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How To Light A Fire Pit (Plus An Instant Auto-Start Alternative)

Nothing says welcome autumn like a warm, bulky sweater, a cup of favorite tea, and a relaxing evening around the fire pit with your friends and family.

Some of the best memories are created in this atmosphere, and to help you create it, we have created a quick and easy guide on how to light a wood-burning fire pit safely followed by a great alternative fire pit that starts instantly…

How To Start A Wood-Burning Fire Pit


Step 1: Materials

gather dry tinder, kindling, seasoned firewood, matches or lighter, and a bucket of water in case of emergencies. Also, we recommend that you use log tongs and heat-resistant gloves for the protection of the person who will start and tend the fire.

Step 2: The set-up process

place the tinder in a small pile at the bottom of the fire pit. The tinder is the easily lit quick-burning fuel source that will start burning first and spread the fire to the kindling and other wood.

It can be anything from pine needles to tree bark, fatwood shavings, etc. Make sure you have enough and it is dry.

Then you need to arrange the kindling (which are the sticks, branches, twigs, and small cuts of wood that will burn long enough to fuel the hardwood) in a teepee-like structure over the previously added tinder pile.

Step 3: Starting the fire

It is best that you use a longer piece of paper or a long lighter to carefully light the tinder.

Be careful and keep your distance while waiting for the kindling to start burning. Once the kindling is burning you can start adding the previously prepared seasoned firewood logs, one at a time.

Step 4: Maintaining the fire pit

You will need to add the seasoned fried firewood on time, one or 2 maximum. Make sure that you add them in a proper manner that will allow a proper airflow between the logs, preferably in teepee or pyramid configuration.

When should you add the additional logs?

Add them when the fire begins to wane. While adding them, you need to be extra careful and aware that the logs in the fire can shift, potentially throwing embers and other particles outside the confines of the fire pit, making it more dangerous.

Make sure you keep your distance and preferably use safety heat-resistant gloves.

Instant Start Auto-Ignition Propane Fire Pits

Alternatively, if you don’t want the hassle of gathering wood, tinder, and lighting a wood fire pit you can have your cake and it too so to speak with a gas fire pit.

Not only are these fire pits easy to start by just turning the switch you also get to avoid all the smoke smells as well. So everyone can gather around the fire pit and not have to immediately wash their smelly smokey clothes when they go inside.

Most of these fire pits are portable as well.

Here is an example of an instant start fire pit available at Amazon…


Outland Firebowl 870 Premium Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit with Cover & Carry Kit

Outland Firebowl 870 Premium Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit with Cover & Carry Kit, 19-Inch Diameter 58,000 BTU Auto-Ignition

Click image to view on Amazon


Here is what customers had to say about how easy this propane gas pit is to start:

  • This is very warm, even on medium, and starts up instantly.
  • I LOVE IT! Use electronic start and it starts right up. Easy to control the flame. Puts off great heat! Perfect for me to carry, light, and use!
  • Works great, turn the switch and it starts right up. Can use the porch more when it is a little too cold to sit out. The lava rocks get red and will stay warm.
  • Love this portable fire pit. I purchased this for my motorhome often times you can’t have a real fire so this is perfect and puts out a lot of heat for its size. The best feature is the auto start no matches necessary that is the only way to go.
  • I use it for camping and on my deck for heat and ambiance, so much easier than starting a fire and it can be used during a burn ban.

Click For Pricing Details

Additional Useful Tips:

  1. If you have any animals or kids around the yard or the place where you will have your fire pit, make sure they are supervised all the time.
  2. Have a log store and keep your kindling and firewood in it to make sure that the wood will be dry. Don’t have it or any matches or any other potentially flammable objects too close to the fire pit.
  3. Don’t light a fire pit, BBQ, or any other fire in confined spaces.
  4. Take your time when starting your fire pit, don’t rush it, and always be careful.
  5. The one who starts and maintains the fire should make sure that they are not wearing any loose clothing that might put them at risk of injury or burn from an errant fire pit flame.
  6. Softwoods, like pine, poplar, cedar are the best options for tinder and kindling.
  7. Make sure that the seasoned firewood you are using is particularly meant for fire pits. The proper fire pit seasoned firewood will light faster, stay lit, and burn hotter and cleaner.

All in all, a fire pit adds something special to gatherings and BBQs with a focal point that is practical for adding warmth while adding ambiance at the same time.

Many people prefer the wood fire pit and enjoy the smoke and the smell while I’m more of the lazy variety and prefer the instant starting and no mess to clean up… propane fire pit.

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