Bonfire Vs. Campfire – What’s the Difference? [10 Pictures]

Bonfires are large fires, while campfires are smaller fires built mainly for cooking and providing warmth. A bonfire is used in large ceremonies or to burn trees and give off a lot of heat while a campfire is comfortable for people to sit around. A campfire picture is below, bonfire is above.

What is a Campfire?

A campfire is a fire built at a campsite that offers light and warmth and provides cooking heat. The campers can then gather around to get warm and share a meal. It can also help keep away predators and insects while acting as a beacon for the campsite.

Some established camping grounds usually provide their campers with a steel or stone fire ring as a safety measure. Campfires are directly connected to camping.

Campfires are generally designed to be small enough to provide adequate warmth and heat for cooking for a small group of campers. The most widely known type of campfire is the teepee.

It involves placing sticks leaning up against each other and ignited by lighting some kindling and tinder. Since they a relatively small, campfires are suited to sit near and keep cozy, and the smoke will keep bees away.

Here are example pictures:


What is a bonfire?

A bonfire is a big controlled outdoor fire used as a part of an event or disposed of burnable waste materials. Bonfires are tied to several rituals, including those related to religion.

They are built outdoors in an open space such as fields meadows away from shrubs and trees. Bonfire may spread and therefore need to be controlled and never left unattended.

Bonfires require a lot of fuel, usually in large sizes like large logs, wooden pallets, or wood tables. For example, one may turn a stump into a bonfire instead of seeking stamp removal services.

It also serves as some focal point that people enjoy in a celebration from a distance. Bonfire emits a lot of heat; thus, people cannot sit or stand close to it. Here are some example photos:


They are built differently

Campfires are ideally built in a fire ring or fire pit away from trees, brush, and tents. Although they are small, it is still vital to uphold safety. One can build the safety ring by using gathered rocks around the campsite or use a prebuilt one if available. It is also to dig a pit for the fire of about six inches deep. A minimum diameter of 3 feet is most suitable for a primary campfire. Finally, one should clear the surrounding area of the fire of any flammable material or debris.

Once the safety ring or fire pit is ready, the next involves building a fire itself. It would be wiser to carry your kindling in case the campsite is damp. A wet campground would make it very difficult to find dry kindling to start the fire.

There are three types of fuel one needs to build a campfire. They include kindling, tinder, and wood. Kindling maintains the size of the fire and keeps it going. Besides the teepee fire build type, there are other ways of setting a bonfire, including the log cabin, hybrid, cross-fire, lean-to, Swedish torch, and star fire.

It is essential to extinguish the fire completely when one heads to sleep. One must put out the fire to the last smoldering pile. If left unchecked, it may lead to a dangerous wildfire. The best way to do this is to down the campfire entirely with water. The whole firepit should be left cool before leaving the campfire.


How to build a bonfire

The large size of bonfires gives them their identity. Bonfires need almost the same process to build one. Initially, one should make a bonfire in an open space like a field or beach away from any brush, trees, or flammable substances. Usually, people with large properties can use bonfires to burn trash.

One should mark out the area occupied by the bonfire, for example, using rocks or nonflammable materials. Tinder and kindling help start the fire, while more considerable material can be used as fuel. It is also essential to dig a pit outside the bonfire to contain it. As with campfires, one should never leave a bonfire unattended.

Originally, bonfires have been used from time immemorial for religious ceremonies and cultural rituals. People would dance around them and offer sacrifices and burnt animal bones that were believed to be sacred to the gods. The word bonfire originated from the words bone and fire and believed to have started from the ceremonies held by Celts. During their festivals and rituals, they use to throw piles of bones into the fire.

Campfires are designed small to serve essential functions of warming, lighting, and cooking food. Also, one can build campfires in a range of designs formed by the arrangement of fuel. Bonfires are, therefore, different from campfires in that they are larger and serve another function.


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