Is there a right way to build a campfire? Pyramid vs Brick Stack

Building a campfire is almost guaranteed to start a discussion in a group setting. Something mankind has been doing for thousands of years should be genetically programmed into us at this point.

If you’ve been the person to start stacking wood while on a group camping trip you’ve definitely heard how you were doing it wrong, along with unsolicited helpful tips on how to do it the right way.

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Well this same thing happened on our last group camping trip, and being the ball busters that we are, we decided to do a head to head comparison.

We judged this campfire comparison on 3 key components. Smoke level, burn duration, and most importantly, heat production.

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This is probably the second most important part of a quality campfire. No one wants to be the person who is constantly moving chairs because the smoke keeps following them. Although it is amusing to watch, it’s no fun when it’s happening to you.

The win in this category goes hands down to the pyramid. Whether it was because there was more of the available firewood touching the coals at the bottom of the fire ring, or simply the shape of the stack causing a better updraft, the pyramid stack produced much less smoke.


With the prices going up on everything lately, we don’t want to break the bank buying firewood to cook some smores. The campfire burn duration vs wood supply is a critical ratio that can’t be ignored.

Does one way last longer than the other? You bet it does!

The brick stack is the clear winner in this category. Lasting on average 25 percent longer between intervals of someone saying “you gonna throw some more wood on that”.

25 per cent is a lot of beer drinkin time that doesn’t now have to be wasted on getting out of your comfy chair and add wood to the fire because someone on the other side of is cold. Never mind that they could put it on themselves, it seems as though once you build it, you own it.

It inevitably becomes your sole responsibility to be the one to maintain its warmth level once ignited.


Camp Fire Test

So far we are in a dead heat, pun intended. There needs to be a winner in every contest, sorry, that’s just how it is. Our final category is heat production.

This is why you built a campfire in the first place isn’t it?

This category was put to a vote. If it were only one persons decision, it wouldn’t be very objective.

All campfire attendees were asked to try each fire ring when standing from their seats to warm their respective rear ends before returning to their chairs.

It was a unanimous vote that the brick stack did indeed produce more heat than the pyramid.

Winning Campfire

The final tally is 2 to 1 Brick Stack over Pyramid.

Now, the next time you are building a campfire in your group camping trip you know the right way to do it. More importantly, you can reference this article, and even share it with your friends to show that you are a learned scholar in the ways of derriere defrosting.

Do you have another way of building a campfire that you think can dethrone the brick stack? Let me know and we will have another head to head test and bring you the results!

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