Is Your Campfire Writing Safe

Writing is an excellent way to express our thoughts and emotions, and what better way to do it than in front of a warm, cozy campfire. However, one might wonder, is campfire writing safe? Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question.

Campfire writing can be safe as long as some precautions are taken. First and foremost, it is crucial to ensure that there is enough distance between the writer and the fire. An ideal distance is six to ten feet from the fire pit. This distance will ensure that the writing material does not accidentally catch fire.

In addition, it is important to choose the right writing material. For example, one should avoid using loose-leaf paper, which can easily blow away and catch fire. Instead, use a notebook or a clipboard to keep the paper together. It is also essential to bring a flashlight and extra batteries if writing at night, to avoid mishaps in the dark.

The Risks of Campfire Writing

While writing around a campfire may seem like a fun and creative activity, it has various risks. As an expert, I can tell you that campfire writing is unsafe and that precautions must be taken to avoid accidents or injuries.

Here are some of the risks of campfire writing:

Fire Hazard

The most obvious risk of campfire writing is the danger of starting a fire. According to the National Park Service, campfires cause over 60% of human-caused wildfires in national parks. It only takes a single spark to ignite a fire, and writing near it can increase the risk of an accidental ignition. The fire can quickly spread out of control and cause severe damage to the environment and put nearby campers at risk.

Burns And Injuries

Writing around a campfire can also increase the risk of burns and injuries. If you accidentally touch the fire or any hot embers, you can end up with severe burns and injuries that can be painful and take time to heal. Additionally, inhaling excessive smoke from the campfire can cause respiratory issues and discomfort.

Trips And Falls

Another risk of campfire writing is the possibility of trips and falls. Writing requires focus and attention, and doing it near an active fire can be distracting. In addition, if you are not careful, you can trip over rocks, roots, or other obstacles and fall into the fire or its surroundings, leading to serious injuries.

Wildlife Encounters

Writing around a campfire can also attract attention from wild animals lurking in the wilderness. In addition, bears, coyotes, and other animals can be attracted to the light and smell of the fire, increasing the chances of a dangerous encounter. Therefore, keeping a safe distance from the fire and storing all food and garbage away from the campsite is crucial to avoid unwanted visitors.

In conclusion, while campfire writing can be a fun and creative activity, it does come with its share of risks. Therefore, taking all the necessary precautions when writing around a campfire is essential to ensure your safety and that of others. Be attentive, keep a safe distance from the fire, and always ensure you know how to handle and extinguish a fire in an emergency.

Precautions For Safe Campfire Writing

When it comes to campfire writing, certain precautions need to be taken to ensure safety. While it can be a fun and creative experience, writing around an open flame can be risky. Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe:

Choose a Safe Location

Selecting a location for your campfire away from flammable materials, such as trees, shrubs, or dry grass is important. Ideally, the fire should be contained in a fire pit or ring. Before you start writing, clear the area around the fire of any debris or potential hazards.

Keep a Bucket of Water Nearby

Having a bucket of water nearby can be a lifesaver in an emergency. For example, if the fire starts to get out of control or a piece of paper accidentally catches fire, you can quickly extinguish it with the water. Make sure to keep the bucket close by and easily accessible.

Use Small Pieces of Paper or Notebooks

Use small paper or notebooks instead of larger sheets when writing around the campfire. This will make it easier to control in case it catches fire. Also, avoid using accelerants, such as lighter fluid, to start the fire. This can increase the risk of the fire getting out of control.

Never Leave The Fire Unattended

It should go without saying, but never leave the campfire unattended. Even momentarily stepping away, put the fire out completely before leaving. This will help prevent accidental fires, especially if the wind picks up.

Check Local Fire Regulations

Before starting a campfire for writing, it’s always a good idea to check the local fire regulations. Some areas may have restrictions or bans on campfires due to dry conditions or high fire danger. Ensure you abide by any rules or regulations in your area to stay safe.

Overall, writing around a campfire can be a fun and inspiring experience. Still, it’s important to take precautions to ensure safety. By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy the experience without any worries or danger.

Alternatives to Campfire Writing

Although campfire writing is a beloved pastime for many, it’s important to acknowledge its potential dangers. Fires can quickly get out of control, putting campers and wildlife at risk. In addition, writing in natural areas can contribute to litter and damage to the local environment. Therefore, here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Write indoors – This might seem like an obvious solution, but writing in a controlled indoor environment can eliminate many of the risks of outdoor writing. Bring a cozy blanket, hot drink, and soft music to set the mood.
  • Use a digital device – Many writers today use laptops or tablets to draft their work, and many devices now have long battery life. You can also use cloud storage to access your work from anywhere, eliminating the need to transport physical notebooks.
  • Find a designated writing retreat – If you’re looking for a quiet place to write in nature, look for established writing retreats with designated areas for writers. This can provide an inspiring environment without the dangers of outdoor fires.
  • Join a writing group – Writing groups are a great way to connect with fellow writers and receive feedback on your work. Look for groups that meet in a safe, indoor environment and have established guidelines for sharing work.
  • Go camping but avoid writing by the fire – If you still want to enjoy the outdoors, consider camping without the temptation to write by the fire. Spend your evenings stargazing or telling stories with friends instead.

Remember, safety should always be a top priority when camping or spending time outdoors. However, finding alternative ways to practice your craft can still allow you to enjoy both nature and writing without putting yourself or the environment at risk.


Based on the available research, it’s clear that campfire writing can be an enjoyable and relaxing pastime for many people. However, when it comes to safety, several concerns should be taken into account.

First and foremost, campfires themselves can be dangerous if not handled properly. For example, writing near an open flame puts you at risk of burns, and in some cases, wildfires can result if the fire is not contained or extinguished properly. Additionally, smoke inhalation can be a concern, particularly for those with respiratory issues.

Furthermore, there is some debate about the safety of the materials used for campfire writing. While some sources suggest that traditional paper and pen are safe, others caution against using materials that may release harmful chemicals when burned.

Ultimately, the question of whether campfire writing is safe will depend on various factors, including the specific location of the campfire, the weather conditions, and the materials being used. As with any activity, taking reasonable precautions to minimize risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience is important.

In general, if you’re planning to do campfire writing, it’s a good idea to:

  • Choose a safe location for your campfire, away from flammable materials and in compliance with local regulations
  • Be mindful of the weather conditions, particularly wind and dryness, which can increase the risk of wildfires
  • Use materials that are known to be safe for burning, such as plain paper and natural inks
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to extinguish the fire if necessary
  • Avoid writing close to the fire or directly over it

By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure that your campfire writing experience is enjoyable and safe. Remember, the key is to be cautious, and to always prioritize your safety and the safety of those around you.