Outdoors blog


How far should a tent be from a fire?

Are you going camping and thinking about having a campfire?


Your tent should be 40 feet away from a fire. The exact safe distance depends on wind conditions and other things. Obviously you should be upwind of any campfire. Here are some more things to consider:


If you want to sleep better, then put out the fire before you go to sleep so you have no worries.


People who are comparatively new in camping have a preconceived notion that if they are setting up a campfire, they should also place their tents near it so that it becomes convenient for them to back and forth and enjoy a good night’s sleep especially if the temperatures surrounding the campsite drops during the night.


But, this move is nothing less than inviting a risk that is capable of destroying the whole camping experience for you and your fellow campers and leading to dangerous repercussions. To ensure enhanced safety there is a safe distance between the campfire and the tent recommended by regular campers to avoid an accident.



Before we arrive at a concrete conclusion regarding what should be the ideal space between the tent and fire of your campsite, here are a few factors that should be duly considered.



·         The direction of the wind

Even before setting up the tent or igniting the fire, you must assess the direction of the wind because this is the pioneer factor ruling the crucial placements. Set up your camp in the area that is opposite to the route of the wind so that even if there are slight changes in its direction, the camp can be shifted further in due time. The bottom line is if you see that the strength of the wind is only growing stronger with time; extinguish the fire so that it doesn’t cause any accident in the middle of the night.



·         The material of the tent

Another predominating factor influencing the optimum distance is the fabric that your tent is made of. All materials that have synthetic elements such as nylon, polyester, and canvas have a great affinity towards the fire; for them to light up within seconds, the fire doesn’t have to touch the surface physically.


The heat emitted and borne by the wind is enough to melt or catch a flame. Therefore, before purchasing, to be on the safer spectrum of matters, do not go for the ones that have been marked as “flammable”; or even if you do, put it up at least 30-40 feet away from the fire so that there is no contact with the hotspots whatsoever.



·         The location of your camp

The location that you have chosen to execute your camping plans and the conditions surrounding it is also crucial in figuring out the distance. If the place is crowded with a lot of vegetation, guard the contour of the campfire with solid, heat-bearing stones first and then clears the area around it to ensure that the fire doesn’t find a smooth path to reach your tent.


If you are camping in cold conditions and bound to place the tent closer to the fire, then lower down its flame so that the heat produced by a few logs is enough to take you through the night.



·         The substance being used at the campfire

If the kindling and tender that are being used by the campfire are capable of flying off with a single gush of wind, then place the tent as further as you can from the site. In situations like this, it is recommended to use tough and dried out firewood as much as you can so that they do not float away in the wind and falls inside or near your tent.


Under extreme conditions, the paper and plastic substances are capable of covering a distance of 10 feet during their flight, so depending upon the substance employed for the campfire and the catalyzing factors, position your tent.


After including all the above-mentioned determinants in our study, we can safely say that placing your tent within a window of 30 to 50 feet is the qualifies as the ideal distance from the campfire, dragging it further or closer depending upon the then-present circumstances.

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