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Bonfire vs. Campfire (How to Easily Tell Them Apart)

ElsaElsa Posts: 33,366 Community Hub Moderator
edited June 24 in Candy Friends Stories

‘People often use the words bonfire and campfire interchangeably, but are they actually the same thing? While they have similarities, they serve different purposes, and the biggest difference is their size.

Campfires are small, controlled fires designed to provide warmth and heat for cooking on a campout, while a bonfire is a large fire built for a wider range of purposes. Read on to learn all about the differences between them.

What Is a Campfire?

A campfire is a small fire that is built during a campout. It is usually contained in a fire ring or a fire pit, and people gather around it to cook and eat. Campfires help to keep the bugs away and provide warmth and light. Campfires are built in a fire ring or a fire pit at campsites, but a temporary site can be made if there is none. They are built in an open area, but a space can be cleared if necessary. These fires are small and designed to provide a warm space to gather and cook for a small group of people. 

What Is a Bonfire?

A bonfire is a large fire. It is built outdoors, and it is controlled, but very big. Bonfires can be built to dispose of waste materials or as a part of a large celebration. There are many different rituals that are tied to bonfires, and some are religious in nature. Bonfires are built in open spaces such as meadows or fields away from trees and brush. This is extremely important, as it is easy for a large fire to jump and spread to surrounding areas if it can. Bonfires should never be left unattended. 

Although bonfires and campfires are both sources of fire, they are very different in terms of size and function. A bonfire is used in celebrations and rituals, or they are used to dispose of waste or trash.

They are much larger than campfires and should always be built in open spaces far from trees, buildings, or any other flammable materials. They often require permits, and it can be illegal to burn them without one.

Campfires are usually much smaller, and they are designed to provide warmth and a means of cooking for people who are camping. They should always be built with safety in mind, and they should be fully extinguished before you leave the site. Many wildfires are the result of a campfire that was left smoldering or embers blowing and catching nearby brush on fire.’ (Source)

“I guess then we will be having a campfire, and not a bonfire,” Rachel thinks to herself. “I’m glad that I looked this up.”

She decides to look for the history of these fires next.

Let’s continue - The Origin of Us: Campfires As The Bedrock of Human Civilization

Start at the beginning – Let’s have a bonfire!

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