Building a campfire is a staple part of a great camping experience! There’s nothing like gathering around a roaring fire to toast marshmallows and spend a relaxing evening with the ones you love! The key ingredient to a successful campfire, of course, is firewood! Choosing the best firewood is important for a long-lasting, well-burning fire. But which woods should you choose? Here is our firewood comparison on how different wood burns!
Softwood Vs. Hardwood
One of the main characteristics you look for in campfire wood is its ability to burn for long durations, and to produce good coals if you’re looking to cook. Softwood and hardwood both offer different benefits when it comes to building your campfire!
Coniferous trees, also known as softwood, are trees that keep their leaves (or needles) all year round, like pines, firs, and spruces. Softwoods generally do not burn for very long periods and do not produce coals.They release heat quickly, making it impractical to use for heat if you’re making a campfire in chillier weather! However, because softwood is easier to light, it is ideal as a fire starter!
Deciduous, or hardwoods, are best for keeping your fire going! It burns more slowly, and burns down into lovely coals, which is perfect for campfire cooking! The high density of hardwoods gives them a higher BTU, resulting in more heat, better flame, and a longer burning time! The only disadvantage of hardwood is that it usually takes longer to ignite. Here are some of the best options for hardwoods!
Maple is a great choice for campfires, as it is commonly found in most areas! It produces nice flames and burns easily! A downside is that its pretty difficult to split, which could be a nuisance if you’re chopping the wood yourself!
Ash is regarded by many to be the best wood for campfires! It is easy to split and has a low moisture content, which makes it easy to burn even if it is not fully dried out! It burns with both excellent flames and heat, making it a great all-around wood! The only downfall is that the invasive and destructive emerald ash borer favors the ash tree, leading to the destruction of these useful trees and the contamination of its firewood, sometimes preventing you from transporting it.
Oak is another great high density, low moisture wood that burns for a long period of time. It has a fairly high BTU output, so it’s great for making warm, toasty campfires!
Another fantastic wood with a high BTU output is hickory. This wood burns well, doesn’t produce a lot of smoke, and results in some really nice coals! It also smells really pleasant when seasoned!
Things To Remember About Firewood
There are a few rules to remember to make the most of your firewood! Wood burns the best when it is completely dry, with some woods needing a season or two of drying for it to be at optimal burning capacity! It is also important to have healthy firewood, as most campgrounds and the DNR will agree. Be sure to check regulations about transporting firewood, as a lot of states have restrictions, while some campgrounds ban outside firewood for fear of spreading tree diseases and emerald ash borers.
Now that you have made firewood comparisons and know how different woods burn, you can keep an eye out for these great options the next time you are on the lookout for firewood! Get out there and enjoy some lovely campfires! Have any other suggestions on firewood, or have you had luck with one of these suggestions? Leave us a comment!