You might have just acquired a new portable fire pit. If so, congrats! But now what? Where can you put your portable fire pit?
If you’re camping somewhere that allows fires only in a portable pit, your sole option might be to place your pit over grass. But can you put your portable fire pit on grass?
In short, yes, but that might not be the best option. Let’s dig in!
Portable Fire Pit on Grass
Placing a portable fire pit on grass is one of those things that you can do, but probably shouldn’t do. At least, not without taking care of a few fire prevention things first.
The main concern about putting a portable fire pit on grass is safety. The grass underneath might alight if your pit contains a roaring fire. If there is wind or if you live in a dry climate, that grass fire can spread and become uncontrollable very quickly.
You don’t want to lose control of your fire and start the next wildfire!
Read also: 5 Best Portable Fire Pits
If you would like to put your portable fire pit on grass, take these steps:
1. Water down the grass
Protecting the grass before you even start is a great way to prevent fire from spreading. Use your hose to water down the section of grass that your fire pit will be over.
You don't need to soak the grass until it becomes a mud pit, but you want to saturate it well. You are protecting not only the grass blades but also the soil.
In addition, this will protect the grass from heat stress. Heat stress is when the grass is subject to intense heat for an extended period. If grass suffers from heat stress, it will look dried out, brown, and hay-like.
2. Move your pit frequently
Move your fire pit around if you’ll have multiple fires in a row over several days (like at a campsite). You don't have to move it far, just a few feet each use.
This will prevent the grass from drying up entirely underneath the fire pit. Fresh, wet grass is much less likely to catch fire than dry grass.
3. Check your local Fire Danger Rating
Even if you aren’t placing your fire pit over grass, you should always check your local Fire Danger Rating.
Fire Danger Ratings are based on weather and ground conditions. The wind is a vital contributor to the Fire Danger Rating being high.
If your area has a high Fire Danger Rating, you might not even be allowed to have a fire that day. If you are allowed to have a fire, you must be extra cautious.
Other Options - At Home
Remember, having a safe campfire takes planning and forethought.
Thankfully, there are some simple options.
1. Build a patio for your fire pit
I don’t mean some elaborate patio that will cost hundreds of dollars – although that would be ideal and very nice! Instead, I mean something simple.
Pavers are a type of hardscaping material that is budget-friendly and easy to work with. You can build a small, circular pad of pavers with a few simple tools and materials.
You could place just enough pavers to have room for your fire pit alone, or you could build it out to create a patio large enough for chairs and firewood.
2. Use sand or pebbles
Likewise, creating an area for your fire pit is essential. You can easily make this area using sand or pebbles.
Pull up the grass in the area where you want your fire pit, lay down some plastic or tarp, and then place the sand or pebbles on top. This will create a space free of grass and weeds.
3. Create a dig out
The most simple of these ideas is to create a quick dig out. It’s just as it sounds: You’ll dig out the grass from the area where you want to put your fire pit.
You don't need to dig deep, just enough to take up the grass and create a flat area for your fire pit.
1. Look for a well-used area
Instead of placing the fire pit on grass, look for an area that has been well trampled on.
Usually, sections of campsites are rockier, or are just dirt, because of heavy use.
These well-worn areas are ideal sites for your fire pit.
Besides, you’ll want to save those grassy areas for your tent to give you some extra padding!
2. Follow all the rules of having a safe fire
Even if you find the perfect well-worn spot for your fire pit, don’t forget about fire safety.
Make sure you;
3. Follow the laws
Some parks, states, and areas do not allow fires directly on the ground. That could be because of Leave No Trace policies or wildfire prevention.
Either way, you’ll have to use your portable fire pit in these areas.
4. Clear the area
Ensure your fire pit is at least 10 feet from your tent or other structures. Clear all debris from the fire pit and make sure nothing is leaning on it.
Also, don't forget to look up! Make sure your fire isn't underneath low-hanging branches or other greenery. Heat rises, so the area above your fire pit must be clear.
5. Take note of the wind
Heavy wind can carry embers to all corners of your campsite. So, it's not recommended that you have a fire in heavy wind.
However, even a slight breeze can change the direction of your fire. Keep the wind direction in mind when choosing a place for your fire pit and where you’ll sit.
6. Have extinguishing tools nearby
You always want to have fire extinguishing tools nearby if a fire gets out of control or it's time to go to bed.
It's not incredibly practical to carry a fire extinguisher around with you, but you can use these tools:
- Shovel (to either pat down a spot fire or place dirt on top of flames)
- Bucket of water
- Wet canvas bag
7. Never leave the fire unattended
Always have someone close by your fire to oversee it. That way, if the fire gets out of control, someone will be there to control it.
Likewise, put out your fire before going to bed and leaving your site.
8. Avoid accelerants
Accelerants are unpredictable and uncontrollable. It is highly recommended that you not use accelerants to build your fire. Accelerants are also highly corrosive and can damage your fire pit.
Continuously burning gasoline or other accelerants can create holes in your fire pit, leading to embers dropping out and causing unwanted grass fires.
You can put a portable fire pit on grass. However, keep fire safety in mind and make your fires responsibly.
While putting your portable fire pit on grass is possible, and sometimes okay, other options might suit you better and be safer.
Instead, try placing your fire pit over pavers, sand, or gravel. Likewise, at a campsite, find a spot that is well-used and mostly dirt or pebbles. Remember to follow fire safety rules.
These steps will ensure that you have an excellent, relaxing time by your campfire with no worries.
Kendall is a freelance outdoor adventure writer passionate about educating those who wish to explore the outdoors. When Kendall isn’t writing, she is exploring the woods of the US Northeast on foot or kayak.