Home » Fire Pit: Useless Luxury or Survival Necessity?

Fire Pit: Useless Luxury or Survival Necessity?

by Robert Wayne

As the days get colder, our desire to spend time outside decreases. We’re trying to stay warm, and that means staying inside. Except if you have a way to make a fire outdoors, of course.

For those with a large enough lot to build fires, the question becomes how to build one. And for a lot of urban and suburban dwellers, that means a fire pit.

Your choices when it comes to fire pits are numerous and varied. They can range from ultra-simple to super-expensive, and everything in between. Here are just a few of your choices.

1. Buying a Fire Pit

The easiest way to get a fire pit is to buy one. At any home improvement store you’ll probably find dozens of different varieties of fire pits, of various types and quality of construction. One of the common complaints about these fire pits is that they’re made of relatively thin steel, and are prone to rusting when they come into contact with ash.

That’s why you’ll often hear it advised to line the bottom of your fire pit with sand, to extend its useful life. While that can slow down the development of rust, it can also make it a bit of a pain to use.

2. Improvising a Fire Pit

If you don’t want to spend money on a fire pit, you can always improvise your own. A 16” car wheel is perfectly adequate for a fire pit, although you’ll need to cut your logs a little small. You’ll also want to elevate it on bricks or cinder blocks and have some means of catching falling ash and coals, otherwise you’ll singe your yard.

3. Building From Scratch

Of course, there’s always the option of building your own fire pit from scratch. That can take the form of either an above-ground pit or a below-ground pit. If you’re interested in learning how, Old World Garden Farms has a great step by step explanation of how you could build your own fire pit.

It’s important to remember that, depending on what type of fire pit you decide on, it could come in handy in a survival situation. If you lose electricity, or your supply of natural gas, you may be forced to cook over fire in order to eat. In that case, the decision you make about a fire pit today could end up helping you in the future, as long as you keep that potential use case in mind.


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