By Kathy Ray
We all have been anxiously awaiting warm weather in our neck of the woods; dreaming of warm summer nights, the sounds of crickets, fireflies twinkling, and sitting beside a crackling fire in our backyard with family and friends. Once the warm weather dream becomes a reality, maybe you have just one other problem. No fire pit. Read on for a couple of options to create the perfect fire pit on your own, without breaking the bank.
First, choose a location that is not too close to vegetation or a structure. If possible, be close to a water source. Hopefully you will never have a fire that gets out of control, but a little planning can eliminate heartache later.
Let’s start with the easiest and least expensive option. You have to start with the hard part first. You need to dig a hole, approximately 36” in diameter and 18” deep. What a great reason on a sunny afternoon to call over some friends. Bribe them with cold beverages and delicious fire-roasted food.
Once you complete the digging, add a couple of inches of gravel and sand to the bottom of the pit and line the sides with fire brick. Stack the brick to the top of the soil line. One option is to cap off the top with manufactured retaining wall block that you can find at your area garden center. If you prefer something that looks more natural, find stones around your property or from area landscaping companies.
If this look is a little too rustic for your taste, here is another idea that is easy on your wallet. Buy a piece of heavy gauge steel pipe approximately 24-36” in diameter and 36” long. Unfortunately, you still must dig a hole. The hole needs to be close to 24” deep. Place the piece of pipe in the hole, leaving one foot above the ground.
Surround the pipe above the ground with decorative wall block to the top of the pipe. When you are purchasing the wall block, ask for finish block. Finish block are what you will use to complete the top of the fire pit. And just like that, you’re ready to sit back, throw some logs on the fire and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
But, hold on! You, your friends and family members have earned some sustenance for all your hard work. I’ve included a couple of easy recipes to cook over the fire pit that can include the children. Everyone loves a hotdog roasted over an open fire. No need to bring buns with this recipe. And follow the hot dogs with a desert that takes the gooey marshmallow or S’mores to the next level.
- Place a wooden skewer in one end of a hotdog about 3/4 of the way through.
- Open a tube of crescent rolls and wrap one long ways around each hot dog. Start with the flat end and finish with the tip of the triangle.
- Lightly surround your crescent-wrapped hotdog in aluminum foil.
- Dampen the wooden skewer and roast over the fire. Keep turning your stick just like you would a hotdog without the crescent roll wrapping.
- They should be ready in 15 minutes, depending on how hot the fire.
- Serve with your favorite condiments.
- Purchase waffle cones and choose whatever toppings you like, such as marshmallows, peanut butter cups, Rolos, chocolate or butterscotch chips, bananas, strawberries or raspberries. Be creative.
- Fill a cone with the desired amounts of marshmallows and toppings. Cover the cone with foil. Place over the campfire for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Enjoy the warm and gooey melted deliciousness.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, try to place your fire pit near a water source. If that isn’t possible, keep a bucket of water close. Even if you don’t need it to avert a catastrophe, pour it over the fire before you retire for the evening. Stay safe and enjoy!
Author Kathy Ray is Vice President of Pond Wiser, Inc.
How do I make a campfire?