If you’re itching for an outdoor fire this time of year, don’t be discouraged by the snow and winter weather. Outdoor fires are perfect after a day of winter activities like sledding, snowball fights, and building snowmen. You just need to know the right way to set up your fire pit and the materials that come along with it in the winter. Follow these tips on how to enjoy your fire pit in winter for the best way to warm up after a long day out in the cold.
Winter weather can make having an outdoor fire more difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. You simply need to prepare for the cold weather and snowy conditions by having the right setup and storing your fire pit materials properly. Make sure you do these preparation steps before lighting your fire, as you should never leave an open fire pit unattended.
Keep Your Fire Pit Covered
During these mid-winter months, you may already have inches or even feet of snow present on your lawn and backyard accessories. If you plan to keep using your fire pit in the winter, try storing it in your garage, backyard shed, or simply keeping it covered with a tarp or fire pit cover. This will help keep the snow and ice from sticking to your fire pit and causing rust or water damage. It will also make the set-up process that much easier when you want to light an outdoor fire—all you have to do is pull off the tarp or remove the fire pit from storage instead of scraping off snow.
Store Your Firewood in a Dry Place
Just like storing your fire pit safely, make sure you take care storing your firewood as well. If you have room, store your firewood in a dry space like your home garage or outdoor shed. If you have to store it in the yard, make sure you invest in a firewood wrack to keep it off the ground. This prevents it from absorbing the water from melting snow and other winter weather conditions. Like your fire pit, try to keep the firewood covered with a tarp as well. This helps keep your firewood dry and ready to go right onto the fire when you need it, as damp wood is never ideal for an outdoor or indoor fire.
Clear Your Seating Area
It’s best to keep your fire pit away from overhanging roofs, trees, or other structures to follow fire safety rules, so your seating area will likely be covered with snow as well. Before you can light your fire, you’ll need to clear an area to sit and clean off the furniture and seating arrangements around the pit. No matter what type of fire pit you own, you don’t want to place it down on top of the snow, as this could melt and affect your fire or become unstable. So, make sure you shovel space for your fire pit, seating arrangements, and give yourself adequate room to walk. You may want to dry off your seating arrangements as well if they’ve been covered with snow until now.
Dig a Path
Finally, you don’t want to risk tripping and falling while carrying fire-starting tools and other belongings out to your fire pit. Shovel away any snow to clear a path out to your fire pit setup. This will help expedite the fire-starting process so you can quickly get warm, and you won’t have to trudge around in knee-high snow to get you and your family comfortably around the fire.
Lighting the Fire
Now that you’ve cleared a path for your fire pit, you’ve got to light it and keep it burning. Lighting a fire in the winter can be difficult, but all it takes is a bit of patience. Make sure you follow the extra safety steps that come with wintertime fires, and then you’ll be ready to sit back and enjoy your handiwork.
First things first, never wear gloves while lighting a fire in the winter. All it takes is one spark to catch and start burning your gloves and hands. Unless you have fire-safe gloves, leave them off to the side for now. Roll up your sleeves or keep them away from the fire as much as possible, and be safe about your fire-starting materials. It can be tempting to use a lot of lighter fluid to get a cold fire going in the winter, but too much is dangerous.
Keep the Fire Burning
Start by lighting some small kindling on fire and build up the fire from there. Lighting a fire in the cold weather may be more difficult than usual, but be patient and don’t rush it. If you’ve successfully kept your wood pile dry and snow-free, you should be able to keep your fire burning for as long as you want, depending on how much firewood you have. Lay down a tarp away from the flames and place the extra firewood on top to keep it dry and out of the snow.
Bundle Up and Enjoy
Now that you have a roaring fire ready to go, all that’s left to do is gather your family and friends, bundle up, and enjoy. Have some extra blankets, scarves, hats, or mittens on hand for when the sun goes down early and the temperature drops even lower. But your campfire should provide you with plenty of warmth to drive away the cold so you can enjoy the peaceful winter scenery and atmosphere. There’s nothing more peaceful than a quiet winter evening, and now, you can comfortably enjoy it directly outdoors instead of looking out your windows.
If you’ve never tried an outdoor campfire in the winter, this season is the time to start. Just remember these tips on how to enjoy your fire pit in the winter and you’ll have a perfect winter fire pit party with friends and family. If you’re looking for the perfect wintertime outdoor fire pit, check out our smokeless campfires here at Cast Master Elite. These high-walled fire pits are perfect for winter and even keep the usual smoke out of your face.