8 Tips on How to Keep a Fire Pit Going

There are days that you like to spend the rest of your night outdoors, where you can just enjoy the cool breeze, lie on the ground and stargaze, and feel the warmth and the vibe of the fire pit you lit. But have you ever been frustrated of having the flame died out every 10 to 20 minutes and then you repetitively struggle relighting the fire again?

Well in most cases, this happens much more than the usual, most especially when you’re doing things wrong, i.e. using wrong types of fuel; suffocating the fire (yes! the fire can be suffocated); or just simply  doing wrong in the first steps in establishing the fire.

So, if you’re searching for answers on how to keep a fire pit going in your desired amount of time, you should consider these 8 lists of tips to keep the flame. These might be a total game changer for you!

How to Keep a Fire Pit Going (8 Tips)

1. Use the right materials

In setting up a fire, you should understand that there are right materials/fuel to keep the fire burning, in the same manner that you have to follow some steps to establish the fire and make it last longer. And the best way is to have it in order;

  • Tinder – Simply called “fire starter’. In building a good wood fire, it is advisable to use tinder as fire starters for it is an easily combustible material that’s main purpose if to ignite the kindling.
    • Examples of tinder; Dry grass, Leaves, Shaved bark, Dandelion head (clock) and many more.
  • Kindling – This fuel is considered a fire starter as well, but this is material is larger than tinder. When you use tinder, do not waste it by not fueling kindle after it’s lit, because the fire might go out and it will not penetrate into the main fuel. Kindling is identified as the fuel that is no thicker than thumb, as long as elbow to finger tips and enough for a generous arm load, such as; cedar bark, twigs and fatwood.
  • Wood =  In making sure your flame won’t go out fast, you have to make a good selection of firewood which you’re going to use as a fuel to your fire pit. Usually, hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash, birch and most fruit trees are labeled as best burning woods. Though it is also advisable to put soft woods first before fueling hard woods.

Either-or it selection of materials to be used and following the order in starting a long lasting fire is a key component in making it last longer.

2. Use Softwood as starter

As mentioned above there are two types of wood, the softwood and the hardwood. Softwood is said to burn quicker than the other because it is less dense.

While it burn quicker its fire doesn’t last long, which is why it is recommended as fire starter after the tinder and kindling for it’ll be the one to establish the fire. After such, place the hardwood in the softwood in a manner that the air can still flow through, hardwood will sustain the fire for a longer period of time.

3.  Use Dry Firewood

Generally, all types of wood absorb and stores moisture in it. This isn’t usually the problem though, the problem occurs when these woods has more moisture than it normally should. Which is why it is recommended to use dry firewood – this doesn’t mean this firewood is moisture free but at least the moisture of these seasoned-dry wood is not more than 20%.

4. Keep the fire breathing

You must be wondering why the fire needs to breathe. Well as discussed in the previous blog on “How Does a Smokeless Fire Pit Work?“, ventilation or proper oxygen flow is one of the key guaranteeing the constant burn of fire.

In keeping the ventilation in your fire, stacking the wood in a manner that air can flow through each side is the key. Techniques such as log-cabin and tipi stack can be done or otherwise just simply leave gaps between each log.

While proper oxygen is essential in keeping the flame, avoid using fire pit in windy weather because that would be too much air. If you really need to, it is advisable to use windbreak like wall to keep the crumbs and ashes inside the pit and avoid fires that can be caused by it.

5. Keep your fire pit dry

Before placing your fuels in the fire pit be sure to keep the pit dry. Wiping the fire pit with dry cloth or paper towels should do the job. Most of the time when fire pit is left outdoor, it is most likely to accumulate moisture. These moist could be saturated to the fuel which would make it hard to light and keep it lit.

6. Remove ash

While it is advised to leave a bit of ash on your fire pit to avoid too much heat on your fire pit, excessive amount of ash can be the reason of the easy put out of fire for ash may block the airflow.

If there is too much ash on the pit, remove the excess ash and make the fire breathe.

7. Stroke the Fire      

Every time you noticed that the fire is going down you might want to take a long pole and poke the logs gently in your pit. Stroking the fire will allow or improve air circulation that will give you hotter logs and stronger fire.

8. Add More Firewood

Following all the tips that was previously tackled would all be useless if in the course of your fire you wouldn’t add firewood every once in a while. To keep the fire burning, you must continue to resupply your fire with additional firewood every time the fire begins to die out. Just always keep in mind that you still need to arrange the additional firewood in order to keep the airflow and keep the flame at bay.

Note: In our desire to keep the fire over a long period of time, we should always remember that this should never be left unattended. Without overseers the fire can be grow strong and uncontrolled, wind might not work on our sides and might carry fire flakes to nearby combustible objects and cause fire and damage. Watching over it to control the fire and prevent accidents is always better than feeling sorry afterwards.

How much Fuel/Wood needed for a long-lasting flame?

It is said as a general rule of thumb that to measure how long the wood will burn is by the use of ½ inch rule. Every ½ inches of wood will burn for an hour.

Fuels you need to avoid adding in your fire pits:

Treated Woods – while it is said that hardwoods are best for long lasting fire, these lumbers that are designed for outdoor construction is often treated with chemicals or is preserve to prevent easy rotting. Burning this kind of woods can be dangerous for once health when inhaled because these will release chemicals. (I.e. Railroad ties; Deck Lumber; Painted woods; etc.)

Trash – Avoid burning your trash any time.  Trash that was accumulated should always go into trash cans and should be dumped into its designated area, most especially those explosive items such as batteries and aerosol cans.

Paper and Cardboard  – It’s always a good sight to see those cardboard of pizza take out slowly die out in flame, or that paper magazines that has the picture of your most hated artist. Thus we need to bear in mind that these materials shouldn’t be burned, cardboard and paper can create huge flakes of smoldering ash that may cause fire for this flakes travels quickly, plus the fact that the ink used to print details on the paper doesn’t really smell nice and may cause danger when inhaled.

Tree or Plant that is termed poisonous – Trees such as poison oak, poison ivy and the common likes should never be found in your fire pit. The reaction of your skin to the oils of these materials is so bad; now imagine how deadly if it goes into your lungs.

Food – Burning food is never a good idea. Burning food might ruin your fire pit and the smell of it may attract insects and other animals that might be deadly.


Our goal of keeping the fire pit last longer always depends on the matter of technique and also the kind fire pit used; the list of techniques discussed above might be of help to your aim. Whether these fire pit is used to grill steaks or burgers, roast marshmallows; or simply gain the relaxing ambiance and warmth of having to sit next to it with the your families and friends, always make sure to keep all the factors in consideration when lighting up your fire pits, such as the type of wood, the placement of fire pit, the do’s and don’ts, the maintenance, and many more, through this things you can enjoy the warmth of the fire and in the exact amount of time you need.

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