Burn, Baby Burn

Campfire burning bright

Campfire burning bright

Summertime; it puts me in mind of hot days, cool drinks, swimming at the beach, hiking in the forest, and camping trips. Plenty of camping trips. Now I don’t know about you, but a camping trip isn’t the same without a campfire to enjoy. You can cook over it, warm up around it, get lost in its mesmerizing flames, laugh with friends as you swap stories, get chills as you listen to ghost stories as you watch flickering shadows leap and dance, plus of course listen to a good tune compliments of the guitar player at the fireside.

Are you in mind of a camping trip yet? Grab the s’mores makings and let’s go!

A question for you though. Do you know what kind of wood to use for your campfire? Sure, any wood will burn, but there are differences. Some wood burns hotter than others; good for cool nights. Other wood is better to cook over; no need to char every hot dog in sight. Yet other wood adds a nice flavouring if used more directly in the cooking process; think a nice cedar planked salmon. Which would should you choose before lighting that match then?

Best Choices for Campfire Wood

Not all wood is considered equal when it comes to a campfire. Some wood is better for kindling, such as softwoods like pine, fir or spruce (conifers). For those unfamiliar with the term, kindling is used to light a fire. Hardwood on the other hand is typically better at maintaining a fire. Examples of hardwood would be oak, maple or ash. You throw this on once you’ve got your fire burning. Here’s a brief guide to some of your best choices for firewood.

Apple – Good scent. Slow burning. Good heat. Great for cooking. Must be dry.
Ash – Great heat and flame. Burns when green. Cannot transport within quarantine zone.
Birch – Good heat. Burns quickly. Nice scent.
Cedar – Beautiful aromatic. Great heat. Little flame. Full of snap and crackle. Easy to light.
Cherry – Burns slow. Good heat. Lovely scent. Good for cooking.
Elm – Needs to be dried for at least 2 years. Good heat.
OakGood heat. Slow burning. Sparse flames. Good for cooking.
Pine – Great flame. Not a lot of heat.
Spruce – Good kindling. Lots of sparks.
SycamoreGood flame. Reasonable heat. Must be dry.

Remember that whatever you use in your campfire, always keep safety in mind. Know what you are burning and don’t transport banned firewood through quarantine zones. Burn in a proper fire ring or pit. Never throw combustibles into your fire. Keep water handy to extinguish your fire once you are done. Think smart and burn safely. Now go find a stick to roast your weenies!

What’s your favourite wood for campfires?

Published by
July 9, 2014 11:05 am