Building a campfire is an essential skill for any outdoorsman. A campfire can provide warmth on a cold night, cook your food, and provide a place to socialize around. There’s something about starting a fire in a fire pit that just feels so good. It’s like you’re one with nature. And it’s a great way to relax after a long day.
What Is a Fire Pit?
A fire pit is a structure that contains a fire in order to contain and control the spread of the flames. Fire pits can be used for cooking, heating, or simply for aesthetic purposes. They are often found in backyards or other outdoor areas.
Types of DIY Outdoor Fire Pits
Although your backyard or patio fire pit customization options are seemingly endless, the three main setups you can choose to go with for your DIY fire pit project are:
- Wood burning fire pit
- Gas-assisted wood-burning fire pit
- Gas burning fire pit
Wood Burning Fire Pit
The most common type of DIY outdoor fire pit is a traditional wood-burning fire pit area. These can be large or small outdoor fire pits, but as long as they are designed to burn wood logs, you’ll have a wood-burning pit.
Building a wood-burning fire pit in your backyard can be as simple as placing some stones in a neat circle around a level and cleared patch of ground, or they can consist of more elaborate setups using decorative stones, cement features, and other add-ons to enhance the area.
Gas-Assisted Wood Burning Fire Pit
Gas-assisted fire pits offer homeowners the experience of a wood-burning fire without the hassle of gathering materials and working to get a wood fire started. A gas-assisted wood-burning fire pit uses natural gas or liquid propane gas (LPG) to help get your wood logs burning. Once your wood logs are fully engulfed in flames, you turn off the gas burner and you’re left with a healthy wood-burning fire. These hybrid types of wood and gas fire pits are designed to make starting a wood fire quick, easy, and hassle-free.
Gas Burning Fire Pit
A gas-burning fire pit is a good choice for people who live in apartments or other places where burning real wood logs is not allowed. Building a DIY propane fire pit or natural gas feature is hard work, so it is best to contact a gas installation professional to help with the gas lines and connecting the fire pit gas burners to a fuel source.
How To Start a Log Fire in a Fire Pit?
Find small, dry materials for tinder
You can’t just stack large logs and expect a lighter or match to work. First, you can purchase a fire starter or a bundle of tinder, or you can look for small, dry materials like dry grass, leaves, shredded tree bark, and newspaper. Manufactured fire starters and tinder bundles are designed for easy use and are easy to find. The only drawback is that you are paying for material that could be found on the forest floor or even in your own backyard.
Locate dry sticks and twigs for kindling
Tinder will help you get the fire started, but unless you have kindling, the fire will usually die out before larger logs can ignite. You can buy kindling in ready-made bundles that are often treated with flammable resins to make it easier to start the fire. However, you can also look around the yard, campsite, or forest for dry sticks and twigs to use as kindling for your fire. While these materials won’t ignite as easily as store-bought kindling, they are usually free. If you can’t find any sticks, you can cut a larger piece of wood into kindling with an axe or knife.
Build the fire with fuel wood, kindling, and tinder
If you paid attention in science class, then you know that fire cannot burn without an oxidizer. In most cases, that oxidizer will be oxygen, which is why building the fire is one of the most important steps in the process. Without proper ventilation, the fire will not have access to oxygen and will not be able to be lit or remain lit. Additionally, if you don’t build the fire correctly, the logs can collapse, which reduces ventilation and can also send sparks flying out of the fire pit.
Ignite the tinder to start the fire
Before lighting the fire, ensure that the structure is stable and there is sufficient ventilation. To light, the fire, use a lighter, matches, or a flint-and-steel set. If using a flint-and-steel set, hold the steel close to the tinder pile and strike the flint against the steel to create sparks. Ignite the tinder from several sides for an even burn.
Monitor and maintain the fire
It’s important to grow the flames quickly, but always monitor the fire to reduce the risk of the fire spreading. Maintain the fire with a poker or a long stick to move hot coals and embers into a pile to increase the heat. You can also blow on the coals to help move oxygen down into the fire pit. Use the poker on fuel logs to break off charred pieces and expose new wood to the fire. Add additional fuel logs as needed to keep the fire going.
Extinguish the fire
It’s important to put out your campfire properly to ensure it is extinguished before you go to bed or leave the campsite. Start putting out the fire about 20 minutes in advance. Slowly pour a bucket of water over the fire to douse the flames, coals, and any residual heat. Use the poker or a stick to move the coals, embers, and ash around in the fire pit to check for signs of steam or hissing noises. If the fire pit is still steaming or hissing, the fire is not completely extinguished. Fill the bucket and dump it over the pit again until the fire is cool and quiet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you use to start a fire in a fire pit?
You can use a variety of things to start a fire in a fire pit. Some people use lighter fluid, while others use a charcoal starter.
How to start a fire in a pit and keep it going?
“How to build a fire in a fire pit” has a simple answer. You will need to gather some wood, kindling, and matches or a lighter. Start by placing some of the wood in the firepit. Then, add some of the kindling on top of the wood. Next, light the matches or lighter and hold it to the kindling until it catches fire. Once the kindling is lit, the fire will spread to the rest of the wood. Keep adding wood to the fire as needed.
Should you put out a fire in a fire pit?
If the fire is contained within the fire pit and is not posing an immediate threat, it is best to let it burn out on its own.
Can you leave embers burning in the fire pit?
Yes, but you should make sure the embers are not too close to the edge of the fire pit, where they could easily start a fire.
What do you do with ashes from a fire pit?
There are many options for what to do with ashes from a fire pit. One option is to simply leave them in the fire pit. Another option is to scoop them out and dispose of them in the trash.
Can I use my fire pit without sand?
You can use your fire pit without sand, but we recommend using sand to help protect the bottom of the fire pit from high heat.
A fire in a fire pit is important because it provides warmth and light. It is also a place where people can gather to relax and enjoy each other’s company. To build a fire in a fire pit, you will need to gather some wood, tinder, and kindling. The wood should be dry and the tinder should be small and easily combustible. The kindling should be larger than the tinder but smaller than the wood. Once you have gathered all of your materials, you will need to build a teepee out of tinder and kindling. Then, you will need to light the tinder and let the fire grow.