Firestarting 101: Tips on Firepit Use

There’s simply something magical about campfires and fire pit blazes. At the Junction apartments, you, your roommates, and your friends can enjoy that backyard fire just about anytime you want at several of the outdoor fire pit and gathering areas. Fire pits are ideal for both cooking burgers and brats and serving as a nice setting for an evening hangout. But first, have you to get that fire started. The following are some fire-starting 101 tips for both those Junction fire pits and future Texas campsites to help get that party started fast and with ease:

Firestarting 101: Hot Tips for Firepit Use

Gathering the Right Materials :: There are three primary types of materials you’ll need to build a roaring fire: tinder, kindling, and fuel wood.

  • Tinder. Long before it was a dating app, tinder was what ignited actual flames. The word encompasses a variety of materials that are known for easily catching fire and burning fast. Think stuff like dry bark, wood shavings, dry grasses, shredded cardboard, and dry leaves. You’ll only need a little bit of this.
  • Kindling. Kindling provides your starting fire with a bit more substance to ensure the flames keep going. This mostly consists of small twigs and branches.
  • Fuel wood. Kindling materials are great for getting your fire up and going but they won’t sustain your campfire. Fuel wood is what will keep your fire really burning. Look for branches that are as wide or wider than your forearm, you can also use coals and other materials.

Laying Out Your Fire :: There are several different ways to lay out your firestarting materials, but the most common include:

  • The Teepee Fire Lay
    1. Start by placing a bundle of tinder at the center of the firepit.
    2. Set up a teepee with some of your kindling. Leave a clear opening on the side where the wind is blowing. This helps the fire get necessary oxygen and will help blow flames higher and stronger onto the kindling materials.
    3. Light the tinder materials and add kindling materials as needed to keep the fire going.
    4. The teepee structure will eventually cave in on itself. When it does, carefully pile your fuel wood on top and enjoy the fire.
  • The Log Cabin Fire Lay
    1. Begin with creating a small teepee lay.
    2. Then, instead of adding to this, grab the largest pieces of fuel wood and place them on opposite sides of the central teepee.
    3. Take your next largest and lay them across this first set so that you’re building up a square.
    4. Continue laying smaller and shorter pieces of fuel wood until you’ve created a four-sided pyramid structure.
    5. Light up the central tinder bundle, step back, and enjoy!

As always, stay safe when using the fire pits! Make sure no one is standing too close to the fire, protect your face and hands when lighting the fire, and keep flammable substances far enough away that sparks won’t land on them.

Have your own favorite fire-starting tips? Let us know in the comments! And the next time you grill out on one of Junction’s fire pits, be sure to snap a couple pictures and share them with us!