How Hot is a Campfire? Every Camper Needs To Know.


If you are a camper and get curious to know “How hot is a campfire?” we will learn about the temperature conditions in this brief article.

If you are going camping with your family members, then this question is asked by any of your kids to know more about the campfire’s heating conditions. 

The quick answer for the question “How hot is a campfire?” is that the average temperature that a campfire reaches is about 900°F (482.2°C). 

It is just an average finding of the temperature, but it can vary depending upon the size, wood type, and surrounding temperature.

The large campfires, which resemble huge bonfires, can reach up to 2000°F. You can melt down many types of metals like copper, gold, silver, and bronze at this temperature.

Types of temperatures in a campfire:

  1. Internal campfire temperature: The maximum temperature can be achieved while burning at the flames, and this internal temperature can reach up to 1700°F(926.6°C).
  2. Cooking temperature: it is the temperature achieved above the region of the flame where cooking is done, and these temperatures reach up to 600°F (320°C).

Determining the temperature of a campfire using its colour:

We can determine the colour of the campfire by just observing its colour. It looks like a simple process but works for superficial judgements. 

It is more difficult to get close to the campfire and record its high temperatures, so most people use this process.

We can view three colours in a campfire. Red, blue and white. Red colour represents minimum fire temperature, the blue colour represents average fire temperature, and white colour represents the campfire’s maximum hottest temperature.

The average temperature of a campfire is the required temperature for a perfect camping experience.

The type of fuel and wood used is also responsible for the colour of the generated heat from the camping fire. So you can identify the type of fuel or lumber used in the campfire.

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History of camping and campfires:

Early humans over 2 million years ago used campfires in their days camping, and researchers found evidence of some of the oldest camping ashes and bones.

Researchers found the oldest controlled campfires in the Kalahari desert after a microscopic analysis of the burnt ashes and bones.

These researches showed data of the materials that were not heated more than 1,300°F. And these long ago, human beings could also control temperatures for cooking and other camping activities.

Factors affecting the temperature of the campfire: 

Several factors affect the campfire temperature, and the materials, air amount, and surrounding temperatures determine the campfire temperature.

1. Type of wood(fuel):

The availability and choosing the best wood among our local trees affects the amount of temperature achieved in a campfire. This wood fire temperature is directly responsible for a campfire’s average temperature because it depends on the burning capacity of the wood that we selected for our campfire.

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2. Size of fire and wood:

The size of the wood and the fire are also coming from it, also responsible for a campfire temperature. In the beginning, it is best to use the most miniature wood for getting quick firing of the campfire, which we call “Tinder”. Tinder helps to catch fire, and they burn fast.

To keep this fire, we need to add some twigs(kindling), which are more significant than “tinder“, increasing the campfire temperature. 

Finally, we can add more considerable size firewood for enhancing the temperature of a campfire. So this firing temperature depends on the size of wood that we use in initial and continuous burning processes. We need to break more significant wood pieces into smaller chunks so that the initial burning and temperature achieved will be faster so that you can get warmth throughout the camping area.

3. The flow of oxygen: 

For combustion, oxygen is the responsible gas, and its supply should be adequate. So the oxygen amount present in the camping atmosphere is directly accountable for the burning of the campfire and its temperature.

This bonfire temperature will reach a suitable temperature if enough oxygen is available in its surroundings: so abundant oxygen, the fastest burning campfire with higher temperatures.

The three primary sources for generating fire are fuel, heat, and oxygen. If we limit the supply of oxygen, then the campfire will burn at a lower temperature. So the flow of oxygen is the principal responsible factor in affecting the temperature of a campfire.

4. Moisture: 

The moisture is also responsible for the burning of wood and its temperature. If it exposes the firewood to moisture for a long time, it won’t catch fire properly and takes more time to reach our desired temperature. So always prefer dry firewood, which has no moisture content in it.

These four factors mainly affect the temperature conditions and determine how hot is a campfire?.

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Safety tips: 

The following are some safety tips you need to follow for a better campfire set up keeping in mind the question of how hot is a campfire.

  • Maintain a large campfire pit as a best preventive measure. 
  • Avoid setting up campfires when it is incredibly windy, especially in the daytime.
  • Make sure that the process of campfire extinguishing is done correctly with suitable water or dirt. You can use soil to save water.
  • Don’t sleep near the campfire at midnight as the temperature is higher near the fire.
  • Supervise the children to prevent any dangerous firing accidents that took place if they reach near to campfire.
  • Always prepare a campfire in a minimal area to control the conditions, unlike large area campfires.
  • Keep your flammable camping objects far away from the campfire pit so that they don’t catch fire easily.
  • Place every safety equipment right beside the campfire to ensure that you can take quick action when something happens.
  • Maintain fire extinguishers and other fire safety measures because the fire is more dangerous than we assume.  
  • Use a fire ring, which is the best option if it is available on your camping journey.
  • Only use wood as the fuel for your campfire as it is easy to handle, chop and maintain at the camping area.
  • Take extra care when you are cooking, and add wood to the campfire pit by keeping a reasonable distance from the campfire.


Camping is a fun way of exploring nature and its resources, staying away from everyday busy life. But we need to have full knowledge of temperature conditions and precautions. 

Having an eye on how “hot is a campfire gets” allows us to maintain proper temperature by keeping it controlled.

Comment your views on this topic of a campfire’s temperature and your suggestions to add additional information to this article.

Frequently asked questions:

Which colour of the campfire represents the highest temperature? 

The white color in the campfire flame represents the highest temperature region.

how hot does coal reach in the fire?

The maximum temperature that coal reaches in the campfire is about 2000°F.

Which type of wood burns longer?

Hardwoods burn longer than softwoods because they are denser, and they burn to boil.

Can dry firewood burn faster?

Yes, dry firewood catches fire quickly and burns rapidly, resulting in higher expected campfire temperatures.

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