An outdoor fire pit in your Calgary backyard can be a family gathering point for kids to roast marshmallows and adults to huddle close with their coffee or hot cocoa on a brisk autumn evening. It can be the focus of outdoor social gatherings for you and your neighbours. And, a place for a backyard campfire need not be overly expensive or flashy. While you can construct a fixed masonry well and surrounding benches, you can also make do with DIY backyard fire pit ideas like a metal bowl set into the ground to contain the fire. This backyard feature gives you the sense of camping in the woods without ever leaving the comforts of home. Here are a few backyard fire pit ideas. Types of Backyard Fire Pits Maybe you are already thinking that you don’t want to be gathering damp wood and trying to start a fire with a box of matches. A backyard fire pit can be as rustic or as efficient and modern as you choose. Depending on how often you plan to use it, how rustic or modern you want it to be, and if you’re going to go with a fuel source such as natural gas versus charcoal and wood, your plans can be pretty simple or very elaborate. Simple Backyard Fire Pit Ideas A simple yet common backyard campfire fire pit idea is to use concrete blocks held together with construction adhesive and a fireproof liner. Choose a spot in your yard that is sufficiently far from trees and shrubs so that you won’t be starting a local forest fire. Dig out enough space to construct your fire pit and fill it with concrete blocks or simply a large metal bowl to contain your campfire. You can leave the flame open for roasting marshmallows, warming your hands, or placing a grill over it for outdoor cooking. Maintenance and Cleaning of a Backyard Fire Pit The first rule of safety with an outdoor fire pit is to supervise small children so that no one gets burned. This includes after the fire has burned down but is still quite hot. You can sprinkle water on the fire before leaving it but make sure that you clean up afterward as the water and heat combination will cause oxidation of your metal bowl and eventually cause it to rust through. Removing residual ashes and unburned wood and keeping the fire pit relatively clean will make you ready for your next outdoor gathering and the fire pit. More Backyard Campfire and Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas Suppose your backyard campfire and cookout become a local institution. In that case, you may become tired of starting fires from scratch, dragging all of the lawn chairs into a circle, and trying to manage the hot dogs and hamburgers without spilling everything onto the ground. What that is the case, you are ready for some more backyard campfire ideas. Permanent Fire Pits A fire pit design can be as simple as you like but make sure to make it functional. For example, a circular fire pit lined with fieldstone or concrete aggregate can be integrated into the design for a garden, adjacent to a patio, or “off in the woods” at the back of your property. The key is to make it functional for simple fires and outdoor cookouts. That often means adding a circle of stone or rustic wood benches and a preparation and serving surface. While you can continue with your wood or charcoal fires, a convenient solution to faster fires in all kinds of weather is to run a natural gas line to the fire pit and have an outdoor gas fire pit for backyard campfires at the turn of a switch. Where You Put Your Backyard Campfire Is Important The outdoorsy smell of burning wood often evokes memories of older and happy times. But, for some folks, wood smoke means allergies, asthma, and bronchitis. If you have trouble controlling the amount of smoke from your outdoor fire pit or outdoor bonfire, you will want it situated sufficiently far away from your house so that you don’t need to routinely close doors and windows to keep the smoke out of your home. Prevailing winds in Calgary are from the north and northwest so place your fire pit to the East and South of your home or other locations that you want to spare from a constant stream of smoke. The same applies to any permanent benches or additional seating and prep areas around the fire pit. And, while you may wish to integrate this feature with other parts of your landscape design, think ahead. Don’t find yourself worrying about setting fire to a low-hanging limb or adjacent shrubs in a couple of years. And, to avoid the issue of excessive wood smoke, look into how to make an outdoor gas fire pit by checking with us at Tazscapes landscaping in Calgary.