How Hot Is a Campfire, and How to Build It?

Campfires are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and can also be a vital part of survival. In this blog post, we will discuss the science of campfires and how to build them to get the most heat possible. We’ll also cover some safety tips to ensure your camping trip is safe and enjoyable!

How hot is a campfire?

The easiest way to measure temperature would be using an infrared thermometer. While this method certainly provides a precise figure, many of us don’t have access to it and don’t see the point in purchasing one. 

In that case, how can you tell how hot the fire is? Here’s a simple, almost failsafe method: observe the flame’s hue.

White Flame

A white flame indicates that it burns pretty near to the wood and is thus producing heat there. In most cases, this is where the fire is at its hottest since it is closest to the fuel source. 

As distance increases from the fire’s ignition point, the intensity of the flames gradually decreases.

Blue Flame

The hottest of all flame colors, blue, indicates that your fire is entering the 2,600-3,000 degree Fahrenheit temperature range. If you’ve used a gas stove before, you’re probably familiar with this flame color.

It’s not too often that you see a campfire that looks blue, though. That’s because the temperature is so high that the gas molecules are glowing, which provides the characteristic blue coloration. You can’t use traditional methods to heat a campfire to that point.

Yellow Flame

Yellow flames will be the next hottest, typically falling between 2,100-2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, it will be challenging to stoke your campfire to this heat level.


Orange Flame

The next hottest flames are orange, reaching temperatures of 1,800 to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s certainly possible to get a campfire up to this heat level, though it will depend on the fuel you use and how you stack the wood.

Red Flame

And finally, we have red flames, which are the most common. As some of the most excellent parts of the fire, they tend to hover between 900-1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s worth noting that the darker the flame is, the colder it will be.

As you might have noticed, the heat of the fire is closely related to the colors of the rainbow. The higher-frequency waves (blue light) are hotter than lower-frequency waves (red light), and everything in between follows the same pattern.

A tiny campfire may become hot too.

Although the heat generated by a tiny campfire won’t compare to that of a huge one, it’s still possible to achieve temperatures of 800 degrees Fahrenheit or more. So, watch out that you don’t become too hot!

When does a wood fire reach its maximum temperature?

The maximum temperature of a wood fire is determined by its size, the kind of wood utilized, and the length of time it has been burning. In general, however, campfires may become rather hot—often over a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Take precautions to avoid being burned!

Is fire cooking a viable option for camping?

A campfire may be used for cooking. Make sure you use campfire-specific cooking utensils and follow all applicable safety measures.

Some Tips for Building a Campfire

One of the most important things to remember when building a campfire is to ensure that you have a clear area to build it in. You should also make sure that there is plenty of Ventilation. 

The next thing to consider is the fuel you will use. There are three main types of fuels: wood, charcoal, and gas. Each fuel type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is essential to choose the right one for your needs.

Wood is the most common type of fuel used for campfires. It is easy to find and usually burns well. The downside to wood is that it can create a lot of smoke and sparks.

Charcoal is another popular choice for campfires. It burns hotter than wood and creates less smoke and sparks. The downside to charcoal is that it can be difficult to light and can be messy to deal with.

Gas is the most expensive type of fuel, but it is also the easiest to use. Gas campfires create little to no smoke and sparks and can be lit with the push of a button. The downside to gas is that it can be challenging to find in some areas and can be expensive.

Now that you know the different types of fuels, you need to choose the right one for your needs. Charcoal is the best choice if you want a campfire that burns hot and creates little smoke and sparks. 

If you want a campfire that is easy to light and doesn’t create a lot of smoke and sparks, then gas is the best choice. Wood is the best choice if you want a campfire between these two extremes.

Once you have chosen your fuel, it is time to build your campfire. The first step is to gather your materials. You will need tinder, kindling, and fuel. Tinder is small, dry material that catches fire quickly. Kindling is slightly larger than fuel and burns for a more extended time. Fuel is the most significant piece of wood and burns the longest.


The next step is to create a structure for your fire. The most common structures are teepees and log cabins. Teepees are created by placing a tinder in the center of your campfire area and then stacking kindling around it in a cone shape. 

Log cabins are created by placing two pieces of fuel parallel to each other and stacking kindling and tinder between them.

Once your structure is in place, if you use a lighter, hold the flame to the fuel until it catches fire. If you are using matches, strike the match on the side of the box and hold it to the fuel until it catches fire. Once the fuel is lit, blow on the flames to help them spread to the kindling.

Once the kindling is lit, add more fuel to the fire. Start with small pieces of wood and then add larger pieces as the fire grows. Keep adding fuel until the fire is as big as you need.

Once the fire goes, you can add some logs to create a barrier between the flames and yourself. This will help prevent you from getting too close to the fire and burning.

Now that you know how to build a campfire get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!

Scroll to Top