Is your fire frustrating, and you don’t know how to keep a fire pit going all night long? Or for as long as you would like it to go?
Lighting a fire is not as easy as we would all want it to be, even for the experts. Keeping it going for an extended period is even harder, especially if you are a newbie and getting to understand the art of lighting fires.
Nevertheless, you can still enjoy your fire as much as you want. The secret lies in knowing what to expect and what to do in case your fire starts to dim.
And that’s what we are here for. To ensure you never spend another minute longer with a dying fire, you have no idea how to rekindle.
How To Keep a Fire Pit Going
The good news, keeping a fire going can get easier with practice. Once you know what to do and are always prepared with the right ingredients, you can continue basking under the embers of your fire all night long. Here’s how to do it:
Using Dry Wood
There is no faster way to put a fire out now and then than using firewood with high moisture content. Regardless of the firewood you are using, it needs to have a moisture level of 20% and below.
If you buy logs for burning, ensure that you ask about the moisture content. You can also measure the moisture level yourself before buying using a moisture meter.
If you are cutting firewood from your farm or backyard by yourself, you should do so at least six months before the time of use. In fact, it is recommended that you cut the firewood early in spring or late in winter to allow for more time to dry.
Adding Tinder And Kindling
Tinder and kindling are a must-have for starting a fire. The difference between the two is that tinder burns easily for starting and catching fire. On the other hand, kindling helps sustain the fire once the tinder is up and burning.
While these are perfect for starting a fire, you can also use them to restart one or keep it burning once you start running out of firewood. When your fire starts dimming, add the tinder, kindling, and firewood as you would when starting a fire for the first time.
What can you use as tinder and kindling? The best materials for tinder include dry leaves, Birchbark, toilet paper, newspaper, or cotton swabs. In addition, you can use thinner pieces of firewood, dry twigs, or broken branches as kindling material.
Using Large Firewood Pieces
Let’s see; there are some large pieces of firewood you have been pushing aside because they are hard to catch fire compared to the smaller ones. Pretty understandable. No one wants to spend the better part of their cold evening waiting for firewood to catch on fire.
But did you know that larger pieces of firewood burn longer than their counterparts? They are the perfect type for staying out longer than usual and enjoying a warm evening. They save you from having to add firewood into the fire pit often. Also, larger pieces of firewood create more heat than shorter ones.
To ensure that the fire burns even longer, place the smaller firewood pieces first and top up the stack of larger pieces of firewood.
Have a Windbreak
Apart from using tinder, kindred and larger pieces of firewood, placing your firepit close to a windbreak also helps ensure you enjoy your fire longer. While having a fire out in the open gives you a nostalgic and warm feeling, and wind gusts will mostly blow out the fire.
That’s why placing your fire pit in an area with a windbreak like a wind guard is important. Nevertheless, ensure that there is nothing flammable close to the fire. In fact, you must place your fire pit at least ten feet away from any combustible materials, including the walls of your home, trees, hanging branches, and fences.
Use a Dry Fire Pit
Your fire pit might look dry, but moisture has a way of accumulating in hot places, like fire pits. So, before placing tinder, kindred and your firewood in the fire pit, try to run paper towels through its walls. This ensures that your fire pit is completely dry and will not affect the moisture content of the firewood.
Fire Pit Safety Measures
Now that you know how to keep your fire burning as long as you desire have you thought about keeping yourself and your loved ones safe? There is no denying that fire is beautiful. It keeps you warm during cold nights. And it provides us with a magical enchanted environment for catching up with loved ones.
However, a simple mistake can lead to bodily and property damages when the fire gets out of hand. So, how do you ensure you stay safe when lighting a fire pit?
Ensure The Fire Pit Is Away From Combustible Items
First, you must construct your fire pit at least 10 feet away from your house or any walls. The further it is, the best. If you are using a portable fire pit, ensure you place it within such a distance whenever you are using it.
Second, other flammable items, like chairs, pieces of clothing, trees, hanging branches, and such things should also not be close to the fire pit at any time. Again, it will help prevent accidental fires from stray sparks of fire blown away by the wind.
What’s The Weather Condition?
Speaking of wind, check the weather condition in your area before lighting a fire. The goal is to avoid lighting a fire during windy conditions. Apart from making it extremely difficult to light a fire, windy conditions can blow away embers of the fire, and any flammable structures close to you will catch fire.
Second, you need to ensure everyone is sitting on the upwind side of the fire pit. This ensures no one is sitting directly to the smoke, which is potentially harmful to one’s health.
Don’t Use The Fire Pit In Closed Spaces
This applies to not only closed places but semi-closed areas as well. Whether you are building a fire pit or are using a movable one, it is recommended that you always light your fire outdoors. In addition to ensuring any start embers of fire don’t put up a fire, it also ensures anyone using the fire pit doesn’t inhale smoke and carbon monoxide from the fire pit.
Be a Responsible Drinker
Are you having a get-together with friends and family? Or perhaps you enjoy staying out by the fire with a glass of wine or whisky or a few bottles of your favorite beer? Whichever the case, no one is stopping you.
However, remember that fire and alcohol do not go well together. First, if any alcoholic drink touches the fire, it could turn into a fire. Second, over-indulgence in alcohol can lead to the loss of reflexes, coordination, and poor judgment. This could lead to injuries if someone accidentally falls or steps into the fire pit.
Don’t Use Construction Lumber
You probably have some leftover construction after your little DIY project. Should you use it in the fire pit and save some space in your garage? Unfortunately, the answer is a big fat no.
The best and most recommended firewood for fueling a fire pit is hardwood. While it is less efficient than softwood, it also produces a lot of smoke. Construction lumber, like MDF boards, plywood, or pressure-treated posts and boards, is worse than softwood.
Remember that construction wood is treated with a myriad of harsh chemicals for preservation. Burning these will emit smoke mixed with all these chemicals used to treat the lumber. That's the last thing you want to or should be inhaling.
Always Keep An Eye On The Fire Pit
Do you want to dash inside the house for a bathroom break or replenish your marshmallows and empty bottles of drinks? The problem is, you should never leave a fire unattended.
So, if you are planning to leave for a few minutes or seconds, get someone to keep an eye on the fire for you. When you are ready to call it a night and leave the fire, pour water on all the firewood. Then, turn it over to ensure that it is completely off.
Once you know how to keep a fire going, you can enjoy it for an extended period hassle-free. There are a few ways to do this, like ensuring your fire pit is dry, the firewood has a moisture content level of 20% or lower, and you are using larger pieces of firewood. But, most importantly, don’t forget to observe all the safety measures of lighting a fire, from putting the fire pit away from flammable materials to not using construction lumber, among others.
Why does my fire pit keep going out?
Does your fire go out more often than it sh? That’s because it might be running out of fuel. Empty fire pits go out because there is no fuel to keep burning and keep the fire going for longer. If you are using firewood and need the fire to keep going, add more wood on time.
If you are using a gas fire pit, check whether the valves on the tank or the fire pit are open. When such valves are closed, they could stop the flow of the fuel and interfere with the fire.
How do you keep a fire going all night?
The best way to keep your fire going all night is to keep adding firewood to it. If you don’t want to keep adding firewood every few minutes, ensure that you stack regular-sized hardwood logs with little space in between. The gaps and regular size of the wood will ensure a flow of oxygen for burning the fire, but not too much to make the wood burn faster.
Do Night Briquettes Work?
Yes, briquettes work. Briquettes are compressed coal dust blocks or blocks from other combustible materials. They are used for kindling a fire or as fuel. While they are manufactured and cheaper than charcoal or firewood, they can also work for lighting a fire in your fire pit, log burner, fireplace, or burning stove.