How to Create a Campsite Fire Pit for Pennies
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There is no doubt in my mind that a campfire is an essential part of the camping experience. Many campsites ban campfires (and sometimes for good reasons) but to campaign for more campfire friendly campsites I want to share our campsite fire pit idea with modifications. We use the campsite fire pit at The Three Horseshoes Campsite in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
A Campsite fire pit needs to do the following:
- Allow air in – fire requires air
- Stop the ground from burning
- Keep the mess and ashes retained
- Be portable
- Be sturdy and as child safe as possible
- Not rust
- Be cheap!
Although many commercial fire pits fit some requirements they have never worked for us since they are expensive and they rapidly lose their new black look before rusting and falling apart so after much hunting around we found and developed a solution which meets all of the above campsite fire pit requirements.
The Campsite Fire Pit Solution
Our campsite fire pit solution is a modified recycled washing machine drum. They work because they are
- Made of stainless steel so they don’t rust,
- They are free or cheap if you can find one – ask a washing machine repairer
- They have holes all over them (to allow water in and out) which is great for allowing the fire to breath.
- If you find a round grate you have a BBQ too.
Where the washing machine drum fails as a campsite fire pit is that they are still on the ground and some drums burn better than others. For the best campsite fire pit pick a shallow height drum with holes in the bottom (the bottom, as when used as a fire pit).
The main problem to overcome is that when placed on the ground directly the grass will burn. There is also a limited draw so the fire is slower burning. Our solution to this has been to weld three legs to the base and this small adaption had created a perfect campsite fire pit for our campsite at The Three Horseshoes.