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How to Keep a Campfire Going All Night [or a Fire Pit!]

There is nothing quite like being able to gather around a warm fire on a chilly night. And that is excellent news since the cold weather is coming! Whether camping or trying to enjoy your backyard, a fire pit or campfire can be the perfect solution for keeping everyone warm and entertained. 

Here are some tips for how to keep a campfire going all night long!

How Do You Make a Campfire That Lasts All Night?

If you want to know how to keep a fire pit going all night, the best advice is to use seasoned firewood and select a soft surface upon which to build your fire. Put ash on your fire to help it last longer. And consider using a self-feeding system that keeps your campfire going long after you’ve gone to bed. 

Another way to keep your fire going is to build it up with large logs before retiring for the evening. Using large logs will help slow down the rate at which the fire burns, and it will also provide you with embers that can get used when restarting the fire in the morning. 

Another option is to build a mini log cabin around your fire, using smaller logs to create walls that will help to reflect heat onto the flames. 

Finally, ensure that you keep your wood supply dry and well-stocked. Wet wood is much harder to ignite and will only contribute to the problem.

smoldered coals and logs burning in campfire
Your best bet at having the campfire still going in the morning is to have plenty of seasoned firewood on hand. Oak, birch, apple, maple, ash, and hickory are our favorite logs for burning. You also need to have an overnight watch! Remember that you should never leave your campfire unattended. So take turns managing the fire at night. That way – you can add firewood logs to your fire whenever the fuel is in danger of running out completely. And – you reduce the risk of a runaway fire, injury, or going cold overnight.

How Long Will a Campfire Burn?

The duration of a campfire depends on a few factors. The most critical variables include the wood type getting burned, the size of the fire, and available oxygen levels. Hardwoods like oak and maple burn longer than softwoods like pine. The larger the fire, the more fuel it has and the longer it will burn. 

And finally, fires need oxygen to sustain themselves, so a fire smothered by dirt or ash will eventually go out. Given all these variables, there is no definitive answer to how long a campfire will burn. 

However, with care and attention, most campfires will continue burning for several hours.

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Here's our favorite way to keep a campfire going all night! It's a vertical tepee firepit grate. It doesn't automatically feed your campfire. But - it helps you stack wood near the fire at all times. As the stacked logs burn on your grate - push them into the fire. Then replace the firewood logs on the grate with some fresh oak cordwood! The tepee shape also promotes plenty of airflow and heat.

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09/27/2022 02:59 pm GMT

How Do You Keep a Campfire Burning?

A campfire is a great way to stay warm and relax outdoors. But it can be tricky to keep it going all night. The key is burning the fire correctly from the start. 

First, gather a good supply of dry wood in various sizes. It’s essential to have both large logs and smaller kindling, as the larger logs will take longer to catch fire, and the smaller log fire pieces will help to keep the flames going. Dry firewood kindling also works the best at starting fires. Bar none! 

Once you have your dry firewood, clear a space in the dirt for your fire pit. Then, use the smaller pieces of kindling to create a tepee shape in the center of the fire pit. 

Next, light the tepee with a match or lighter, and then add some of the larger logs once the flames are going strong. Adding more wood every few hours is the best way we’ve found to keep your fire burning through the night.

camping in the wilderness with a glowing campfire
Keeping a campfire going all night is easy if you have plenty of seasoned firewood! But – don’t forget vital campfire safety tips too! One of the most crucial fire side tips is to ensure you have plenty of water. A big bucket of water can quickly douse flames if things get out of hand – especially when there are fire and drought warnings over much of the country these days.

How Do You Make Firewood Burn Slower?

If you’ve ever spent an evening around a bonfire, you know that firewood can burn quickly. Whether you’re trying to prolong the fun or conserve fuel, there are a few things you can do to make your firewood burn slower. 

First, use larger pieces of wood. They’ll take longer to ignite and produce long-lasting flames. You can also use hardwoods, like oak or maple, which tend to burn slower than softwoods. 

Another option is to soak your wood in water for several hours before adding it to the fire. Pre-soaking will help to slow the burning process and produce more smoke, which can be ideal for smoking meat or fish.

Read More – Best Wood for Campfires! Hickory vs. Oak vs. Cedar! And More!

How Do You Bank a Coal Fire for the Night?

Banking a coal fire for the night is easy! First, gather some stones, rocks, or extra dirt to build a wall around your fire. Build your wall of rocks, small stones, or dirt around the fire’s edge. Then, use a fireplace poker to move the hot coals to protect them from the wind. Building a stone wall around the hot coal will help to insulate the fire and prevent it from going out overnight.

How Do You Build a Self-Feeding Fire?

We’ve never seen a 100% self-feeding fire. But building a semi-self-feeding fire is a simple process that can get done with just a few materials. We recommend using vertical log grates. Vertical log grates don’t make the fire automatic. But they make it much easier to keep your fire going.

The next step is to gather some small, dry twigs, sticks, and logs. Once you have a good pile of kindling, you’ll need to create a tepee shape around your vertical log grate. (You’ll notice the log grate resembles a tepee design. Be sure to leave an opening at the top of the tepee for oxygen to reach the fire!)

As the evening proceeds, continually add more logs onto your grate. The center of the grate should allow plenty of oxygen to pass. This long firewood section will act as a chimney, allowing oxygen to flow up through the center of the fire. When ready, light the bottom of the tepee with a match or lighter. The fire should start to spread up through the kindling and eventually catch the larger pieces of wood on the fire. Once going strong, you can add more logs to keep the fire ignited throughout the night. 

Read More – 13 Playful Campfire Games! Perfect for Kids and Adults!

How Do You Save Hot Coals?

You can’t! Let them cool off first. Allow the coals to cool completely. Then, place the coals in a metal container with a lid. Once the container is full, seal it tightly and store it in a cool, dry place. When ready to use the coals again, open the container and light them like any other charcoal. 

roaring campfire in the middle of a dark forest
Having a small box of dried firewood kindling is our secret weapon when we need to get a rip-roaring fire going. Fast! After we have a hot bed of coals, we know it’s time to add a few thick oak and birch logs. We also read an excellent guide from Camp Casey that showcases three genius methods to start a fire fast – even in windy conditions. We thought these little-known fire-starting tips were fantastic. All homesteaders should know them!

Why Does My Campfire Keep Going Out?

There are a few reasons why this might happen. The first is that the wood is too wet. If the wood is damp, it won’t catch fire easily. And it will produce a lot of smoke. To avoid this, only use properly seasoned wood.

Another reason for a smoky, smoldering fire is an incorrect fuel-to-oxygen ratio. If there isn’t enough oxygen reaching the fire, it will struggle to stay lit. Finally, wind can also be a problem. If there’s a strong breeze blowing through the campfire, it can quickly extinguish the flames. 

How Do I Keep My Campfire Coals Warm Overnight?

Anyone who enjoys camping knows that a good fire is essential for a comfortable night outdoors. Not only does it provide warmth and light, but it also helps to ward off pests and predators. However, building a fire is only half the battle. The real challenge is keeping the coals burning all night long.

There are a few different methods for doing this, but one of the most effective is to build a Dakota fire hole. Dakota fire holes involve digging a hole in the ground and lining it with stones. 

Once the fire has gotten built, the hole is covered with dirt, leaving only a tiny opening at the top. The airflow is then regulated by adding or removing dirt from the fire hole opening. As a result, the fire is kept alive without using up all available fuel. 

Another helpful method is to pile green logs on top of the coals. The green firewood logs will slowly release their moisture as they burn, helping to keep the coals smoldering through the night. 

Read More – Here’s How to Reduce Smoke In Your Fire Pit. Big Time!

Can You Leave a Campfire Overnight?

The answer, unfortunately, is not simple. While it is technically possible to do so, we don’t recommend it. Leaving a fire unattended can be extremely dangerous, as winds can quickly change and cause the fire to spread out of control. 

In addition, if there is any chance of stormy weather overnight, the fire should be extinguished as inclement weather can also cause the fire to spread. For these reasons, it’s best to err on the side of caution and put out your campfire before going to sleep.

roaring campfire under dark background and full moon
When trying to keep your fire roaring at night, it might be tempting to add paper or lighter fluid to the fire. We recommend against doing so! Instead, we always advise burning wood only. Adding unknown elements to your fire can introduce sparks, unintentional spreading, unknown toxins, and other hazards. 

Should You Pour Water on Campfires?

It’s a common practice to pour water on a campfire before leaving the campsite. 

However, this is only effective if the fire is 100% extinguished. If there are still glowing embers, pouring water on the fire will only create steam. 

The steam will eventually dissipate, leaving the embers behind. If you’re unsure whether the fire is entirely out, it’s best to stir the ashes and embers with a stick. Stirring the ashes and embers will ensure that there are no hidden embers that could reignite when they come into contact with oxygen. 

Once you’re confident that the fire is out, you can safely leave the campsite.

Conclusion

Campfires and fire pits are the perfect way to relax outdoors and enjoy the company of friends. Follow these tips! They will help you keep your campfire or fire pit burning all night. So gather around the warm flames, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy a night under the stars!

Also – if you have more tips to help keep fires burning for longer, please share them with us!

The cost of heating and fuel keeps skyrocketing.

Your comment might make life easier for all homesteaders who hear it – so we thank you for your thoughts.

Thanks again – and have a great day!

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Author

  • Rebekah Pierce started a small farm with her husband in 2016 in upstate New York, near her native Adirondack Mountains. With a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in special education, she has been writing professionally since 2017, but only recently left the world of teaching to pursue writing and farming full time. She now writes full-time in the education, business, finance, and of course, homesteading and farming niches.