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Backyard Fire Pits

Updated on November 25, 2020
JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

Our backyard fire pit has given us a lot of memories over the years. Both young and old enjoy the experience.

Winter s'mores fire - yum
Winter s'mores fire - yum

Entertaining In Your Backyard With A Fire Pit

Imagine sitting around a cozy fire in early spring or late fall with friends or family, stars shining up above and a sweatshirt on your back. What's the best way to accomplish this atmosphere? By building a firepit in your yard. It can be a simple hole dug in the ground, or it can be more advanced by installing a gas or propane fire pit. There is also the self-contained fire pit table for your patio. With all these options, stop dreaming and start building!

This fairly inexpensive fire pit is portable so you can have a fire wherever you like!
This fairly inexpensive fire pit is portable so you can have a fire wherever you like!

To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world.

— Charles Dudley

Backyard Firepits

Build One Yourself

Outdoor firepits have become quite a popular addition to the backyard for many homeowners and especially during the 2020 pandemic. The attraction of sitting by an open fire goes back thousands of years with the image we have of cavemen, or just a few years to the stories told by cowboys sitting around the campfire. Do you have memories from your childhood of camping with your family and sitting around the campfire? In many parts of the country it is traditional to have a fire pit in the backyard.

One of the easiest ways to get a fire pit in your back yard is to build one yourself. The process for building a fire pit is fairly simple. A basic hole in the ground can work well, but the opportunities go on up to a fine stone pit built by a stone mason, complete with a gas fire. A masonry fire pit is often built using a fire pit ring.

The photo here is a fine example of a do-it-yourself pit built by my brother-in-law. Simple, useful and aesthetically pleasing.

To build one in the ground, start with a hole about 3 feet in diameter. Be sure to put the hole away from your utility connections. It needs to be located away from buildings and trees so that the ashes don't spread to make a fire hazard. Also check for utility lines, and dig a hole about 3 feet across and a couple of feet deep. Pack the sides so they don't collapse, and it's a good idea to line the edges with stones or racks. Stacking them up several inches will add a nice visual touch and keep folks from stumbling into the pit. Adding rock to the bottom of the pit will help to stabilize it.

Lose a Tree - Gain a Fire Pit

I have a handy family! This fire pit is the result of a giant tree being cut down. The area around its base was barren so with the clearing of the tree and a few around it that my brother-in-law and kids cleverly made the area into a fire pit. Can't wait to sit around and enjoy.


Fire Pit Table

If you would rather not have an open pit, or would prefer to have the fire pit up on the patio or the deck you still have some options. A fire pit table is a setup that works well on a deck. It looks like a normal patio table, but but the middle can be opened up and a fire built right in the table.

Gas or Propane Options

If you want to have a fire but are bothered by the danger from sparks flying about or don't want to bother with keeping the wood fuel around and dry enough to use, you may want to use a gas fire pit. Gas fire pits are also ash free, and you can easily control the level of the fire with the gas level. If you can not have a gas fire pit, a propane fire pit will have many of the same advantages, but is fueled by a simple propane tank. These are often the same tanks that you will find for a BBQ grill, and can be refueled at many hardware and grocery stores.

How To Start Your Fire

Our Tried and True Method

A great way to start your fire is to use old lint from your dryer. First off, it's a good way to "recycle" the lint (which is actually a recycled product in itself!). Second, since lint is made from fabric strands, it will ignite well and quickly.

We save our lint in a recycled plastic grocery bag keeping it near the dryer for ease of gathering. Then, when we are ready for a fire, we put the lint into a cardboard egg carton (another recycling idea!).

Place the egg carton at the center bottom of your kindling wood and ignite it with an extention lighter.

There you have it, a good fire in no time!

Weather Conditions

Living in an urban area, we take into consideration if the conditions are right for a backyard fire. Ideally, there should be little to no wind and cool temperatures. Have a hose ready for an emergency and a flashlight nearby. Check with local authorities to see if you have a burn ban in effect.


Of course, if you have a fire going, you have to have S'mores! It's an old-fashioned treat made around the camp fire.

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: As little or as many as you want


  • Graham crackers
  • Marsh mellows big or camp fire size
  • Hershey's chocolate bars


  1. It's so easy to make a S'more!
  2. Have your graham crackers broken in half and your chocolate squares broken to the size you prefer (1 square or 2 rectangles seem to work best).
  3. Place your marsh mellow on the end of a stick and hold it over the fire. The technique for this varies: hold it close for a quick, possibly burned marsh mellow; turn it for a warm mostly done marsh mellow; or cook it in between these two, lightly brown, yet cooked and hot.
  4. When your marsh mellow is warmed to desired consistency, have graham cracker ready with chocolate on it and slowly ease your marsh mellow off the stick onto the cracker. Put other half of cracker on top and press ever so slightly so as not to break the cracker. Enjoy!
Cast your vote for S'mores Recipe

Popular Songs Around the Campfire

She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain

She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes, toot! toot! She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes, toot! toot!

She'll be comin' round the mountain, she'll be comin' round the mountain, She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes, toot! toot!

She'll be drivin' six white horses when she comes (Whoa Back! (pull on reins)

Oh, we'll all go out to meet her when she comes, Hi there! (wave)

Then we'll kill the old red rooster when she comes, chop chop (make chopping motion)

And we'll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes, yum! yum! (rub stomach)

Oh she'll wear her red pajamas when she comes, scratch! scratch! (scratch sides)

Oh she'll have to sleep with Grandma when she comes, Snore! Snore! (make snoring sound)

She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes, toot! toot!

Hush Little Baby

Hush little baby, don't say a word.

Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

If that mockingbird don't sing, Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

If that diamond ring turns brass, Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass.

If that looking glass gets broke, Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat.

If that bill goal don't pull, Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull.

If that cart and bull turn over, Papa's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

If that dog named Rover don't bark, Papa's gonna buy you a horse and cart.

If that horse and cart fall down, You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

SOURCE: Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays

Kum Ba Yah

Kum ba yah my Lord, Kum ba yah

Kum ba yah my Lord, Kum ba yah

Kum ba yah my Lord, Kum ba yah

Kum ba yah my Lord, O, Lord, Kum ba yah!

Someone's crying my Lord, Kum ba yah

Someone's laughing my Lord, Kum ba yah

Someone's singing my Lord, Kum ba yah

Someone's praying my Lord, Kum ba yah

Translation of Kum ba yah: come by here

SOURCE: Wee Sing Sing-Alongs


1. In a cavern, in a canyon, excavating for a mine, dwelt a miner, forty-niner and his daughter, Clementine.

Oh, my darling, Oh, my darling, Oh my darling, Clementine.

You are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry Clementine.

SOURCE: Wee Sing Sing-Alongs


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