Some items you will need for your fire pit are flat out necessary, such as those discussed in Part 1 of this series, which are products used for safety and are not negotiable. In Part 2, we have also written about non-safety items that you need to have in order to operate your fire pit. However, some accessories, while not integral to running your fire pit, are designed just to make your life a lot easier. They are not absolutely necessary, and you can manage without them, but they will make your fire pit experience go a lot smoother and it will be much more enjoyable and carefree. In this part of the series, we will talk about all those bonus accessories that are nice to have as extras as a fire pit owner.
1. High-Quality Fireglass or Firerock
For a propane or natural gas fire pit, you will want some good quality fireglass or rock to line your fire pit. Many propane fire pits often come with low-quality fire pit beads in the traditional clear color. This may or may not be the look you want, but in many cases, if the fire pit is not from a reputable vendor, the glass beads can include broken pieces with sharp edges that can cut you when you move it with bare hands (another place for your new fire pit gloves to come in handy).
Additionally, many propane or natural gas fire pits come with lava rock as an alternative to fireglass. While lava rock performs well as a low-cost retainer and distributor of heat, it too might not be the style you are going for in your backyard gas fire pit, depending on your taste. While lava rock does do a good job at what it is intended for, it is not the most interesting to look at and does not stand out at night, lacking the shimmer and color options of the wide variety of fireglass choices on the market today.
If you are planning to build a propane or natural gas fire pit or have one already installed, or even if you just want to try out a new decorative scheme or backyard ambience with your current fire pit media, look for quality tempered fireglass that will not crack or shatter and will hold up to constant heat exposure and weather.
Check with your local outdoor or fire pit specially store to discuss what type, size, and color fireglass you are looking for and explore your options before you buy. The fireglass market is huge and you want to get a good understanding of what is out there. If you want something truly unique and special, consider trying out one of our custom steel gas log sets. This gives the rustic and cozy appearance of using natural wood to fuel your fire pit, without the effort of actually acquiring wood and building a fire each time.
2. Seating for your Fire Pit Area
If you are looking for seating that can be brought out and put away each time you have a gathering around the fire pit, folding chairs are an excellent option. Everyday metal folding chairs will do, but for something a little more comfortable and sturdy (and designed for the outdoors already), another choice to opt for is a set of nice camping chairs. These come in a range of options from basic to more luxurious with extra bells and whistles, such as cup holders, pockets, and extra padding, so you can cater your seating to any type of style or gathering. Best of all, when you are done, you simply fold everything up and put it away in a canvas or nylon bag that comes with it for easy storage.
Of course, if you prefer something more permanent that you do not have to set up each time and have a dedicated place in your yard for it, there are lots of gorgeous and affordable patio sets on the market for every taste and style.
3. Natural Mosquito Repellents
If you live in a buggy area, the great thing about owning a fire pit is that it can be its own method to ward off pesky biting pests during an evening spent outdoors. You could try burning pinyon (or piñion) firewood. Flying insects of all kinds, especially mosquitoes, do not like the smell it gives off when burned and stay away. It is somewhat localized to the U.S. Southwest, but you can search for it though online and specialty retailers, and it will really do the trick.
Additionally, the smoke from burning sage or rosemary will help keep mosquitoes away, as well. Be sure that you do not use the dry ground up stuff found in your pantry – it has to be fresh sage or rosemary. Buy either herb in bunches at your local supermarket and throw a little on the fire throughout the entire time you are outside.
If you do not feel like keeping fresh herbs on hand to keep mosquitoes at bay during your next fire pit burn, there are also other burn-in products available that are specially made for this purpose that you can keep on hand for when you need it. These products are usually made from recycled wood or other burnable material that has been treated with citronella, citrus, geranium, thyme, peppermint, cinnamon, rosemary and/or lemongrass, which are all things mosquitoes are not fond of.
4. Firewood Carrier
Once you have split and stacked your firewood, you will need something to keep the number of trips to the woodpile to a minimum. A good waxed canvas firewood carrier can help you carry more logs comfortably and keep you clean in the process from not having to carry a stack in your arms.
5. Propane Tank Stand
If you have a gas fire pit and its propane tank is not stored inside the fire pit unit itself, a stand can be a very useful tool for keeping it upright and out of the way while in use, in storage, or in transit. Further, if your propane tank is regularly left out in the elements, a tank stand will keep rust rings from forming on your wood or concrete patio. It is a very small investment for a lot of payoff. Rust rings can be a real pain to get off stone or cement once they have formed.
6. Fire Pit Heat Deflector
It is no secret propane and natural gas fire pits do not give off quite as much heat as their wood-burning counterparts, so being able to channel that heat exactly where you want it makes your gas fire pit that much more functional and useful. This is where a fire pit heat deflector comes in handy.
A fire pit heat deflector is essentially a square or round heat shield, positioned above your fire pit to vector heat outward where you want it, thus having it disappear vertically where it does the least good for everyone nearby. Additionally, if you are using your gas fire pit under an overhead covered structure, such as a gazebo or a pergola, a heat deflector will minimize the long-term effects of regular heat exposure on those structures. If you have a longer, rectangular shaped gas fire pit, multiple heat deflectors can be used side by side to cover the entire burner pan.