How Hot Does A Campfire Get? Some Points To Consider
At the end of a long day of hiking, there’s nothing like sitting round a roaring fire with your fellow campers to chat, to cook and to relax. But have you ever wondered exactly how hot that campfire can get?
The temperature of a campfire is determined by several variables so here I will consider the question of the maximum temperature you can expect your campfire to reach as well as some of the factors that affect it.
The Simple Answer
First of all, to give you a simple answer to this question, campfires can sometimes get hot enough to melt aluminum. The melting point of aluminum is 1221°F so we can place the upper temperatures for a campfire somewhere around here.
However, most of the time, campfires do not reach a high enough temperature to cause aluminum to melt so we can assume that a more normal temperature for a campfire is somewhat less than this.
The melting point of silver is 1763°F and it is unlikely that any campfire would be able to reach this temperature – although personally, I’ve never actually tried to melt any silver over my campfire!
There is a widely-held belief that the color of flames can tell you the temperature of a fire but this is not strictly true. The color of a flame depends just as much on the type of fuel as the temperature and so the color of the flame is not a reliable guide.
Having said this, just as an indication, if you are using a charcoal fire, a deep red color would indicate a temperature of around 1100°F and orange-yellow would indicate a temperature of around 2000°F – although, again, a regular campfire is unlikely to reach such a high temperature.
Factors That Can Affect The Temperature Of Your Campfire
There are several factors that can affect the temperature at which your fire burns that you should be aware of so here I will list the most important ones for you.
Fire is inherently dangerous and some basic safety precautions should be taken to ensure everybody is able to enjoy pleasures of a campfire in safety.
- You should make sure you clear a large area around the fire of anything flammable that may allow the fire to get out of hand and potentially cause a forest fire
- A campfire can continue to burn at high temperatures for several hours so make sure that you don’t sleep too close
- Make sure that any children on the camp are properly supervised. When you make a campfire, it is a great opportunity to teach kids about campfire safety
- Always use a fire ring if one is available
- Never build a fire that is larger than you need or that is too large to control
To summarize, we can say that the temperature of campfires can vary depending on several different factors but they will rarely exceed a temperature of around 1200°F, the melting point of aluminum, unless you specifically set out to make a fire that will do so.
The reasons we build campfires are to keep warm, to cook food and for the simple pleasure of spending an evening around a campfire. For these purposes, a campfire is not required to reach extreme temperatures and almost any fire will do.
Here are two links to sites I found with information on how to construct a campfire:
What do you think? Do you have any information or opinions about the temperature of a campfire? What do you think the best temperature for cooking on a campfire is?
As always, I’d love to hear from you so please leave me your comments and if you like my article, don’t forget to share!