The best woods to set a campfire
When you are out camping or hunting it's possible to face the need to set a campfire, just because enjoying it during a leisure activity or due to the real need for life support, in fact, a campfire may save your life in certain situations.
If you are setting your campfire just for fun perhaps the type of wood used to burn is not as important as if you need such fire to keep you and your people warm or if you will cook your meal using fire; and even when certainly all woods will burn, not all of them have the same properties, so being aware of different woods burning characteristics will allow you to set a durable, hot, trustworthy campfire.
Overall, hardwoods are the best choice because they provide a hotter fire and last more time until total consumption, allowing you to keep your fire burning with a significantly lesser amount of wood than using softwood however you will need to work a little more than usual to split and cut trunks and branches because some of these woods are really tough bones to deal with, but the extra work will pay back later.
Besides the wood hardness, another important fact to keep in mind is availability. It's possible to use a given hardwood for your campfire, but if it's not abundant in a given area it will be necessary to expend a lot of time collecting wood covering longer distances, then the best choice would be another type of wood easier to find in the area even when it's not hard enough as the one you'd like.
So, let's see the usual woods used in North America to set campfires:
Perhaps this is the kingwood for campfires. Dry oak branches offer a hardwood producing a considerable amount of hot once burning, moreover, embers last longer than most woods, providing a steady and stable campfire, lasting for hours with a relatively low wood load.
On the other hand, oak is one of the more common tree species in North and Central America, making easier for campers and hunters to find it virtually in all outdoor environments.
Hickory fire is even hotter than oak and shares the gold medal of burning woods. A dense wood retaining almost no moisture and burning slow and steady provides a reliable, hot fire easy to start, lasting for hours.
Once again, being one of the hardest woods, hickory will give extra work to split branches, but due to its hardness and low burning rate, you will need less wood to keep your fire burning for long periods.
Another virtue of this wood is the smell and taste given to the meals when it's used to cook, especially smoked and barbecue meats, so if you are planning to cook using your campfire, hickory is the best choice.
Also known as Fraxinus, this is real great wood, especially for those with little experience setting campfires. That's because ash burns even when it's green! Making easier to start the campfire.
Besides the fact of burning when green, ash wood retains low moisture and produces less smoke than other hardwoods, making it the best choice when you are setting a campfire and smoke might be a problem (asthmatic people around there, close environment such as a refuge).
If you need heat but not flames, cedar is your choice. Perhaps you won't have a lot of light and will not cook with life flames, but for a slow, ember cooking and providing extra hot, cedar is one of the best options.
Additionally, cedar has a great scent, providing a grateful aroma all around the area you are setting the fire, furthermore, some people assure cedar fire keeps away mosquitoes, adding extra value to this wood in areas where mosquitoes represent a problem.
As you may see, setting a campfire is much more than just burning the first wood you find arround, in fact, it's almost an art! On your next outdoor adventure, try to set up your campfire with specific woods or a combination of them to have a long-lasting, hot and enjoyable fire during your camping or hunting expedition.