As the world evolves, so does how we approach the simple pleasure of lighting fire. Traditional techniques for starting a fire in a fire pit, such as friction and trusty matchsticks, are becoming less effective. The future has exciting plans that will transform how we ignite our fire pits in terms of convenience and environmental impact.
In this article, we will uncover how to start a fire in a fire pit, focusing on environmentally friendly starters, high-tech ignition systems, and innovative solutions that make this process easier, safer, and more efficient. Dive in!
Safety Tips for a Fire Pit
Before learning how to start a fire, you’ll need to observe these safety tips:
Check Out the Wind Condition
Always check out the weather forecast before starting a fire pit. It’s not a good idea to put on your hole on a windy day: the wind can make the fire lighting daunting and blow sparks towards surrounding structures or bushes, potentially igniting a fire. Further, if you have a portable pit, consider positioning it in an area with a natural windbreak before starting the fire.
Place Your Pit in an Open Space
Never put your campfire below a building or in a closed room. Generally, placing it in an enclosed area like a walled patio or a garage can be dangerous due to carbon monoxide and smoke build-up. Fire pits produce carbon monoxide, which disperses rapidly in open air and can build up indoors. Propane pits can also be hazardous as they can explode when placed in poorly ventilated areas.
After identifying a perfect open spot for your campfire, keep the surrounding area free from flammable materials such as yard waste. Also, keep it about 10-20 feet away from your shed, house, and other structures. This will enhance safety as sparks can blow out of the blaze and kindle nearby structures, dry leaves, or other debris, causing a fire emergency.
Never Use Construction Lumber in Your Pit
Use wooden shavings or purchase customized hardwood logs and killings to light up your campfire. You can also opt to use softwood such as pine, but remember that they burn less effectively and can trigger more smoke or sparks than hardwoods. However, never burn construction materials such as MDF, plywood, and treated wood. When ignited, these materials are treated with adhesives, resins, and other chemicals that release toxic fumes.
Stay Prepared to Put Out the Flames
Fire can be charming but, at other times, an uncertain, destructive force. If you have positioned your campfire in a safe site considering the direction of the wind, you may not experience any severe problems. But, take the precaution of keeping some water and a shovel at hand. In an emergency, use the water to extinguish the flame and a shovel to soothe it by covering it with dirt.
Investing in a fire blanket and extinguisher is also a great idea. Train your kids in ways of managing burns in the event their clothes catch fire. These safety measures are not mandatory, but ignoring them can make your fun moment a tragedy.
Keep Your Chairs Far from the Campfire
It is essential to observe care as you enjoy your moment around a campfire. Keep your chairs away from the blaze as your clothes and hair can quickly start burning (3-4 feet for wood-burning and 2-3 feet for gas-burning pits).
Children should stay about 3.5 to 10 feet away from the campfire. Also, ensure you roll up your sleeves and tie back your hair as you lean or roast food over an open flame.
Keep Away Unwanted Materials from the Campfire
It is also essential to remember the materials you should burn in your backyard campfire. Some materials are relatively risky and may expose you to toxic smoke that can impair your health. Here is a list of fabrics that you should keep safe a ways from the fire:
- Painted Wood
- Particle Board
- Oak, Poison Ivy Trash
- Wooden Pallets
- Soft Wood
Most of these items are highly flammable and toxic when burned.
How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit:
Gas & Wood-Burning Campfires
Though gas and wood-burning campfires offer outdoor ambiance, they differ in some ways, including how to maintain the blaze running in both methods. Starting a flame in these campfires is a significant challenge for many that we are solving below:
The Traditional Way of Starting a Wood-burning Campfire
Here is a step-by-step guide to putting on a campfire the traditional way:
- Create a layer of fuel at the base of your pit.
- Use lighting to establish a 30-degree angle structure above the power.
- Leave small spaces for air to flow between the frame.
- Use a fire starter kit to put on the lighting. Begin placing firewood when the lighting starts burning.
- After the system starts to boil, place the firewood in the campfire while maintaining the same angle as the lighting.
- Your campfire is ready.
How to Start a Gas Campfire Using a Match-lit System
Gas campfires are categorized into three: push-button, match-lit, and electronic. Let’s begin with the match-lit- the most convenient and most accessible system to put on:
Step 1: Insert the valve key in your pit’s gas supply area.
Step 2: Switch on the gas valve and ignite the long-stemmed match.
Step 3: Extinguish the game and regulate the blaze levels, depending on your needs.
Match-lit backyard campfires are the easiest to handle but should always come from a reputable quality brand. A great brand ensures that your campfire is certified and is less likely to malfunction.
Lighting a Gas Campfire with an Electronic Ignition
An electronic ignition system has the most advanced features for lighting a backyard gas campfire. It saves you from the hassle of using lighters and matches. These systems have a battery that allows you to start the fire using a button or a remote controller. The following is a procedure for creating this system:
1. Use the applicable method of turning on your system (phone app or remote control).
2. It will initiate a steer flame.
3. The gas supply from your main burner should be turned on.
4. Your campfire is running. Enjoy! Lighting a Gas Campfire Using a Push-Button Ignition System
A push-button ignition system is much more efficient than a match-lit system, making it an alternative solution for many. This system allows you to enjoy the warm light of a fire with your loved ones. Here is how to start your system:
1. Turn on the control knob to allow the gas to flow to your campfire.
2. Press the ignition button and regulate the knob instantly to produce a spark.
3. Release the button after the steer blaze appears.
4. Let go the valve control 20 seconds later.
5. Rotate the control knob in an anticlockwise direction to put on the main burner.
6. Use the control knob to regulate the fire to your desired level.
Materials and Tools for Lighting a Wood-Burning Campfire
You have the following materials and tools to put on a wood-burning campfire:
- A Bucket
- A Long stick
- Fire starters (Lighter, kitchen match)
A 7-Step Procedure of How to Put On a Wood-Burning Campfire
- Gather all materials and items listed above.
- Search dry materials for fuel.
- Pick fire kindlers such as matches and lighters.
- Find dry twigs and sticks around your backyard for kindling.
- Construct a fire structure (cross-sectional, log-cabin, or teepee fire structure)
- Use a fire starter to turn on the ignition and adjust the flame with the amount of firewood. 7. Add more fuelwood at various intervals to maintain the fire.
How To Extinguish Fire in a Fire Pit
After you’ve learned how to start a fire in a fire pit, you should also learn how to extinguish the fire. Leaving even tiny embers in your fire pit can destroy your backyard. Fortunately, there are practical ways to stop this disaster through proper research and planning. Here are some of these ways:
- Cut off the fuel source about 30 minutes before you want to stop using the fire pit.
- Add water if you are using a wood-burning fire pit. Stir the ashes.
How Long Does Wood Burn in a Fire Pit?
It depends on the wood type you use in your outdoor fire pit. Generally, hardwoods burn longer compared to softwoods since wood fibers are closely intact in hardwood. Softwoods catch fire quickly and can last about 25-30 minutes before needing other logs. On the other hand, hardwoods take time to ignite, and their structures take twice as long to burn thoroughly.
Which is the Best Wood for My Fire Pit?
Hardwood is the wood for fire pits since it is easily accessible and has a longer burning time. Some hardwoods you may consider for your fire pit are ash, oak, birch, and maple. Which is the Best Approach to Extinguishing Fire in a Fire Pit? The method generally depends on the type of fire pit. Pouring water from a bucket is the fastest and safest way to extinguish uncontrolled flame in an emergency.
It would help to be extra careful when handling a fire pit and always stay prepared with proper gear. Starting and maintaining a fire in a fire pit is a demanding task. However, you can quickly become a fire-stocking pro by practicing an appropriate technique. Enjoying fire on a fire pit can create memories, but never neglect your safety.