Campfires are the heart of a campsite, but without wood, they aren 't much at all. In almost all forest camping, gathering firewood isn 't hard, but it is time consuming. A few tips on firewood will help you make the most of your camping trip. Don 't Harvest Live Trees In almost all cases, it is illegal or immoral to harvest trees. Most public campsites explicitly forbid the taking of living trees except by special permission. Parks are typically similar. If you don 't bring any wood with you, you are limited to the wood that is on the ground AND that you can pick up, so if you are anticipating making a big fire or going for long, bring your own firewood. Harvesting Fallen Trees Gathering wood that is on the ground is typically…show more content… Also, you can control what woods you burn more easily. Final Tips Not all wood is created equal. If you like hot fires, pine and birch burn fast and hot, but for lasting fires, dense hardwoods are the obvious choice. It takes more wood than you would think to keep a fire going, and big logs which appear to be great often won 't burn completely unless they are split into manageable wedges. If it is too heavy to be carried, I can guarantee that it is too big to be put into anything other than a massive fire. Also, remember to never burn pressure treated lumber since it releases toxic arsenic compounds into the air. The most important part of camping is preparation. To some extent, this is the same as for any trip, but in camping where the time is spent in the wilderness away from home, it is even more important. For one thing the camping experience depends on not taking advantage of common conveniences. Trips to the local grocery store or pharmacy defeat the purpose of living outdoors. It is important for the serious camper to plan, to bring what is needed and to be ready for life on the campground. Shelter For most people, camping is synonymous with living in a tent. While tents are not the only kind of shelter for camping, there are benefits to using one as your primary camping shelter. Tents are relatively cheap, extremely portable and adaptable to almost any kind outdoor situation. It is also possible to find tents in a variety of sizes and forms.