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How to Use a Fire Pit for Beginners

Learning how to use a fire pit is a great way to enjoy the outdoors on those warm summer nights or chilly winter evenings. 

As long as you properly know how to light your fire and maintain it, using a fire pit is rather easy.

Wood Burning Fire pit

Essentially there are two types of fire pits, a wood-burning fire pit, and a gas fire pit (Natural gas or Propane). 

Both of them come with pros and cons which we will get into. 

As you read you will learn exactly how to start a fire in a fire pit, how to put out a fire pit, and fire pit uses.


How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit That is Gas

The first advantage of using a gas fire pit is that they are much easier to light than a wood-burning pit. 

A gas fire pit typically eliminates the need for any matches or lighters. Due to the fact that most gas fire pits will come with an electric push to start ignition.

If your fire pit does not come with an electric push to start ignition, no worries we got you covered.

So, the following steps will ensure that you properly know how to start a fire in a fire pit when using a gas fire pit.

How to use a fire pit

Step 1.

You will want to start by slightly opening the propane valve. You do not want to fully open the valve when first starting your fire.

Step 2.

A long lighter would be required if there is not a push to start button. 

The reason for the long lighter is so your hand does not get too close to the burner. Seeing that you will have to get the flame close enough to the gas for it to ignite.

There will be a slight “boom” and if your hand is too close, you could get burned. 

Step 3.

After the fire is ignited you will want to make sure to let the fire burn for a few minutes before you decide to open the valve more. 

If you are ok with the way the fire is burning you can leave it how it is. 

Step 4.

When learning how to use a fire pit, a major rule is; never leave a fire unattended! With curious children and pets, it is never a good idea to leave them close to a fire without any supervision. 

Step 5.

Sit around your fire and enjoy the ambiance that your fire pit creates.

Step 6.

When you are done enjoying your fire all you need to do is simply turn off the propane valve and the fire should shut off almost instantly. 

What You Will Need for a Wood Burning Fire Pit

While there is a bit more work involved while lighting a wood burning fire pit, there’s nothing more satisfying and memorable than the smell of burning wood. 

Starting a fire isn’t as easy as one might think, it’s more than just putting some wood in a fire pit and tossing a match on it. 

For starters, you will want to make sure that you have your Tinder, kindling, firewood, and of course your fire starter. 


You will want to make sure your tinder is small, some sort of combustible material. We recommend something like dry leaves, pinecones, or dry grass. 

Fire Starter

Again, we recommend a long lighter if you are planning on using a lighter, but there are other options as well. Classic matches or long reach matches will work, but the more modern and more effective torch lighter works best. 


Kindling is what is going to help give the fire life, it fans the flames and maintains a long-lasting, lively fire. Think of kindling as bigger pieces of tinder, so small to medium sized sticks, or other natural materials. 

How to Light a Wood Burning Fire Pit Step by Step

Now that you know what you will need, you will want to start preparing your fire pit with the materials. 

There are other ways or techniques that you can use to start your fire, but the following is basic and quite easy to learn. 

So again, if you are wondering what to put in a fire pit to get it going, you will be adding; tinder, kindling and your firewood. 

How to start a fire in a fire pit

Step 1.

You will want to gather your logs or firewood. You are building the base of the fire so you will have to make sure you have a secure foundation. Align two logs parallel to each other in the fire pit, if there is bark on your logs then face them bark side down.

Step 2.

Now going the opposite direction, you want to place two more logs across the top of the first two logs on the base. So now you will have what looks like a checkerboard or hashtag symbol.

Step 3. 

You will begin placing two more pieces of firewood opposite of the second layer, aligned with the first layer of logs. Now you will want to make sure the bark side is facing out so they stack better. 

Step 4. 

Once your logs are stacked appropriately, there should be three layers and two logs to each layer checker crossing one another. You can start to put your tinder and kindling into the center of the logs where there is an opening. 

You want to make sure the kindling goes in first and is making direct contact with the firewood. Once you are satisfied you can place the tinder on top along with a few more pieces of kindling.

Step 5.

Now that your logs are stacked and the kindling and tinder are placed in the center you can light your wood burning fire pit. Using your long lighter, flame torch, or matches you will want to light the dryer tinder. 

Most likely it will take a moment or two for the fire to actually get going, but you will be quite happy with the outcome of your wood burning fire pit.

Step 6.

Take a moment to admire your hard work and enjoy your warm and cozy fire pit. 

How to Put Out a Wood Burning Fire Pit Safely

Now that you know how to start a fire in a fire pit, you will certainly need to know how to put out a fire pit safely and correctly. 

A fire will die down on its own most of the time, but there are times when emergencies arise and you will need to suddenly put out your fire. 

Of course, the easiest way to put out a wood burning fire pit is to use a fire extinguisher, but more natural ways are to use sand, water or leftover ash from the fire. 

You will want to make sure that the flames are completely submerged when using sand, water, or leftover ash. 

Using a non-combustible stick, you can stir the embers to make sure you’ve completely submerged everything. 

If there is an emergency and you have to leave your wood burning fire pit suddenly, you can use the above materials in abundance and your fire should die quicker. 

Final Thoughts on How to Use a Fire Pit

Hopefully you’ve learned how to start a fire in a fire pit whether you are using propane, natural gas or a wood burning fire pit. 

You should know exactly what to put in a fire pit and how to properly stack your firewood, and place your kindling and tinder in the appropriate spots to the best light. 

Always practice safety and use caution when starting a fire, whether you are using a fire pit with auto ignition or manually starting one in a wood burning fire pit. 

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