How to Make a Fire Pit in the Sand

How to Make a Fire Pit in the SandA fire pit, commonly used when camping, is an essential part of fire safety, keeping the fire where you want it and limiting the risk of spreading it. Whether in the desert or on the beach, sand can make for a quick, easy fire pit because it's soft and easy to shovel.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Shovel
  • Rocks or bricks
Step 1
Verify the rules on campfires. If you're at a beach or in a wilderness area, check with the appropriate authority on whether campfires are permitted and what regulations relate to their execution. Areas such as deserts often house fragile ecosystems, so it's important to respect campfire regulations.
Step 2
Set up your fire pit on a flat, open area that is 15 feet or more from anything flammable. This should be easy on a beach or open sand lot, but look around to ensure there isn't anything like logs, low branches or brush that could catch fire. Clear any small objects such as sticks and grass from the campfire area. You should have a cleared area of roughly 10 feet in diameter.
Step 3
Trace out your fire pit. One advantage of sand is that it's easy to mark exactly where you want to dig. Use a stick or your foot to make a circle in the sand. Two to 3 feet is a good starting point for a regular fire, but you might want to make it larger for a bigger fire. Remember to follow any rules on fire size.
Step 4
Dig the pit. Dig into the sand so that you clear out a 1-foot hole.
Step 5
Use rocks or bricks to circle the lip of the fire pit. Place the rocks next to each other so that they're touching. If you don't have rocks, pile up sand around the rim of the fire pit.

Tips & Warnings

Always keep several gallons of water on hand near the fire pit when building a campfire.
If water is scarce, keep the shovel close by and shovel sand or dirt onto the fire should you need to put it out.
Someone should always be nearby tending to the campfire. If you leave the site, be sure to fully extinguish the fire.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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