In most parts of the country, it’s an enjoyable time of year – spending plenty of time outside with friends, family and neighbors. And, if you’ve been working away at big outdoor projects, we bet you deserve some relaxation too. What is more tranquil than an outdoor fire? Plus, it definitely gets us (and the teens) away from TV screens and mobile devices.
We’ve got some fun family projects, fire pit ideas and tips on wood selection to share. Whether you are a serious outdoors person or a backyard enthusiast, we hope you find something to enjoy!
General Shale Outdoor Fire Pits & More
The first rule of safe fires is containment. You must have a pit made with non-combustible material, like stone, brick or steel with a concrete, sand or gravel base. To do it right, you need to do your research and invest in the proper materials. You can find lots of ideas and instructions on Pinterest or YouTube.
If you want a professional look and long-lasting performance, our General Shale Outdoor Fire Pit kits are reasonably priced and designed for beginner DIY skills. It’s a great family project and something you can enjoy for many, many years.
Wood Preparation & Selection
Sometimes the firewood you find for sale is green, which means it won’t burn well and will smoke quite a bit. Be prepared to store this wood for at least a year; many hardwoods need a year or two (or more) to properly dry or ‘season’. Or, look for wood with a greyish, worn exterior for stuff that’s ready to burn.
Hardwood is denser and burns hotter and longer. It’s more expensive, but you’ll use less. If softwood is readily available and you don’t mind feeding the fire more continuously, this is a fine option!
Twelve Great Woods to Burn*
Add Some Color to Your Outdoor Fun!
Add some pizzazz to your next campfire! Check out these colorful flame products on Amazon.com or visit your local hardware or DIY store next time you’re in. Your guests will be amazed!
Glow Stick Lanterns
This project needs to be done by an adult, but the kids will love the effect. Fill a small jar with water and pour in the contents of a full size glow stick (or two) and pour it in! Break the stick first to activate it and be careful while pouring out the contents. Gently swish the water, but don’t shake it! A clear plastic container would work too and not be breakable.
Help Keep your Community Safe!
Before you get started on your outdoor fire pit project, check with your city, county or state government about rules and restrictions for open fires. Attend your fire at all times with a means for extinguishing the fire immediately at hand. Enjoy your summer fun!