How To Start A Fire In A Fire Pit

Starting a fire in a pit fire is a skill that has been used for thousands of years for cooking food, warmth, and light. It can be a fun and rewarding experience and knowing how to start a fire in a pit fire is an important and useful skill; whether you’re camping, having a backyard barbecue, having a bonfire, enjoying a cozy fire on a chilly evening, or simply want to build a fire pit in your garden. 

Pit fires are an excellent way to add warmth and light to your outdoor space, but they require a bit of preparation and know-how to start and maintain. In this article, we will go over the steps you need to follow to build and light a fire in a pit fire, as well as tips for maintaining the fire, keeping it safe, and putting it out when you’re done. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a beginner, this article will provide you with all the information you need on how to start a fire in a pit fire with confidence.

Tools Needed to Start A Fire Pit

But what are the tools you need to start a fire in a fire pit? Here are the tools you will need:

  • Fire pit: This can be made of stones, bricks, or metal.
  • Matches or a lighter: To ignite the fire.
  • Kindling: Small, dry twigs and branches to help get the fire started.
  • Firewood: Larger logs to sustain the fire.
  • Newspapers or paper towels: To create a layer of tinder underneath the kindling.
  • Firestarter: A product designed to help start fires, such as paraffin wax or fire starter cubes.
  • Shovel or rake: To arrange the fire and add more fuel as needed.
  • Water or a fire extinguisher: To put out the fire if necessary.

It’s also a good idea to have a source of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. And always make sure to check local fire restrictions before starting a fire.

Steps on starting a fire in a fire pit

Starting a fire in a pit fire is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps. Here’s how:

  1. Choose the right location: Select an area that’s far away from trees, bushes, and any other flammable materials. Make sure your pit fire is also in a location where the fire won’t spread, such as a gravel or sand area.
  2. Dig your pit: Dig a pit that’s roughly 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep. This will ensure that the fire has plenty of room to burn and is contained within the pit.
  3. Prepare the fire pit: Line the bottom of the pit with stones or bricks to create a barrier between the ground and the fire. This will help to prevent the fire from spreading.
  4. Gather materials: You will need some dry kindling (small sticks, twigs, and leaves), larger logs, and a fire starter (such as newspaper, wax fire starters, or dryer lint).
  5. Build the fire: Start by creating a teepee structure with your kindling in the center of the pit. Place the fire starter inside the teepee and light it. Once the kindling is burning, add larger logs to the fire one by one.
  6. Maintain the fire: To keep the fire burning, use a long stick to periodically rearrange the logs and add more as needed. Keep an eye on the fire to make sure it doesn’t get too big or start to spread.
  7. Extinguish the fire: When you’re ready to put out the fire, use a shovel to cover the fire with dirt and ashes. Stir the ashes until they are cool to the touch.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to start a fire in a pit fire with ease. Remember to always follow fire safety guidelines and be mindful of your surroundings when lighting and maintaining a fire.

Expert Tips/Advice

Here are some expert tips for how to build a fire in a fire pit:

  • Use dry materials: Ensure that the tinder, kindling, and firewood are dry, as wet materials will be difficult to ignite and keep burning.
  • Build a fire lay with proper ventilation: Building a fire lay that allows for proper airflow is key to maintaining a strong, steady flame.
  • Gradually increase the size of the fire: Start with small amounts of tinder and kindling, then gradually add larger pieces of firewood as the fire gains strength.
  • Use firestarters: Firestarters, such as wax firestarter sticks or commercial firestarter cubes, can be useful in getting the fire started and maintaining a steady flame.
  • Keep a fire poker handy: Having a fire poker or stick on hand will allow you to safely rearrange the logs and ensure that the fire is burning evenly.
  • Monitor the wind: Be aware of wind conditions and adjust the fire lay or extinguish the fire if necessary to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Extinguish the fire properly: Make sure to fully extinguish the fire and properly dispose of any ash and embers to prevent the risk of fire spreading.
  • Avoid using accelerants: Avoid using accelerants, such as gasoline or lighter fluid, as they can create a dangerous and unpredictable fire.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby: Having a fire extinguisher or access to water nearby can help you quickly put out the fire in case of an emergency.
  • Know local fire regulations: Make sure to familiarize yourself with any local fire regulations and obtain any necessary permits before starting a fire in a pit.
  • Consider the weather: Make sure to take the weather into account when starting a fire in a pit, as strong winds or rain can quickly extinguish a fire.
  • Respect wildlife: When starting a fire in a pit, make sure to keep it away from wildlife habitats and never leave food or trash around the fire that could attract animals.

By following these tips, you can start a fire in a pit safely and responsibly, creating a warm and enjoyable outdoor experience.


Starting a fire in a pit fire can be fun, whether you are using it for cooking, warmth, or simply for the ambiance. With the right materials, proper construction, and safety precautions, you can build a fire that will last for hours and provide a memorable experience for you and your friends or family. 

Remember to always use caution when starting a fire, and to never leave a fire unattended. With a little practice and patience, you will soon be able to start a fire in a pit fire like a pro.

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