How long does a fire last?

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by jonthai, Jun 15, 2016.

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  1. jonthai

    jonthai New Member
      8/23

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    I have a couple of questions regarding making a fire out in the wild. How much wood do you need for example to keep a fire lit over night? Do I need to spend more time chopping wood or leafs are enough? Also how long does it last?
     
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  2. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    It depends on the kind of wood you are using. High density wood would yield a fire which lasts longer than low density wood. It has to be said that in the wild, the fire doesn't have to be blazing. The best fire in the wild should be lit with dry wood tempered with water so that it can last for a prolonged period of time. One should also put stones beneath the mixture. These get hot and retain heat for a long period of time after the flames have died.
     
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  3. lucidcuber

    lucidcuber New Member
      8/23

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    I used to assume they burned very quickly, but apparently not. Yule logs could burn for months, so it really depends, but generally a good sized fire will burn on a timeframe of hours rather than minutes.
     
  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    1) Larger pieces of wood last longer than small pieces of wood.
    2) Wet wood or green wood creates more smoke which may attract unwanted guests.
    3) In the house fire wet wood & green wood creates creosote in the chimney, which is the main cause of chimney fires.
    There are two normal ways to make a fire last all night. 1) Bank the fire. This is done by shoveling wood ashes over the fire to bury it. 2) Keep adding wood throughout the night.
    A fire you will notice smokes at first lighting, this is because it has not as yet created much heat. Smaller wood ignites quicker than larger wood & so creates less smoke. Larger pieces of wood take longer to heat up & burn through, so they create more smoke.

    I suggest that you make your shelter before you make fire. Collect plenty of kindling & place it at the back & under your shelter. Get a good supply of firewood & stack it close enough that you can reach it without having to leave your shelter.
    In summer I recommend that you cook your meal & then put your fire out or let it go out. You do not need the warmth & a fire going all night could burn your camp down & it could attract unwanted guests.
    Keith.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 New Member
      8/23

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    You definitely need wood, small branches and leaves will burn in an instant. They do provide you with a lot of warmth but you'd be up all night throwing those into the fire. So yeah, chop up some wood or find larger branches if you don't have any tools. Anything thinner than your wrist won't last long.
     
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  6. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    With my experience in bonfires, the bigger the wood, the longer it will last. There was a time that we made a bonfire using a small log, about a foot in diameter. From the previous night, the fire lasted up to the next night. For small branches and twigs, the fuel is easily consumed and wouldn't last. That's why in some threads that I had replied to about keeping safe during the night in the woods, what I have in mind is a piece of log that would be used for the bonfire so I would be safe from potential predators while I am asleep (alone as a presumption) since most animals are stymied by fire.
     
  7. hades_leae

    hades_leae Active Member
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    I would personally never recommend just using leave, if you want a 30 minute fire, it's best that you find some thick branches, but make sure you already have a fire going because just trying to light a big branch on fire isn't going to work unless you have something like oil that you could light. It takes some time for the wood to heat up enough to hold it's own fire, and thicker pieces of wood wouldn't do you any good unless you already have some type of fire going.

    Use thin branches to start a fire for a few minutes, and the gradually add bigger chunks of wood in, and before you know it, you have a fire that'll last 30 minutes plus. I do this now.
     
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    you don't need a large fire, the larger the fire the more you are going to have to feed it, make a "reflector" so that any heat is reflected back towards you.
     
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  9. My3Sons_NJ

    My3Sons_NJ New Member
      8/23

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    The hotter the fire, the more quickly the fuel is consumed (similar to why hotter stars expend their fuel much more quickly than cooler stars). After starting a fire using kindling (wood shavings, dried brush, small dry twigs) such that larger pieces of wood can be fed in by hand, a good rule of thumb is that the amount of would you can carry for a distance of 50 yards multiplied by two should be sufficient to get you through the night.
     
  10. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    It really depends on the wood that you are using and how old it is. The older the wood the quicker it will burn, since the wood is dryer and will burn more intensely but more quickly.
     
  11. Arctic21

    Arctic21 New Member
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    You would need to find a large amount of wood if you want a fire to keep going for awhile. As someone said before, if you use small branches you'll need to keep tossing them into the fire constantly. Even if it takes more effort to get wood it would be worth it.
     
  12. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Expert Member
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    It's really hard to keep a fire lit overnight, you have to wake up and add wood to it otherwise it will die down. If you use leaves then make sure to not add green ones, otherwise you're only going to make a lot of smoke. In general try to add a lot of small pieces of wood besides the big ones that are the structure of the fire, that way you can make it last longer. In general you should add small pieces of wood to it to keep it going, that's how I do it.
     
  13. Lisa Davis

    Lisa Davis Active Member
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    Fires are fairly easy to start and maintain if you've done it before. However, if you're not familiar, I wouldn't honestly just rely on advice from this forum. I would practice. Have bonfires in the backyard if such a thing is permitted in your municipality or area. Starting a fire can be an important survival tool when the time comes and you don't want to be just learning once a disaster strikes. I try my hardest to practice all the skills I think may be useful once the SHTF.
     
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  14. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana New Member
      8/23

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    This is probably terrible advice and illegal, but tires burn great for days! This is why I've justified not properly getting rid of about eight tires stored in my garage.
     
  15. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Light and smoke from fire will draw in unwanted guest small fire to cook on. I have a small stove the fire is contained dry wood makes less smoke placed under a pine tree the smoke is broke up and harder to spot this small stove heats cooks great many places sell it i got mine threw sears 69.95 tms military camp woodstove is name with a good fire going and packed full it burns threw the night easy it has dampers to adjust the burn rate ll pipes tools come with and pak inside stove to carry or pack 20lbs
     
  16. Prairie Dog

    Prairie Dog Expert Member
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    Great advice that needs to be repeated more!
     
  17. JimLE

    JimLE Well-Known Member
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    one thing i've learned over the years..is that the firewood that has been split will burn faster ,then the wood that hasn't been split.on account,it takes the fire longer to get to the core of the wood,that hasn't been split..
     
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  18. Prairie Dog

    Prairie Dog Expert Member
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    I have found that when starting or getting a fire to heat up, Splitting green wood helps, but to have a longer lasting fire when dense wood isn't available, unsplit green wood works.
     
  19. JimLE

    JimLE Well-Known Member
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    true..but it's a matter of making sure that whats used to start the fire,aint to green.just to make sure that it's not to difficult to get it to catch fire.
     
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  20. Rere

    Rere New Member
      8/25

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    You definitely need wood, small branches and leaves will burn in an instant. They do provide you with a lot of warmth but you'd be up all night throwing those into the fire. So yeah, chop up some wood or find larger branches if you don't have any tools. Anything thinner than your wrist won't last long.
     
  21. Birla Andrei Marian

    Birla Andrei Marian New Member
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    So, just how long can fires burn?

    The blaze at the abandoned Good2Grow recycling centre started on 30 November last year and was put out on 21 June.

    But that is no match for the world record for the longest-burning fire which is believed to have started around 5,000 years ago at a coal seam beneath Mount Wingen in New South Wales, Australia, and is still smouldering.

    "Lightning struck the coal seam where it reached the Earth's surface," said a spokesman for Guinness World Records.

    "Today, the fire is now burning around 30m (100ft) underground, as it has slowly eaten away at the seam."
     
  22. m33kuh

    m33kuh Active Member
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    Depends on how big the fire is. If you have a lot of wood stored then I guess it's fine but it's wise not to put as many woods as you can. Better save it so instead try to have a minimalist fire set-up that would only consume a couple of smaller woods or a larger one.
     
  23. billa

    billa Member
      18/29

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    Bob Hanson has a yt vid about making a fire last 14 hours. He creates a "v" of short, 8-10" od logs. and the coals, if bedded in ashes and dirt, would suffice to ignite feathersticks for many more hours. You wont be sleeping long enough for a well banked fire, down in a dakota pit, to not have enough heat to start another fire.
     
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