A Good Answer To The Question: How Hot Is A Campfire?

Campfire is a classic part of the ideal camping trip. Sitting with your companions around a campfire is pretty much what everyone expects in this type of outdoor activity. And the campfire also has its practical uses such as to keep your warm and cook your food. However, a campfire is still a fire. This means there are still hazards around it. So how hot is a campfire then? You can find the answer to that in this article and several interesting issues relate to the campfire.

There are lots of ways to set up a campfire on your own. The traditional way would be to gather woods, branches and rocks. After you got them, dig up a hole a few inches deep then put the woods in. Then you surround the hole with rocks and start the fire. You shouldn’t use extra agents to ignite the woods such as liquid fuel or low – pressure gas.  But no matter what, you need to be careful around a campfire at all time since it’s hot. If you want to know how hot a campfire can get, that information is right below with associated temperature factors and safety measures.

how hot is a campfire

Nice Campfire by the lake

How hot is a campfire?

To keep it short and simple, a campfire can even get hot enough to melt aluminum. The melting point of pure aluminum is 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit (Around 660 degrees Celsius). That should give you a general idea of the temperature a campfire can reach. Luckily, for most of the times, a campfire usually can’t produce that kind of heat. So it’s fine to assume that a common campfire temperature is somewhat lower. You still need to exercise utmost caution when you are near the campfire though.

Some may say that you can guess the temperature of a campfire by checking the flame color. Unfortunately, this is a really primitive and unreliable method. The color of the flame depends on types of fuels just as much as temperatures.  Judging the campfire temperature base on the flame color alone would be unwise. If you want to know the precise number, use a thermostat.

Yet in case that you don’t want to get a thermostat then charcoal would be a nice indicator. A deep red charcoal means a temperature of nearly 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit (Around 590 degree Celsius). You also may see the charcoal in an orange – yellow color. This means a temperature of approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (Around 1,090 degree Celsius). Then again, a normal campfire can’t reach that kind of temperature.  

Factors that have an impact on the campfire temperature

Your choice of woods

There are often 3 types of woods that you can use on a campfire: Tinder, Kindling and Fuel wood. For starting the fire and keep it at low temperature, Tinder is what you need. It consists of small twigs and branch. When Tinder is on fire and you want to raise the heat, this is where Kindling comes in. It’s slightly thicker compared to Tinder.  And finally, Fuel wood will be the main fuel for your campfire. Among three types of woods, Fuel wood offers the highest temperature.

Kindling wood for campfire

Kindling Wood

Wood species

Woods from different trees have a variety of effects on the campfire temperature. For an example, pine can considerably raise the heat of the campfire. In the other hand, willow, fir and green woods produce fire at a much lower temperature.

Flow of air

Most people know the triangle elements of a fire: Fuel, oxygen and heat. Take one out and the fire will go out. So it’s obvious that the flow of air will have a big impact on your campfire. Supply it with lots of oxygen and the campfire will burn strongly. Keep the oxygen supply low and you can achieve a lower temperature for your campfire.

Safety measures

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Any fire is dangerous, same as the campfire. It’s vital that you must exercise caution and carefully apply safety measures. This is to ensure the safety of yourself, your camping companions and the surrounding areas.

  • Clear the area around the campfire of flammable materials. The recommended distance is 3 meters at all sides. If the fire ever go out of hand and it reaches these materials, a potentially dangerous fire may occur
  • Secure the campfire pit as best as you can. Remember to use dry rocks only. Rocks with humid when being heated will generate steam pressure. This may cause the rocks to fracture and explode right into you.
  • Use wood as your only source of fuel. They are easy to handle and you can control the fire temperature much easier. Don’t put any flammable liquid or gas can into the fire. If you happen to need them around, keep them as far as possible from the campfire.

Fatwood is a good idea


  • The advisable distance between you and the campfire is 1.3 meters. The campfire can warm you at that this distance without any prospect of burning your skin.
  • Take extreme caution when cooking or adding woods. Beware of sparks and coals that may fly out. Wear protective such as gloves when you handle cooking gears. You should never touch them with your bare hands. If you don’t readily have a pair of glove or alike, use a stick or tongs to lift the cooking gears out.  
  • There must be a contingency option within your reach. Bucket of water, sand, fire extinguisher….Anything will do. It’s wise to always prepare to face an out of control campfire.
  • Completely put out the campfire when you leave. There are lots of forests fires happen because campers fail to properly put out the campfire. You need to soak the site with water until there is no visible smoke flow out. After that, use a shovel or a stick to stir the remaining woods several times to separate them.
safety campfire

Building the campire


Camping is a rather fun and exciting activity to relax your mind, away from your usual noisy and busy life.  But you still need to pay attention to several things to make sure the trip is fun and safe. And one the issues would be the campfire. By reading the above, you now know the answer to the question: “How hot is a campfire?”. Next to that are the factors that affect the temperature and precautions to take when dealing with a campfire. Hope you find all of them useful to your situation.

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