Campfire mechanics

Varying Neutrals

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Bone joor!

There is something about campfires that's been confusing me for awhile now. 

The first thing is about the duration of fires when sleeping next to a one. I can sleep for 11 hours next to a fire that lasts 10h54min and have more than 5 hours left on it when I wake up. I haven't tested it much, but I tried it enough to know that - when I sleep next to a fire for a certain amount of time - there is more time on it than it should, sometimes by several hours.

Also, I've noticed that fires can leave embers, but I think it has to last for few hour for it to have them? Also, It seems to work better on campfires than on stoves in my experience...? I have no idea how long these embers last too. Perhaps it's just random?

I just have a big confusion. Many thanks for help.

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Hi buddy. I have noticed it as well. Sleeping next to a fire for some reason makes it go into 'efficiency mode' and lasts longer than original timer showed before sleeping. I have no complaints at this 'issue' since it is welcomed.

Embers last a few minutes I believe. When my water is almost boiled, I don't bother adding sticks when it has like 2 minutes left to boil and I am at embers. It always finishes before fire completely goes out.


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According to the fandom wiki, fires in the game, or campfires at least, burn longer the lower the temperature.

If you start the fire on the evening then it gets colder at night you might get a longer burning fire than is indicated when you light it.


I think that might be what's going on

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Guest jeffpeng

OG TLD Scientist @Drifter Manonce had a neat graph on these forums that very well explained what is happening.

In short, without warranty, and without solid mathematical backing, a duration bonus is calculated against the air temperature of where you are at the moment minus the additional heat you receive from fires, torches or other external heat sources, ranging from 0% at 0°C -10°C or more and up to 100% at, I think, -30°C or less.

The important variable here is the basic air temperature at your location - not taking into account wind, clothing, or heat sources. It doesn't matter

  • where the fire is located
  • how many fires are currently burning
  • how many fires, torches, flares or lanterns are currently providing heat for you and how much
  • if the fire is a camp fire, a stove, a fireplace, or any other contraption that can hold a fire
  • if the fire is inside a building or not

All that counts is the air temperature at your current location as it would be as if there was no fire and that you are outside.

As an example: You are sleeping next to a fire. Your fire provides 40°C. The displayed air temperature in your character screen is 18°C. This means that the air temperature without adding the fire is -22°C. According to this any fire will burn (22-10)/20*100 = 60% longer. Assuming your fire displays two hours left, which is 120 minutes, the actual duration will be 120 * 1.6 = 192 Minutes. (Edit: The curve isn't perfectly linear, but linear enough to make this workable theory.)

This means that sleeping at the warmer back of a cave is detrimental to your fire duration bonus since the air is warmer there. Keeping this in mind if your fire is hot enough that it will keep your warm sleeping in the cold part of a cave, or even outside of a cave, you should sleep (or simply exist) at the coldest spot possible. As a rule of thumb the coldest location your fire can support will result in the longest fire duration.

Also interesting in this context: it doesn't matter where your sleeping bag is located. What matters is where you stand when you click on it.

Edit: (Text in green was added/corrected after I had the chance to review @Drifter Man's graph)

Edited by jeffpeng
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Guest jeffpeng


6 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

I can even dig out that old post. It has been in demand over the years 🙂

Yes, that's the one. Back when you mentioned that you did the TWM only stuff back in the day I dug this up. So much information. I can only recommend that entire post to any aspiring TLD extremist. And hey, I wasn't so far off 😄. So -10°C is the low cutoff.

10 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

Just note that what I am saying about cabin fever in that post is not right.

Cabin fever always was one unintuitive son of a birch. Took me ages to properly understand it.

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Guest jeffpeng

Embers are a bit more obscure. I mean I could try to look that up since it actually interests me quite a lot. Maybe I'll do that on the weekend. In any case it "seems" like fires that burn longer than 8-ish? hours leave behind embers that then linger for 5-10 minutes based on some random variable. But it doesn't appear like there is a linear calculation to this like "every hour of fire duration yields 1 minute of additional embers". I had fires burn for several days, and they still only produce embers for a short duration.

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