Suburban Fire Craft (Part One)

I have been making big plans for how I’m going to spend another summer of limited travel and quasi-lockdown in my little suburban backyard.

See, for at least five years we’ve had a small fire bowl set up in our yard. It has served the purpose of gathering friends and family around some burning logs, roasting some marshmallows on warm summer evenings, and sipping cold beers under the autumn twinkle of a clear night and the glow of a warm backyard fire.

We even kindled it up this last New Years Eve, sipped hot chocolate in the winter chill and ceremonially burned our 2020 calendar. Good riddance!

But after five years, and yet another long cold winter in the harsh Canadian elements, our trusty portable firepit is probably due for a replacement.

I’m looking at this an an opportunity rather than a loss.

The current bowl is simple and meant to be nothing more than a safe way to have a small fire. We’ve cooked hot dogs or made s’mores with it, but anything more substantial would be pushing it’s functional limits. It’s just not meant to cook over, for example.

As a kind of “Saturday Projects” series, and as summer approaches, I’ve got a few big ideas about how I’m going to bring some of my wilderness adventure to my suburban backyard. First on the to-do list is a series I’m calling “suburban firecraft” where I’ll be upgrading my fire bowl situation with a new set-up that will allow us to build safe, useful, and (of course) legal bylaw-compliant fires right out our back door.

I’ll be figuring out a way to not only cook marshmallows, but make use of some of our cast iron to cook campfire meals and test out some recipes before we take them out to the wilderness.

How would you build a backyard fire pit: a portable fire bowl that can be moved and stored or a permanent fire pit?

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