How To Light a Fire Pit

How To Light a Fire Pit – How to Start a Fire in A Fire Pit? (With Explainer Video)

Fire pits are a good way to keep warm during very cold winter seasons, which can be used indoors and outdoors. 

They not only provide warmth during cold days, but they also serve as means of cooking some foods like marshmallows, hotdogs, and even steak on a skewer while on the beach, camp, or tailgating.

Using a pit fire, especially in the evenings, adds a kind of allure or magic in the almost romantic air. It gives the feeling that you get when you are having a candlelight dinner; it is dreamy. 

But what many people don’t know is that lighting this fire pit is not as easy as striking a match, and then the fire burns; it’s a little trickier than that.

To start a pit fire that will burn and not die out at once, you need certain materials like fuel, a tinder, and a kindling; these materials are essential in starting your fire pit and keeping it burning. Today we will show you how you can light your fire pit successfully.

Preparing To Start a Fire Pit

Before starting your fire pit, you must ensure that you are very safety conscious because fire pits can lead to a fire outbreak if not properly cared for. So, one of the first things to do is to choose a safe place to place your fire pit; the tips below will guide:

  1. You should choose a flat and even surface that will ensure that the fire pit does not tip over; this will also stop any fire from escaping.
  2. Ensure that the fire pit is no place close to a tree, your home, a fence, or any structure for that matter. A clearance of at least 10 feet is needed for you to place your fire pit.
  3. As much as possible, never try to use a fire pit in windy weather and dry atmosphere as you might not control the fire.
  4. Never use fuel or any other flammable material around the fire pit.
  5. You should always check the fire so that it does not go out of hand.

Now that you have chosen the right location for your fire pit, the next thing to do is get all the materials you will need to start the fire. These materials include:

  1. Kindling: these are small woods or twigs that are dry and can burn very fast in the fire; they are used to keep the fire going until the main woods get burning properly. They help to transfer fires from the fire starters to the firewood.
  2. Tinder: This is what you use to start your fire; they include newspapers, tree barks, pinecones, and the likes.
  3. Firestarter: there are different means of starting your fire; the popular choice is using a kitchen lighter or matches. Other very effective choice includes butane torch lighter and electric arc.
  4. Firewood: these are the main material that burns in a fire pit. The best logs to burn are hardwoods that are gotten from oaks, birch, and the likes.
  5. Kerosene: This is optional; some people light their fire without any fuel, but if you must use fuel, then stick to kerosene which is best for making a fire in pits

How To Light a Fire Pit?

Start firstly by laying your tinder which could be newspaper or twigs, at the bottom of the fire pit, then place your kindling in a rough teepee formation over the tinder, ensuring that you place them in such a way that they are not clumped together; you can even place in a pyramid style. This is to ensure that they get all the oxygen they need to burn.

At this point, you can now strike your match or use any fire starter you have to light the pile; you might have to strike the match more than once if the tinder burns and off. 

The tinder starts burning first, which will then cause the kindling to catch fire. When they are all burning, you will notice small coal developing while you start hearing the cracking sound of the wood ignites.

At this point, you can add your larger firewood in a teepee shape or pyramid formation so that oxygen can flow freely. 

You can now add the smallest amount of kerosene possible to the pile. The flame will burn now, and the bigger woods will catch and burn too.

Watch The Video Below to Learn How to Light a Fire Pit

How To Light a Fire Without Kindling?

There are many creative options to start your fire without a kindling; these include toilet paper, dry lint, bark, moss, leaves, cardboard, pinecones, and the likes.

To be able to light your fire pit and keep it burning, you must do the following:

  1. Use very dried wood: if you are not using any form of kindling, you must ensure that you get woods that are dry as a kernel; this will ensure that your fire catches and is not smothered out.
  2. Use smaller woods to make your fire because they will catch more easily than bigger logs; the only problem is that they burn out on time, which means you must keep feeding the fire more often than otherwise.
  3. You should also build your fire using the top-down method to build your fire; this will ensure that the tinder burns for long before they are smothered. The top-down method involves placing your woods first in the fire pit’s bottom and then adding the tinder on top of the pile.

How To Light a Fire with Charcoal?

Charcoal is the product that you when the wood is burnt with little oxygen; what happens is that the wood does not burn completely; what is left is charcoal. 

Charcoal is a fuel of choice for some people in their fire pit because it does not give off a smoky odor that sometimes overpowers foods cooked over firewood. 

Charcoals are a lot easier to ignite than most wood, and they keep the temperature warm without a flame and are readily available in stores.

There are three main types of charcoal: the pressed charcoal are gotten off the shelves of stores, they are a mix of wood and other materials and chemical binders that helps them to ignite faster.

 There is also the lump charcoal which is made from hardwood that has scorched and then blackened. This type of charcoal is free from chemicals and so does not give off a sour flavor.

The last type of charcoal is pressed charcoal, which is gotten when smoking wood is incorporated into charcoal, giving it a smoked flavor.

To light a fire with charcoal, follow the steps below:

  1. Get the charcoal type that you want and put them in the fire pit.
  2. Then use get lighter fluid and sprinkle an adequate amount of the fluid into the fire pit holding the firewood 
  3. Light the match, then wait till the flames die out, and then the embers will begin to glow.

How To Light Fire Without Smoke

The reason why smokers are produced when we light fire is blighted with insufficient air and moisture, which is scientifically called incomplete combustion. 

So, if you want a smokeless fire, you must go for fuel that is completely dried and contains only carbons. 

There are a few reasons why someone might want a smokeless fire, including:

  1. Smoke affects our bodies because it produces carbon monoxide, which can be life-threatening if emitted in an enclosed environment. The effect of smoke is worsened if the fire is kindled by gasoline, firewood, turpentine, diesel fuel, and other combustible materials like that.
  2. Smoke pollution in our environment contaminates the entire planet because the carbon monoxide released by smoke destroys the ozone layer, which is the protective shield that our planet uses over the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  3. A smokeless fire can be a safety measure against wild animals invading your space in the wild when you are camping. Smoke generally is a tell-tale sign that a human being is around.

So, if you want to make a fire without smoke, you might have to use coke or anthracite, which is about 90% carbon.

How To Light a Fire Without Lighter Fluid?

If you run out of lighter fluid for your fire pit or you are looking for a creative way to light the fire, then you can resort to some life hacks that will prove very effective. 

One of those options is the use of vegetable oil and newspaper to start your fire. You can start the fire by following the steps below:

  1. Get dry wood which will ignite very easily.
  2. Roll up a newspaper or any other paper you can find into balls.
  3. Spray the rolled-up newspaper with vegetable oil.
  4. Build your fire by placing the rolled-up vegetable-oil-soaked newspaper first into the fire pit. Then, place your kindling like twigs and barks and then the woods in a pyramid formation around the newspaper while giving ample space for free movement air into the heap.
  5. Light the newspaper first, and then the kindling will follow suit, and then the woods will burn.

Putting Out Your Fire Pit Fire

Putting out your fire, your fire pit fire does not end with just extinguishing the fire with water; you must ensure that the embers do not remain hot because they can still burn after you sprinkle them with water. 

So, your best bet is to extinguish the fire with water, then you sir the fire gently to ensure that any live embers do not go flying about.

Gently spread the ashes around and leave them to cool until you can touch them. As a rule of thumb, a fire extinguisher should not be far from you when you are using fire pits outside or anywhere, for that matter.


It is a clear fact that fire pits are a great way to enjoy the evenings with loved ones and that these fire pits must be lighted properly if you’re to get the most out of them. So, you can light your fire pit using the means we talked about already.

Lighting a pit fire is so easy with kindling or without, with lighter fuel or without, with charcoal, or if you intend to make a smokeless fire. The bottom line is this: safety should be your watchword.

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How To Light a Fire Pit – How to Start a Fire in A Fire Pit?

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