Starting a campfire anytime, anywhere is among the most important wilderness superpowers. But whilst we are confined to the boundaries of our houses and gardens, we have put together a quick, easy and most importantly inexpensive step by step guide of how to make your very own firepit. With this simple method you will be sat round the firepit enjoying the long sunny evenings in no time! Even better, why not set up an outside cinema and have your own alfresco Banff screening with our weekly films? Read on to get started and click here to watch some films for free (subscribe to our newsletter to get updates when more of our film collections are released).
112 x clay bricks Small stones and gravel Wood and paper for the fire Matches or lighter
Spirit level Spade Hammer (preferably rubber) Trowel
1. Choose a spot
The first thing to decide on is the location of your firepit. The materials listed above will make a firepit measuring approximately a square metre. It will be one of the main focal points of the garden and a few key things to remember when picking a spot are; look for somewhere that is flat; place several metres away from trees, bushes and buildings to reduce the risk of the fire spreading and make sure there is enough space around the fire for people to sit around it and socialise.
2. Place your bricks
The firepit consists of an inner and an outer square. Begin with the inner square. To do this, create a 3 x 3 square using 12 bricks leaving a 5mm gap in between each brick to aid airflow. Then create the outer square, a 4 x 4 square using 16 bricks, making sure that the gaps between the bricks don’t line up with the inner square gaps – this adds stability to the firepit. Make sure the layout is symmetrical, and the rows are even – you may need to adjust the bricks a little!
3. Mark out the outline
Now you know the position of the first layer of the firepit you can mark the outline by digging in a spade around the bricks. Remove the bricks and dig out the turf within the square (an inch deep will do just fine) to leave the bare soil. This prevents the fire from scorching the turf. Use a spirit level to make the soil flat and even, you can use a trowel and your feet to pack the soil down. In the centre of the square you have just made, dig a further hole approximately 30cm deep and 20 cm wide. Fill this hole with small stones and gravel to drain rainwater.
4. Build your fire pit
Carefully replace the bricks back into their original positions making sure each row is level. You can use a rubber hammer to tap the bricks into position if necessary. The second layer consists of bricks laid at right angles to the first layer, across the lower level of bricks for stability. The third layer should be the same as the first layer then the fourth layer the same as the second. To make a stable base and to add draining for the fire, add 4cm of small stones and gravel to the bottom of the pit making sure the soil is covered.
5. Light the fire and get cosy!
To light your fire, place some scrunched up paper in the middle of the pit and arrange some small bits of kindling on top in a tee-pee shape. Light the paper and as the flame begins to burn the kindling, gradually add larger pieces of wood until the fire gets going.
All that’s left to do now is sit back and relax next to the warm crackling fire. Why not roast some marshmallows or turn it into a BBQ? It’s like camping with a campfire right in your back garden – enjoy!
For more information on fire safety please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-outdoors