and small (around 2 inches) in diameter that would get the fire going.

Then you stack the rest of the fuel over this material which rolls into the underlying fire as the current material burns out.

6. Tipi Design

The self-feeding fire design sometimes can be of too much hassle. Tipi design is an efficient alternative to self-feeding design. It is also known as cone design. This arrangement lays enough room for air circulation.

While burning first the lower portion of the setup gets burned out and then woods from the upper layers drops into the fire. This design is also suitable for enjoying a campfire. But no fire design is better than tipi to burn overnight.

7. Arrange Ventilation

Oxygen is without a doubt, the most crucial ingredient to a fire. It is what breathes life into a fire. You can set up your campfire perfectly but eventually, the residual ashes would end up blocking the air from the fire which would result in your fire burning out.

This means that your fire is not adequately ventilated for it to last through the night. It is essential that you put in the effort behind setting up your fire’s ventilation in order to make it last longer.

A classic way of doing this is by placing rocks around the base of the fire to create space for the air to feed into the fire. You can also dig trenches around the fire in which these stones can be placed to support the ventilation.

It helps if you create an initial skeleton for your fireplace before you move on to adding fuel.

8. Cover in Ash

One of the easiest and underused methods of keeping your fire going is covering the firewood with ash. This trick may sound ironic but it is effective. It helps you create a warm hotbed so that heat does not escape from the base of the fire.

Ash for campfire

It helps if you already have a hot coal bed prepared. The coal in the bed continues to burn under the stack of firewood. As the night gets colder the flame in your fireplace may become weak but it keeps on burning slowly and consistently due to the preserved heat.

Remember, you don’t need to cover the wood in a big pile of ash, just enough to keep the heat from escaping. You also need to keep the fire well ventilated so that it doesn’t die out due to a lack of oxygen.


There are plenty of innovative ways you can keep the campfire going through the night once you understand its integrity. Always keep in mind the principles of keeping the fire going and you would have no trouble in keeping warm through the coldest of nights.

You can also modify these tricks slightly depending on your location and available resources. Remember, that a campfire is crucial to keep warm out in the wilderness and also for the purpose of cooking. You can design the perfect fireplace out of the simplest things you can find.

We hope you learned some interesting points from this article to keep the campfire going all night. Let us know your thoughts about it in the comment section below.

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