How to Build a Secret Backyard Fire Pit

You see a lot of backyard fire pits in movies, but if you’re planning on building one yourself, then read this tutorial from the experts at Instructables.

Building a fire pit is a great way to get the whole family outside and enjoying nature. The “How to build a fire pit on grass” will tell you how to make your own backyard fire pit. Read more in detail here: how to build a fire pit on grass.

One of the most appealing features of our first home, which Kate and I purchased two years ago, is that it stands on a little more than an acre of property. If you live in the country, it may not seem like much, but in suburban Tulsa, it’s like owning a tiny farm.

Vintage View of forest.

From our back deck, this is the view.

The majority of the acreage is in the rear, where there is a woodlot with mostly oak trees and a few maple and redbud trees. Our acre backs up to another forested area, so there’s quite a bit of woodland. I’ve wanted to make a path that ran from the home to the rear of our property ever since we moved here. I intended to create a private fire pit at the end of the route where I could contemplate manly ideas while poking a blazing bonfire or enjoying my family’s company (weenie roast!).

This autumn, I finally got around to working on my path. It took roughly two months for me to finish. I definitely could have done it sooner, but I generally just worked on it on Saturdays.

Men holding a woodsman in his hand.

I cleared the route for my trek using a hoe and a Woodman’s Pal. The most difficult component of the path construction was getting through the trees. Behind the treeline, there’s a huge thorn patch. That nonsense was a pain to get rid of. To show it, I have scrapes from the thorns. The Woodman’s Pal came in extremely useful in this situation.

I went to Home Depot numerous times after clearing the hiking way to acquire sacks of pine bark nuggets. To prevent weeds and other plants from coming back, I lay them down on my cleaned walkway. I believe I used more than 60 bags of pine bark nuggets. Here are a few pictures of the finished trail:

Vintage falling leaves in the forest.

The journey starts. My wood chippage has been mostly hidden by falling leaves.

Vintage falling leaves and trees.

The route ascends a small incline.

Vintage The Top Of Hill.

The top of the slope…

Vintage trail into the briar patch.

into the thicket of briars…

Vintage trail nearing the secret fire pit.

and getting closer to the hidden fire pit…

It was time to build my hidden fire pit when I finished my route. There are several backyard fire pit layouts available, but none of them appealed to me. They all resemble the gaudy, slick, and trendy suburban “fire features” seen on HGTV backyard makeover programs. I didn’t have time for it, and I didn’t want to spend the money on it. It’s also not my style. My backyard campfire was supposed to seem like something you’d find in a state park – rough, primitive, and practical.

I studied some basic instructions on how to build a safe campfire area and began to work. You can create a fire pit even if you don’t have an acre of forests in your backyard. However, you’ll need to verify your city’s regulations to discover what’s permitted. Of course, the layout of your land and the quantity of trees/bushes on it will influence whether or not you can keep it “hidden.” Here’s how I put mine together:

 

Clear the Area Around the Campfire

Vintage clear area photo.

Clear a 10-foot circumference circle around your fire pit, according to Smokey the Bear. All grass, leaves, and dangling tree branches should be removed from the 10-foot clearance. You desire a dirt-only zone. To make my fire pit, I utilized a hoe and the Woodman’s Pal.

Make a Fire Pit

Digging fire pit for backyard campfire rocks around edges rim.

Make a rough estimate of how big you want your fire pit to be before digging a hole. The depth of your fire pit should be roughly 1 foot. This portion was first done with simply a shovel, but I discovered that clawing with my hoe and then heaving out the loose soil with my shovel worked better. I made my ring out of rocks first, then dug it out. I realized while digging that it would have been better if I had first dug the hole.

Rocks should be used to round the pit.

Vintage encircle pit with rocks.

Circumscribe your fire pit with rocks to keep the flames at bay.

Oklahoma sandstone rocks are abundant in the woods behind my home, and they are both hard and permeable. I wanted to take use of what nature provided, but I’d heard stories of campers being murdered by bursting campfire ring stones. I wanted to be sure the sandstone boulders I intended to use wouldn’t kill my wife and kids before I collected them around the fire pit.

Surprisingly little information on exploding campfire rocks could be found on the internet. I did come across an article on ehow that said that sandstone and other porous rocks, such as limestone, should not be used in fire pits. According to the article:

Permeable rocks, such as those that are permeable to air and water, are considerably more prone to explode than thick non-permeable rocks. This is because while the rock is cold, it absorbs air or water, and as the rock warms up adjacent to the fire, the trapped air or water molecules expand quicker than the solid rock. If there is enough water in a hot, porous rock, the rock will explode when the force of the expanding steam gas within exceeds the rock’s ability to retain it.

That put a stop to my utilizing my plentiful sandstone supply.

However, it was an ehow article. How trustworthy could it be? So I turned to Twitter in search of an explanation from a real geologist. Mark Benson enters the picture. Most stones are okay to put in a fire pit if they aren’t sopping wet, according to his statement. According to Mark, you may use any rock for a fire pit perimeter as long as it is firm, dry, and has a consistent color and texture. After all, my sandstone rocks were fine. Mark did advise against using chalks and limestones since the heat from the fire would break down the calcium carbonate. He also advised against choosing rocks that had voids or crystals in the center. I’m afraid there will be no geode fire pit rings.

I began collecting my sandstone rocks after confirming that they were fire pit safe. This was not a scientific experiment for me. I took it up and carried it to my fire pit location if it was a medium to big stone. The boulders were stacked, with the larger ones on the bottom and the smaller ones on top. I used dirt to fill up the spaces between the rocks.

 

Construct some flimsy (but sturdy) campfire benches.

While basking in the dazzling warmth of your backyard bonfire, you’ll need a place to sit. I wanted to make some basic wood plank benches, so I looked up several blueprints online. I came across a number of complex concepts, but they all needed handyman abilities that were above my pay grade. So I simply decided to go with the flow. I headed over to Home Depot, looked at the different sorts of timber, and immediately had a design in my brain. I was pleasantly delighted at how well my makeshift benches turned out. Here’s how to put them together:

Collect materials

Materials for homemade diy wood bench.

Drill, 3-inch screws, wood glue, (4) 18′′ 4x4s, (2) 40′′ 2x4s, (1) 48′′ 210

One (1) Bench’s Materials

  • (2) 48′′ 210
  • (4) 18-inch 4x4s
  • (2) 40-inch 2x4s
  • 20 3′′ wood screws (for extra safety, use 3 1/2′′ screws)
  • Glue for wood
  • Drill

I attempted to create my benches out of pressure treated wood to avoid termite and fungal damage since I was simply going to put them out by the fire pit. Unfortunately, pressure-treated 2X4s were not available at Home Depot.

Make a Bench Base

Vintage applying wood glue on one end of 4x4.

Apply wood glue to one of the 4’s ends.

Place one end of the 2x4 onto the glue on the end of the 4X4. Screw in two 3" wood screws.

Attach one end of the 24 to the adhesive on the 4X4’s end. Install two 3′′ wood screws. Carry on with the procedure on the opposite side. That’s one of your base’s sides. Rep the previous steps to make the second side of your base.

Vintage screw the two sides and base together.

Assemble the two sides of your foundation to create something similar to the image above. In the 2x4s, I inserted four 3′′ screws. Each side has two.

Attach the seat to the base.

Applying wood glue to the tops of the 4x4s drill top.

Glue the tops of the 4x4s using wood glue. On top of your base, place the 210. Two screws should be inserted into each 444 leg.

Finished product. She ain't purdy, but she's sturdy.

The final product. She ain’t pretty, but she’s a tough cookie.

Vintage four benches placed on earth.

I constructed four benches. It was a workout hauling them up to the hidden fire pit. Each bench is well over 100 pounds. My campfire area has to be leveled out a little. On the uneven terrain, the seats are a bit shaky. I’m thinking about burying the legs a few inches into the dirt.

Four benches placed around the leaves.

A view of our home from afar. Our fire pit is hidden behind a tree line and is not visible to the neighbors. That’s why it’s considered “secret.”

Vintage fire pit far away.

Take pleasure in your backyard campfire.

Vintage backyard campfire.

It’s time to start the fire! To learn how to make a campfire, see our instructions.

Fire is burning in the campfire.

This fire was controlled to a minimum. It was late, and the kids needed to go to bed.

Make good campfire safety a habit.

Make sure your campfire is completely extinguished after you’re through – you don’t want to burn down the neighborhood! Here’s what Smokey the Bear has to say about it:

  1. If possible, let the wood burn entirely to ash.
  2. Pour a lot of water on the fire, being sure to get all of the embers, not just the red ones, wet.
  3. Pour until the hissing stops.
  4. With a shovel, stir the embers and ashes from the blaze.
  5. Scrape any embers off the sticks and logs.
  6. Stir everything together and make sure it’s moist and cool to the touch – if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
  7. Use dirt instead of water if you don’t have any. Combine the embers with soil or sand. Continue to add and whisk until all of the materials have cooled. Remember not to bury the fire; it will continue to smolder and may catch roots on fire, which may ultimately reach the surface and cause a wildfire.

So that’s how my backyard fire pit came to be. Although the design is simple, you may play around with it to your heart’s content. You’ll be pleased to have a spot to retire to this winter, where you can light a fire, gaze into the flames, and think how to become the finest man you can be, whatever you do it.

 

 

 

In order to build a backyard fire pit, you will need the following items:
-A shovel
-Metal tins
-A masonry drill bit
-Mortar Reference: homemade metal fire pit ideas.

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