How to Light a Campfire in Project Zomboid Efficiently

Mastering how to light a campfire in Project Zomboid is critical for survival. Whether you need warmth, a way to cook food, or a means to fend off zombies, this clear-cut guide will show you the precise means to get a flame going quickly and safely.

Key Takeaways

  • A successful campfire in Project Zomboid requires careful gathering of diverse materials, crafting a quality campfire kit, and selecting an appropriate location that considers safety and environmental impact.
  • Ignition of the campfire necessitates having fuel added and possessing both an ignitable item and a method of ignition; keeping the fire burning efficiently depends on the type and amount of fuel used, with beech and maple being the most effective.
  • Campfires serve multiple functions beyond providing light and warmth, such as cooking food to enhance its nutritional value, boiling water for safe consumption, reducing wet moodle, and disposing of corpses to maintain hygiene.

Essential Components for a Campfire

Campfire materials including logs, notched planks, and ripped sheets

The humble campfire is more than just a light source in Project Zomboid. It offers multiple benefits, including warmth, cooking food, and even corpse disposal. To reap these benefits, the first step is to gather the necessary components. This includes materials for crafting a campfire kit, a suitable location, fire starters, and fuel sources.

As you search for materials, consider the entire world your scavenging area. From dismantled furniture to ripped sheets, anything can serve as potential fuel for your campfire. Be sure to have a lighter or matches handy, and remember, a fire needs fuel to burn, so always keep an eye on your inventory.

Foraging for Materials

The success of your campfire heavily depends on the materials you gather. Here are some sources of fuel:

  • Planks: can be obtained by dismantling furniture or found in warehouses and storage houses
  • Ripped sheets: another source of fuel that can be easily found
  • Logs: can be gathered by chopping down trees or foraging in wooded areas

Don’t overlook the value of paper items either. They can be found on bookshelves in homes, in mailboxes, or even at post offices. You can also use curtains and torn sheets from clothing as additional sources of fuel. Remember, the more diverse your fuel sources, the better your chances of keeping that fire burning.

Crafting a Campfire Kit

After assembling your materials, the next step is to create your campfire kit. The process is simple: right-click on the collected materials and select the option to craft a campfire kit. Just like that, you’re one step closer to a roaring fire.

Keep in mind that the campfire kit is the heart of your campfire. Its quality and composition will determine the longevity and efficiency of your fire. So, ensure you’ve gathered quality materials before crafting your kit.

Setting Up Your Campfire

Choosing a safe location for the campfire in Project Zomboid

Now that your campfire kit is prepared, the subsequent step is to arrange your campfire. However, where you place your campfire is just as important as the materials you use to build it. You need to consider several factors when selecting a location, including safety and environmental impact.

Avoid common mistakes like setting up your campfire under low-hanging branches, near heavy fuels like logs or brush, or in hazardous and dry conditions. You also need to consider the impact on the environment when positioning your campfire. Use established fire rings where fires are permitted, keep your fires small, and clean up your fire site to minimize impact on the environment.

Choosing a Location

Choosing the ideal location for your campfire is a significant step that requires serious consideration. Consider the wind direction as it can blow smoke in any direction, which could attract unwanted attention from the undead. Furthermore, maintain a minimum clearance of 12 feet from tents or other structures to mitigate the risk of accidents.

Choosing the appropriate terrain is also important due to its potential long-term effects on the environment, such as alterations in soil composition and harm to the surrounding area. In designated camping areas, choose an open, even site that is distant from substantial fuels. Clear a 10-foot-diameter area around the site and eliminate any grass to minimize fire risks.

Placing the Campfire

After selecting the optimal location for your campfire, the next step is to establish it. Remember to maintain a distance of at least 25 feet from structures, trees, or anything that can burn. Your campfire should be on a level and uniform surface, such as a hill or a designated fire pit, to minimize the risk of fire spreading.

When it comes to arranging firewood, one recommended method is to stack the wood in a cabin-like structure for stable arrangement. To place the campfire in Project Zomboid, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the ground and select ‘Build a Fire.’
  2. Choose a tile to place the campfire.
  3. Always remember the safety guidelines and surface recommendations discussed earlier.

Igniting Your Campfire

Using matches to ignite a campfire in Project Zomboid

Having arranged your campfire and made it ready, the next move is to light it up. In order for the ‘Light Fire’ option to appear, your campfire must have fuel added, and you must possess an ignitable item along with its method of ignition in your inventory.

After securing the necessary ignitable item and ignition method, you can proceed with lighting your campfire. Simply right-click on the campfire and choose the ‘Light Fire’ option to initiate the ignition process. Keep in mind, without an ignitable item in your inventory, you will not be able to ignite the campfire.

Selecting a Fire Starter

Selecting an appropriate fire starter is a key element in creating a campfire. Some factors to consider when choosing a fire starter include:

  • Convenience and ease of use
  • Ability to generate a flame even when the lighter is depleted
  • Weather conditions, such as cold, wet winters or hot, humid summers

In the absence of matches or a lighter, you can resort to a drilled or notched plank along with a sturdy stick. This method can generate a spark to ignite a campfire, making it a handy backup plan.

Adding Fuel to the Fire

Your campfire’s duration relies on the kind and amount of fuel you contribute. Options include:

  • Planks
  • Logs
  • Paper items
  • Twigs

Beech and maple firewood are widely regarded as the most suitable fuels for sustaining a campfire over an extended period.

The burn times vary for different fuel sources:

  • Coal burns for 120 seconds
  • Charcoal burns for 90 seconds
  • Dried firewood burns for 60 seconds
  • Regular wood burns for 60 seconds

Remember to add fuel and keep enough fuel handy to keep your campfire burning for as long as you need it.

Cooking Food and Utilizing the Campfire

Cooking food over a campfire in Project Zomboid

A campfire in Project Zomboid isn’t just a source of light and warmth; it also offers numerous advantages, including cooking food and providing visibility. Cooking over a campfire can greatly improve your food’s nutritional value, which subsequently boosts your character’s overall health and well-being.

Another unique advantage of a campfire is its ability to serve as an inexhaustible provision of potable water for your character. This is achievable through the process of boiling water using a campfire.

Cooking Techniques

Being able to cook food over a campfire is a skill that can greatly improve your survival odds in Project Zomboid. There are several methods you can employ:

  • Cook directly on the coals
  • Skewer food on a stick
  • Wrap food in foil for a more even cook
  • Grill meat using a grill grate, which offers a safe and stable surface for the meat to cook evenly over the fire.

Boiling water is also a crucial skill, especially when water sources are scarce. By holding a water bottle over the fire using a ‘Y’ shaped stick, you can boil water, making it safe to drink.

Other Campfire Uses

A campfire is not just for cooking; it also offers a few unexpected benefits. For instance, standing close to a campfire can help reduce wet moodle, an unpleasant state that can affect your character’s comfort and health.

A campfire can also be used to dispose of deceased individuals. Although it’s a grim task, it’s a necessary measure to maintain hygiene and safety in your camp. Simply place the deceased individual on the campfire and ignite it.

Campfire Maintenance and Disassembly

Maintaining a campfire by adding fuel in Project Zomboid

You need to maintain your campfire to guarantee its longevity and efficacy. This involves monitoring the fire, making adjustments as needed, and adding fuel to keep it burning.

When it’s time to move or when the campfire is no longer needed, you’ll also need to know how to disassemble it safely.

Keeping the Fire Burning

Keeping your campfire ablaze is an art form. It involves:

  • Using high-quality tinder and kindling
  • Arranging the wood for proper air circulation
  • Gradually adding dry firewood
  • Avoiding wet or green wood
  • Maintaining appropriate airflow and preventing the proximity of flammable materials to the fire’s oxygen sources

Oak and cedar are considered optimal types of wood for effectively sustaining a campfire. Sustaining a vibrant fire throughout the day may require 10-20 bundles, while a smaller campfire may require fewer.

Disassembling the Campfire

After you’re finished with your campfire, the next step is to dismantle it. The process involves:

  1. Ensuring the fire is completely extinguished
  2. Mixing the ashes and embers with soil, and stirring them until all embers are put out
  3. Pouring enough water to drown all embers, not just the red ones, and continue pouring until the hissing sound stops.

After extinguishing the fire, you can disassemble it by right-clicking on it and selecting the option to ‘Take Campfire Materials.’ This will allow you to pick up the materials for future use.


In the unforgiving world of Project Zomboid, mastering the art of campfire creation can be a literal lifesaver. From gathering materials, crafting a campfire kit, selecting a safe location, to igniting and maintaining the fire, every step is crucial for your survival. Whether you’re cooking a hearty meal, warding off the chill of a bitter night, or disposing of unwanted remains, a well-maintained campfire proves an invaluable resource. With the knowledge from this guide, you’re now equipped to face the challenges of Project Zomboid with a new level of preparedness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you ignite in project zomboid?

You can ignite a campfire in Project Zomboid by using a fuel item and a lighter, matches, or a notched wooden plank with a sturdy stick. Once the campfire is extinguished, you can pick it up and place it elsewhere or leave it on the ground to reignite later.

What are the materials needed to craft a campfire kit?

You will need planks, logs, paper items, ripped sheets, and a fire starter such as matches or a lighter to craft a campfire kit. These materials will help you effectively build and start a campfire, providing warmth and light during your outdoor adventures.

How can I keep my campfire burning for a long time?

To keep your campfire burning for a long time, gradually add dry beech and maple firewood while maintaining proper airflow for the fire. This will help sustain the fire over an extended period.

How do I cook food over a campfire in Project Zomboid?

To cook food over a campfire in Project Zomboid, stand near the fire, access the campfire’s inventory, and drag the item from your inventory onto the campfire to cook it.

What are some safety measures to consider when setting up a campfire?

When setting up a campfire, it’s important to maintain a safe distance from structures or flammable objects, avoid low-hanging branches or heavy fuels, and clear the area of brush. These measures minimize the risk of accidents and ensure a safe camping experience.

About the Author


Marcus is a gaming enthusiast with a deep expertise in Project Zomboid. His articles are known for their sharp analysis and useful tips, helping players navigate the game's complex world. As an experienced player, he offers practical advice that appeals to both beginners and long-time fans of the game.

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