Backyard fire pits to help you transition from summer to fall

For when you want to enjoy the perks of a toasty fire, but can’t go camping.

Fire pit with moon and star cutouts
The smell of a wood fire on a crisp evening is one of the best outdoor aromas around.Landmann USA

This article was originally published by Outdoor Life.

When you can’t make it to the campfire ring, a well-tended home fire pit can always take you there in spirit. Here are three options for enjoying a little “caveman TV" right out the patio door.

Classic Wood-Burning

Fire pit with moon and star cutouts
Nothing sets the mood outside better than a wood-burning pit.Amazon

Traditionalists will insist on having a wood-burning backyard fire pit, which are available in many shapes and sizes. As a safety measure, make sure the one you choose is sold with a spark screen. A standard grilling grate can also turn your wood fire pit into a barbecue machine with enough capacity for the whole neighborhood.

Gas Fire Pits

Gas-lit fire pit
With gas fire pits, creating fire is as easy as clicking a button.Amazon

It may not seem very woodsy, but for the sake of convenience, it's hard to beat a gas fire pit. They're self-contained, can be placed just about anywhere from the front porch to a back deck, and light up with the press of button. On those late-winter or spring nights, a full tank of propane is all you need for hours of toasty reflection.

The Smokeless Pit

Smokeless stainless steel fire pit
Biofuel stoves offer the romance of a wood fire without the smoke.Amazon

Biofuel stoves that burn not only wood but also combustion gases have been a backpacking staple for years. That same technology is also available in full-sized fire pits, meaning a cleaner and more complete burn using less fuel with less smoke. This is a great option for confined or densely populated residential areas where you'd still want the romance of burning wood without the risk of smoking out the neighbors.