This is what a Friday off work looks like for me, chopping trees and burning them in my patio fire pit. Here is the step-by-step of how you too can make the perfect fire. A disclaimer, wear gloves and wash your hands! I got poison ivy from one of these trees that had a vine on it. Also, check burn conditions locally to make sure your fire won't cause other fires. Use caution with power tools, chopping down trees, and fire. All these things can be dangerous if you're not careful.
- Step 1 - Chop down trees
- Step 2 - Gather kindling
- Step 3 - Chop or cut wood
- Step 4 - Stack kindling(leave room to light and for airflow)
- Step 5 - Lean smaller sticks against kindling
- Step 6 - Place larger or wet logs near fire to dry out
- Step 7 - Lean logs against each other and the smaller sticks to keep them upright
- Step 8 - Grab beverage, enjoy fire.
- Step 9 - Feed the beast as need be.
- Step 10 - Be sure your fire is properly extinguished, we don't need anymore wild fires.
What you'll need -
- Kindling - Pinecones, sawdust, or dryer lint in toilet paper rolls(Thanks Dad for the tip on dryer lint!)
- Small sticks - Find these in your neighborhood and stack them around the kindling.
- Logs - Cut these down yourself if you can safely do so, or go to the store and buy some firewood if you can't hang.
- Power tools - No chainsaw? Use a circular saw, this worked great, just use caution with all power tools.
- A Lighter - Bic long stemmed lighters are the best for this application.
After you chop down a tree and feel the power of being a real lumberjack, chop that tree into bite sized pieces for your fire. Placement of these items is crucial. Sawdust can also work well for kindling.
Place the kindling on the bottom in a manner that allows for airflow and enough room to put the lighter where it needs to go. Notice how I placed the sticks leaning against one another, that's important for airflow. You'll notice a theme with airflow throughout, the more air, the better. The fire must breathe!!
Larger logs are put off to the side to dry out a bit before joining the blaze, this is only true with wet wood or freshly cut trees. However, until this thing really gets going, the thicker logs take a little bit to ignite.
As the fire starts to really roar, feed it! Put more wood on there, if it starts to peter out a bit, add pinecones to keep it going until it reaches a hot enough temperature that anything will burn and I do mean anything.
Burn baby, burn! If you look closely, you will notice the logs are steaming as the moisture escapes. The water or sap will actually boil on the end of the log. Use pine if you can, the smell is amazing. Enjoy!
Justin is the Founder and Editor at Large for Rooted, A Gentlemen's Blog. He grew up in Illinois as a military brat but has made Raleigh his home for the last decade. These experiences influence his views expressed on The Gentlemen's Blog. He enjoys sports, politics, music, entertainment, and humor. For Justin, nothing is off limits. He loves to spend his free time with his wife and his pup, Bruce.