Campfire Not Allowed Sign


A campfire is an essential part of the camping experience. You use it to cook all your meals, and it’s your main source of warmth at night. It also serves as a centrepiece as campers gather around the open fire.

Unfortunately, you lose these camping experiences when there’s a total fire ban. It can be disappointing, but that doesn’t mean that your camping trip ought to be ruined. Here are several campfire alternatives that will help fill the void.


First things first: Check your state’s fire regulations before your camping trip. Each state has a dedicated website that is updated daily. You don’t want to be caught off-guard when you get to your campsite. By checking ahead of time, you have the opportunity to bring along suitable campfire alternatives.


You can use a camping stove to cook your meals. However, appliances using solid fuel will be under the same fire restrictions. Make sure your stove, grill or other appliances use liquid or gas fuel. You can also use electric-powered cooking appliances.

If you don’t have a camping stove, bring food that you don’t need to cook. Some examples are cold cuts, peanut butter sandwiches, bagels, cereal, cheese, beef jerky and hard-boiled eggs. You can also have healthier options such as raw veggies and dried fruit. Aside from that, you can bring food that you have already cooked at home, such as chicken and pizza.


At night, campers tend to spend a few hours huddled around the campfire. Some tell ghost stories while others sing songs. Most, however, take part in a quintessential camping tradition — roasting marshmallows on an open fire.

Thankfully, even without a campfire, you can still replicate these experiences. You can set up a lantern and make it the focal point of the campsite. Find a lantern that emits a glow that is reminiscent of an actual campfire. Meanwhile, you can still use your camping stove to make s’mores.


To light up your campsite, there are a lot of possible alternatives to a campfire. Each camper can have his/her own flashlight or headlamp. Each main area should also have their own lanterns. Meanwhile, you can use LED strip lights to illuminate pathways. You can even hang them on tree branches or above your tent.


Since you have to extinguish your campfire at night anyway, why not go to bed early? Waking up in the morning is difficult, especially if you’ve spent the previous day engaging in strenuous camping activities. By sleeping earlier, you can be well-rested and still wake up early enough to catch the sunrise. You’ll be able to do a lot more once the sun has reappeared.

As for the sleeping part, make sure to wear thicker clothing and have extra blankets. Wear a beanie and wool socks, so body heat won’t be lost through your head or feet. If it’s chilly at night, you can assemble a DIY heater. Just put boiling water into a durable bottle and keep it close to you at night. Since your sleeping bag is adequately insulated, the water bottle heater can keep you warm until daybreak.

As an outdoor enthusiast, it’s easy to understand why fire restrictions have been put in place. It lessens the risk of wildfires, and it also protects wood sources from depletion. Not having a campfire is a small price to pay if it means we can preserve our surroundings. There are so many campfire alternatives you can use instead. For campers who don’t comply, watch out for heavy penalties.



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Kimberly Powell
Kimberly Powell

Kimberly loves camping, cooking, travelling and animals. She's turned her hand to writing to share her experience.